Categorized | Editorial

7 Things You Need To Know About The Last 5 Months In Ottawa

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

1. Board of Internal Economy/NDP mailings

The secretive board broke a tradition of working by consensus after it found that 23 NDP MPs had broken rules governing large volume mail. The board said the electoral letters should have been paid for by the party. It also said MPs owed a combined $36,309 to the House for envelopes and toner and $1.13 million to Canada Post for franking privileges.

2. Harper’s battle with the Supreme Court

After the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the federal government’s desired go-it-alone Senate reform plans, softened two tough-on-crime measures the Conservatives introduced and said Justice Marc Nadon was ineligible to sit on the top court, Conservatives fought back.

3. Jim Flaherty’s death

The former finance minister’s death stunned parliamentarians on April 10.

4. The Fair Elections Act

In a rare scene, political critics, civil society and even some of its own MPs united against the government’s proposed changes to the Canada Elections Act. The Tories tried to stack the deck in their favour by revamping fundraising rules and severely limiting some Canadians’ ability to vote.

5. Abortion

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s policy of imposing a pro-choice position on all new candidates while grandfathering MPs with anti-abortion views drew criticisms from all sides.

6. Privacy

The government reintroduced a new version of a bill that would give police sweeping powers to track and trace telecommunications online.

 7. Citizenship

Bill C-24, “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act,” contains several controversial measures that have opposition MPs worried. Among them:

  • It limits appeals in order to cut down on processing time and reduce the department’s large backlog;
  • Increases the length of time applicants need to spend in Canada before obtaining their citizenship;
  • Forces 14- to 16-year-olds as well as 54- to 64-year-olds to meet language requirements and pass knowledge tests;
  • Gives Ottawa the power to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens who are convicted with terrorism outside Canada.

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