Monday: In the House, In Committee

Monday: In the House, In Committee

UPDATED May 7, 2018 9:28amET

The Senate social affairs committee continues to hear witnesses on the cannabis bill in advance of issuing a report on potential amendments.

That includes members of the national security committee, which recommended the government seek assurances from the U.S. that legalization won’t lead to Canadians facing obstacles at the border. LIVE ONLINE at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT

CPAC In Focus: Senate committees for changes to cannabis legislation 

CPAC In Focus: Selling and Taxing Marijuana

Meanwhile, Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney appears at the Commons finance committee, which is studying the budget implementation bill.

That includes the federal legislation on carbon pricing.

Other witnesses include University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach and representatives of the Ecofiscal Commission, think tanks, and other organizations. LIVE ONLINE at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT

The federal government included the 217-page Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act in this spring’s budget implementation bill. Ottawa calls it a “backstop” to implement in provinces and territories that fails to meet certain benchmarks in the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

The requirements include:

  • carbon pricing in place by 2018 that addresses greenhouse gas emissions across a common set of sectors and sources (i.e. energy, transportation);
  • a system that uses either a carbon tax (as in British Columbia) starting at $10 per tonne and rising to $50 per tonne by 2022, or;
  • a cap-and-trade system (as in Ontario and Quebec) that matches or exceeds the federal government’s 2030 target for reduced emissions;
  • a five-year review and regular reporting requirements.

Included is this language to justify the pricing plan:

The absence of greenhouse gas emissions pricing in some provinces and a lack of stringency in some provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems could contribute to significant deleterious effects on the environment, including its biological diversity, on human health and safety and on economic prosperity … it is necessary to create a federal greenhouse gas emissions pricing scheme to ensure that, taking provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems into account, greenhouse gas emissions pricing applies broadly in Canada

Also in committee:

  • New RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki briefs the Standing Committee on Public Safety.
  • The industry committee begins a week of cross-country hearings on the Copyright Act in Halifax.

In the House chamber, MPs begin the week with a motion from Liberal MP Wayne Long for committee study of the Record Suspension Program, which allows the Parole Board of Canada to suspend — but not remove — a person’s criminal record in the federal police database, in the name of rehabilitation and access to education and employment. Here’s the full text:

That the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security be instructed to undertake a study of the Record Suspension Program to:

(a) examine the impact of a record suspension to help those with a criminal record reintegrate into society;

(b) examine the impact of criminal record suspension fees and additional costs associated with the application process on low-income applicants;

(c) identify appropriate changes to fees and service standards for record suspensions;

(d) identify improvements to better support applicants for a criminal record suspension; and that the Committee present its final report and recommendations to the House within nine months of the adoption of this motion.

The House of Commons is also scheduled to return the proposed ban on oil tanker traffic along British Columbia’s north coast, including Haida Gwaii.

Bill C-48 would ban “oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo from stopping, or unloading crude oil or persistent oil, at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of those oils as cargo.

-Andrew Thomson