2013 Annual Report – Legislation

National Chairperson of Legislation Anne Gorman

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Sub-Committee Chairpersons:

  • Shirley Dysart, Saint John
  • Life Member Terri Scott, Winnipeg

Monitor and study legislation at all levels of government

1. Federal legislation

C-30       Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act died on the order paper on September 13, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-52       Fair Rail Freight Service Act received royal assent on June 26, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-273     An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cyberbullying) was not proceeded with as of March 27, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-279     An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity) received first reading in the Senate on October 17, 2013 (41st Parliament 2nd Session).

C-299     An Act to amend the Criminal Code (kidnapping of young person) received royal assent on June 26, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-304     An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom) regarding removal of Section 13 from Canadian Human Rights Act which bans hate messages received royal assent on June 26, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-400     Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act died on the order paper on September 13, 2013 (41st Parliament 1st Session).

C-425     An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces) was reinstated from the previous session on October 16, 2013 (41st Parliament 2nd Session).

C-428     Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act received first reading in the Senate on November 21, 2013 (41st Parliament 2nd Session).

C-442     National Lyme Disease Strategy Act was reinstated from the previous session on October 16, 2013 (41st Parliament 2nd Session).

M-408    That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination was deemed non-votable by the Standing Committee on Procedure of House Affairs on March 28, 2013.

2. Provincial legislation

Alberta Mackenzie legislative concerns included property rights, flavoured tobacco, senior abuse, Lyme disease and cyberbullying. B.C. & Yukon legislative concerns included ending pastoral care in hospitals and pensions available after residency of three years in Canada. Manitoba legislative concerns included abuse in long term care facilities, bullying and an increase to the provincial sales tax. Military Ordinariate legislative concerns included compassionate care leave. Newfoundland and Labrador legislative concerns included the Supreme Court’s ruling on the right to euthanasia. Nova Scotia legislative concerns included housing, recycling and prescription drug plans.

Ontario legislative concerns included amending the Education Act with respect to bullying and other matters, amending  the Co-operative Corporations Act and the Residential Tenancies Act with respect to non-profit housing cooperatives, regulating the selling and marketing of tanning services and ultraviolet light treatments for tanning, expenditure control for physiotherapy, establishing the Alzheimer Advance Council and developing a strategy for its treatment and prevention, and opposing the development of industrial wind turbine farms in rural Ontario. Quebec legislative concerns included dying with dignity, a proposed Charter of Values and amending Quebec’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

3.  Municipal legislation that was monitored by councils included school closures, mixed genders sharing hospital rooms, the closure of a Veterans’ Affairs office, protesting the decision to not hold a Christmas parade, civic elections and land expropriation.

Preparation of briefs and position papers on proposed legislation

One provincial council reported having read briefs and position papers authored at the national level and having made recommendations to its membership. No specific briefs or position papers were referenced.

Letter-writing on issues of concern
Provincial councils report members having written to their MPs and federal ministries, signed petitions, sent e-mails and phoned various levels of government on nationally and provincially-adopted resolutions including, but not exclusive to, Resolution 2013.02 and Resolution 2012.02.

Members wrote the federal minister of justice and prime minister to seek their intervention should Quebec’s Bill 52 An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care be introduced into the Quebec National Assembly and passed. No numbers were reported.

Members reported writing letters in opposition to, and encouraging legislation or improvement in legislation, on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the lack of an abortion law in Canada, Aboriginal issues, rights of seasonal workers, improved palliative care, and drug coverage for various medications, especially for seniors. The number of letters reported to have been written to members at the federal level was 773.  Twelve responses were reported received.

Activities Undertaken

  • Attended national resolutions committee meetings
  • Took part in consultations with parliamentary officials on behalf of the League
  • Sent 20 letters to members of parliament, including cabinet ministers, and received four responses
  • Reviewed the parliamentary website daily
  • Conferred with legislation chairpersons as required
  • Spoke at two parish councils in Kelowna regarding legislation as a visiting member

Conclusion
Provincial councils continued to struggle, in their words, with acquiring legislation chairpersons. On the other hand, work that was done by councils that did have a chairperson, whether it was alone or in combination with the resolutions standing committee, accomplished much good “For God and Canada.” While slow off the mark when it comes to reporting numbers of letters sent, it is early days for this new initiative and improvement has been made.

Perhaps a specific form was needed for completing the legislation report so councils at all levels could simply name the bill, motion or legislation; the action taken by one or hundreds of members; and responses received.

I am confident the League had a strong influence on parliament, and my successors at all levels will continue to advocate for legislation that supports Christian values. We Have Seen the Lord! among the hardworking people of faith in their many and varied vocations that are evidenced in the reports recorded herein. V