Auditor General on Federal Pay System, CRA, Refugees

Auditor General on Federal Pay System, CRA, Refugees

Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, and Thomas Mulcair debate in Toronto on Sept. 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/POOL-Mark Blinch


UPDATED November 22, 2017 9:49amET

Auditor General Michael Ferguson has released his fall reports, which include a look at the federal government’s troubled Phoenix pay system.

Fergusons and Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough appeared on Tuesday’s PrimeTime Politics with Peter Van Dusen:

Watch more:

Also in the reports:

Ferguson’s work led to numerous questions for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons this afternoon:

Watch Ferguson’s full news conference and reaction from the government, opposition, and NDP.

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould went before the procedure committee to discuss the potential creation of an independent commissioner responsible for leaders’ debates during election campaigns. (Though this meeting itself isn’t televised.)

For decades, the country’s largest broadcasters were solely responsible for organizing the televised debates: the time, location, questions, and which leaders could participate.

Past disputes over which party leaders were eligible to take part led the 2015 Liberal platform to promise an “an independent commission to organize leaders’ debates and bring an end to partisan gamesmanship.”

That same year, the Conservative Party of Canada rejected the traditional consortium for a series of debates held by Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, the Munk Debates, and the TVA network. (Although the broadcast consortium did organize a French-language debate.)

The cannabis bill (C-45) continues at report stage, with a time allocation motion from the government this morning.

MPs return to two amendments:

  • Green Leader Elizabeth May would remove a clause (9) on limits to the distribution of cannabis by individuals. That section prohibits an adult from giving more than the equivalent 30 grams of dried cannabis (in whatever form)  to another adult — or giving any cannabis to a minor (18 years and younger). For minors, the distribution limit is 5 grams. And all individual Canadians would be barred from distributing “one or more cannabis plants that are budding or flowering, or … more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering.”
  • Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu would delete a clause (12) that includes the provision for individuals to grow up to four cannabis plants at home.

Health committee amendments included a call for cannabis edibles and concentrates to be allowed for sale within one year of the bill’s passage. (Those products weren’t in the original legislation).

“Report Stage” allows MPs to propose amendments after a bill has returned from committee. The Speaker decides which proposed amendments are in order.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and parliamentary secretary Bill Blair are expected to make another announcement this afternoon on the federal regulation of cannabis. LIVE ONLINE at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT

Two weeks ago the government confirmed its proposal for a 50-50 split in excise tax revenue with the provinces and territories.

A bill to enforce specific penalties for the theft of firefighting equipment is debated for the first time. Conservative MP Mel Arnold said Bill C-365 was inspired by reports of theft and vandalism in British Columbia – amidst the province’s worst recorded wildfire outbreak.

Arnold’s bill would see an offender “liable to imprisonment for life” if stolen firefighting equipment “causes actual danger to life.”

-Andrew Thomson

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