Bill C-292 (Historical)
Kelowna Accord Implementation Act
An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord
This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.
This bill was previously introduced in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session.
Paul Martin Liberal
Introduced as a private member’s bill.
This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.
- March 21, 2007 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
- Feb. 21, 2007 Passed That Bill C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord, be concurred in at report stage.
- Oct. 18, 2006 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
Bill C-471--Royal Recommendation
Points of Order
April 23rd, 2010 / 12:15 p.m.
Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC
As the House knows, the Conservatives have raised concerns on this issue in the House arguing that the bill needs a royal recommendation. The government contends that the repeal of the Public Service Equitable Compensation Act, or PSECA for short, requires a royal recommendation because delegating jurisdiction to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal to oversee public sector pay equity complaints is “essentially a fundamentally new and altered purpose for those organizations”. We take exception to this argument on two grounds.
First, this repeal is a restoration of the status quo. The Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal have been charged with these precise responsibilities for nearly a quarter century. This repeal hardly constitutes a fundamentally new and altered purpose for those organizations. They have the expertise and resources necessary to continue to undertake these responsibilities in the short term.
Second, the PSECA has not yet come into force, meaning that Bill C-471's repeal of that legislation would have limited impact on the ability of either the Public Service Labour Relations Board or the Canadian Human Rights Commission to carry out procedures relating to pay equity complaints.
The government further argues that Bill C-471 represents a cost increase to the treasury but nowhere in the 2009 budget does the government indicate that the new PSECA represents a cost savings. It is difficult to evaluate cost implications when the government provided no such information in its own policy change.
Bill C-471 calls on the Government of Canada to ensure that all statutory oversight agencies are put in place by a specific date. The creation of statutory oversight agencies simply constitutes the creation of a framework under which a proper, proactive federal pay equity system could function. Expenditure of public moneys and liability of the Crown need not be considered in the creation of such a timeline. The framework costs nothing.
I am reminded of two rulings made in 2006 that dealt with a royal recommendation in which you, Mr. Speaker, ruled on both occasions that there was no need for a royal recommendation.
Members will remember your decision, Mr. Speaker, on Paul Martin's private member's bill, Bill C-292 regarding the Kelowna accord, where you explained:
...the Kelowna accord tabled in the House sheds light on the plan of action, but it is not clear whether the accord could be implemented through an appropriation act, through amendments to existing acts, or through the establishment of new acts. From my reading, implementation would appear to require various legislative proposals.
Also, Mr. Speaker, in your ruling dated September 27, 2006, regarding private member's Bill C-288 on the Kyoto protocol, which had been brought forward by my hon. colleague from Honoré-Mercier, you indicated:
Rather, the bill seeks the approval of Parliament for the government to implement the protocol. If such approval is given, then the government would decide on the measures it wished to take. This might involve an appropriation bill or another bill proposing specific spending, either of which would require a royal recommendation.
It would be the responsibility of the government to enact these changes in a manner that does not put a new charge on the treasury. We cannot prejudge how exactly this framework would be established. Once the government establishes the pay equity framework proposed in this bill, cost implications would become factors to consider. As this bill does not actually enact such changes, a royal recommendation is unnecessary.
Bill C-471--Pay Equity Task Force Recommendation Act
Points of Order
December 10th, 2009 / 3:20 p.m.
Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding Bill C-471, the pay equity task force recommendations act, on the grounds that it requires a royal recommendation.
Normally, royal recommendation interventions are made before the first hour of debate, which occurred on this bill last night. However, after a request from the Liberal Party, who had an event of some importance last night, we delayed that so that we would not unduly delay the members opposite from attending their most important event.
Let me make my intervention now. Bill C-471 proposes to do two things. First, it imposes on the government a duty to implement the recommendations of the 2004 pay equity task force report that sets deadlines by which this must be done. It is noted in clause 2 of the bill that this includes establishing “all statutory oversight agencies”.
The second component of Bill C-471 is to immediately repeal the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, which was passed by Parliament nine months ago in March 2009. I have objections to both of these components and will address them in turn.
Turning to the first component, subclause 2(1) of the bill imposes an imperative duty on the government to “implement the recommendations of the Pay Equity Task Force set out in its final report”. I have considerable concerns with this provision. While a sponsoring member may attempt to argue that Bill C-471 is similar to the Kyoto protocol implementation act or the Kelowna accord implementation act, which you ruled in order in the last Parliament, there is significant distinction.
In your ruling on September 27, 2006, regarding Bill C-288, you stated:
In a ruling earlier this week on a similar matter, namely, C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord, the Chair made a distinction between a bill asking the House to approve certain objectives and a bill asking the House to approve the measures to achieve certain objectives. So too in the case before us, the adoption of a bill calling on the government to implement the Kyoto protocol might place an obligation on the government to take measures necessary to meet the goals set out in the protocol but the Chair cannot speculate on what those measures may be.
In the case of Bill C-471, the measures are set out in detail in the 113 recommendations of the task force report, which is referenced in this bill. The recommendation is that “Parliament enact new stand alone proactive pay equity legislation”. The other 112 recommendations describe the measures that should be included in that legislation.
As a result, this bill raises grave concerns. It places an impossible duty on the Crown of implementing the recommendations, which can only be done by passage of legislation. It seeks to bind this or a subsequent Parliament to pass this new legislation, which I submit would unconstitutionally undermine the fundamental principle of parliamentary sovereignty. It would fundamentally alter the relationship between the Crown and Parliament, and that is the heart of the financial initiative.
In your February 24, 2005, ruling, you aptly quoted:
Suffice it to say that those relations are neatly summed up in the phrase, “the government proposes, and parliament disposes”.
Bill C-471 clearly turns that relationship on its head by both proposing and disposing the measures in purposes for which public moneys should be spent. This is made even more apparent by subclause 2(2) of the bill. This provision sets the deadline by which the government must implement the task force recommendations. In particular, it states:
The Government of Canada shall ensure that all statutory oversight agencies are put in place no later than January 1, 2011.
This provision of the bill also distinguishes it from Bill C-288 and Bill C-292, considered in the last Parliament. Neither of those bills dictated the establishment of new institutions, much less as part of its expressed terms. Based on the task force report, the duty in subclause 2(2) entails the new creation of two new statutory agencies as well as a new system of adjudicators. Assuming Bill C-471 is constitutional and the government is bound by its terms, it has no choice but to establish these new bodies.
It is trite to say that such a measure would require the expenditure of new funds to a new purpose. For example, the Speaker's ruling of September 19, 2006, concluded that the creation of advisory committee requires a royal recommendation, since this clearly would require the expenditure of public funds in a manner not currently authorized. For this reason, Bill C-471 requires a royal recommendation to be in order.
The second component of Bill C-471 also clearly demonstrates that a royal recommendation is required. As mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, Bill C-471 at clause 3 repeals, in its entirety, the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act. This repeal would take immediate effect if this bill were to be given royal assent.
To fully understand why it has an impact on the financial initiative of the Crown, it is first necessary to understand the purpose of the PSECA. The purpose of this act, put simply, was to remove jurisdiction over public sector pay equity complaints from the Canadian Human Rights Act and to create a new statutory scheme for dealing with public sector pay equity issues proactively.
By the same token, the PSECA removed jurisdiction for dealing with public sector pay equity complaints from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Complaints that arise out of the PSECA process are instead dealt with by the Public Service Labour Relations Board. The grounds for those complaints are defined in the PSECA.
This is underscored in the PSECA's consequential amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which states:
The Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with complaints made against an employer within the meaning of the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act [related to the pay equity provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act].
The effect then of clause 3 of Bill C-471 is to reverse all of that. This has two distinct impacts. First, it gives jurisdiction over public sector employers to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal, whose jurisdiction was expressly removed in the PSECA. Second, it subjects public service employers, that is, the Crown as employer, to liability for new statutory grounds of complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Both of these impacts infringe upon the financial initiative of the Crown.
In the second edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, O'Brien and Bosc state a fundamental principle of the royal recommendation at pages 833 to 834:
An appropriation accompanied by a royal recommendation, though it can be reduced, can neither be increased nor redirected without a new recommendation...A royal recommendation not only fixes the allowable charge, but also its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications. For this reason, a royal recommendation is required not only in the case where money is being appropriated, but also in the case where the authorization to spend for a specific purpose is significantly altered. Without a royal recommendation, a bill that either increases the amount of an appropriation, or extends its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications is inadmissible on the grounds that it infringes on the Crown's financial initiative.
Mr. Speaker, this principle is reflected in your ruling of February 11, 2008, in which you held that Bill C-474 required a royal recommendation because it proposed to substantially alter the mandate of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. The same principle applies to the bill before you today.
The object of the Public Service Equitable Compensation Act was to fundamentally change the structure, process and jurisdiction for dealing with public sector pay equity issues from what existed before the passage of the act. A royal recommendation accompanied the budget implementation bill, which included the PSECA.
Accordingly, repealing the PSECA and giving the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal jurisdiction over public sector pay equity complaints is essentially a fundamentally new and altered purpose for those organizations. No royal recommendation accompanies that change in Bill C-471.
The royal recommendation that accompanied the PSECA cannot be redirected to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal, and past appropriations for the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal cannot be used for a purpose and jurisdiction that Parliament expressly removed from the PSECA. On that ground alone, Bill C-471 infringes upon the Crown's financial initiative.
In addition, the bill infringes upon the financial initiative on the basis that it exposes the Crown to a distinct liability that would be paid by public moneys. As stated in Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, 21st edition, on page 714:
Any proposal whereby the Crown would incur a liability or a contingent liability payable out of money to be voted by Parliament [requires the Queen's recommendation].
In this vein, a June 12, 1973, Speaker's ruling held that a royal recommendation was required for Bill S-5, an act to amend the Farm Improvement Loans Act.
The Speaker noted:
It may be said that the proposal in Bill S-5 does not in itself propose a direct expenditure. It does, however, propose substantial additional liabilities on public moneys.
Similarly, a May 5, 2009, ruling from the Speaker of the other place ruled Bill S-219 out of order because it would change the Crown's liability under the Canada Student Loans Act. As held in that ruling:
The passage of Bill S-219 would expand the range of conditions under which the government would have to make good its guarantee of loans under the Canada Student Loans Act. This would change the existing scheme, since payments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund might increase due to the change in possible obligations. As such, the bill should have a Royal Recommendation, and would have to originate in the other place.
This is also consistent with a ruling on February 12, 1988 regarding Bill S-4, an Act to Amend the Canada Shipping Act. In that case, Mr. Speaker, you found that increases to the limits of civil liability of shipowners did not require a royal recommendation because the payment was covered by the authorization in section 30 of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act.
My correction, Mr. Speaker, if you were not here in 1988. You have been for so long, I think of you as being here forever. That is a compliment, and please take it as such.
That act essentially provides that the Crown could be civilly liable in court for breaches of what is known in the common law tradition as tort or property law. Crown liability for breaches of its law of civil salvage is also expressly provided under section 5. Section 30 provides judgments issued by a court against the Crown are authorized to be paid.
The case of Bill C-471 is clearly distinguishable from Bill S-4 in that it creates a new and distinct statutory liability for the Crown under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Crown Liability and Proceedings Act does not authorize payments for new statutory liabilities of the Crown. In fact, section 33 states:
Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, nothing in this Act affects any rule of evidence or any presumption relating to the extent to which the Crown is bound by an Act of Parliament.
Bill C-471 would create a new and distinct statutory charge of the Crown's liability. The more adversarial quasi-judicial setting of the human rights regime is fundamentally different from the proactive and integrated approach of the PSECA.
Under the PSECA, pay equity obligations are integrated in the bargaining process subject to complaint on certain grounds of the Public Service Labour Relations Board. In contrast, under the Canadian Human Rights Act, liability is initiated by individual complaints adjudicated before an administrative tribunal and potentially results in awards for damages. The authority for awarding those damages is the Canadian Human Rights Act.
As you may recall, Mr. Speaker, through the previous complaints based process under the Canadian Human Rights Act, the government has paid out of public moneys multi-billion dollar judgments. The Crown's obligations are significantly different under the PSECA and a royal recommendation is required to change that.
Before concluding, and I know the wish is for me to conclude quickly, I would like to address a point that may arise during the study of this bill. As we know, the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act has been passed by Parliament, but it has not been not been proclaimed into force. Like many other statutes, Parliament delegates to the Governor-in-Council the authority to determine the day on which the act comes into force.
This transitional period, as one of the terms under which Parliament has passed the law, allows the executive time to prepare for the effective implementation of provisions. For purposes of assessing the need for a royal recommendation for Bill C-471, it does not matter whether or not the legislation has been proclaimed into force, it suffices that the law has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and that it has received royal assent.
What is and should be most critical and salient is Parliament's decision to make law. In the 21st edition of Erskine May, in formulating the test for whether a charge is new and distinct, it is stated at page 712:
The question may arise whether a proposal for expenditure or for increased expenditure is not already covered by some general authorization. The test for determining this question in the case of a substantive proposal, ie. a provision is in a bill, as introduced, is a comparison with existing law.
In this case, the Public Service Equitable Compensation Act was passed by Parliament on March 12, 2009. It forms part of the Statutes of Canada, it reflects the will of Parliament and it will be implemented under the terms passed by Parliament because that is what the law directs.
As Erskine May puts it, it forms part of the existing law, this is the law against which the provisions of Bill C-471 must be compared. To look at it another way, there would be no purpose for clause 3 of Bill C-471 but to change the law. It follows that in this instance it also changes the purposes and conditions for which the House has authorized expenditures. For that reason it requires a royal recommendation.
While Bill C-471 is a short bill, it has significant consequences and there are multiple reasons for which it requires a royal recommendation to be in order. I should also add that the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, the sponsor of Bill C-471, has said that he believes Bill C-471 would result in some additional unspecified costs for the government. In other words, the leader of the official opposition, who is the sponsor of this bill, agrees that his own bill requires a royal recommendation.
June 18th, 2008 / 3:25 p.m.
The Speaker Peter Milliken
I have the honour to inform the House that when the House went up to the Senate chamber the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:
Bill C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord--Chapter 23
Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Judges Act--Chapter 26
Bill C-287, An Act respecting a National Peacekeepers' Day--Chapter 27
Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act--Chapter 30
Statements By Members
February 12th, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.
Todd Russell Labrador, NL
Mr. Speaker, it has been almost a year since Parliament passed Bill C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord. Since then, the bill has been stalled in the Senate because the Conservative senators have used tactics of delay and diversion. They have done so in spite of the will of Parliament and in spite of their own election promise to honour the terms and objectives of the Kelowna accord.
In so doing, they have turned their backs on aboriginal Canadians. The Conservatives have denied aboriginal Canadians better health care for their children and families. They are denying aboriginal Canadians a better education and housing. The Conservatives are denying the aboriginal people of Canada the hope of a better life.
The Conservatives like to talk an accountability and transparency game but practise exactly the opposite. They said that they would honour the commitments of Kelowna but they have refused to fund the agreement and are using parliamentary tactics to back out of their commitments.
How can they continue to justify turning a blind eye to the needs of the aboriginal people of Canada? Why does the Prime Minister not show some leadership and order his Conservative senators to pass BillC-292?
Tackling Violent Crime Legislation
February 11th, 2008 / 12:30 p.m.
John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON
Mr. Speaker, I would have been much more impressed by the hon. minister's speech had he not first killed his own legislation in order to bring us to this point in the first place. Every element of the bill that is currently before the Senate was in the Senate prior to prorogation.
In 2006 the Liberal Party offered to fast track this legislation, but we were refused. In 2007 we offered to fast track it and again we were refused. The bills passed through the House and were sitting in the Senate and being dealt with in an expeditious manner. Then the government killed its own legislation by prorogation.
So what we have here is a minister telling us to pass this legislation, to pass this legislation because we must have this legislation, and all he is doing is recycling his speeches from last year because he likes to make those speeches. For goodness' sake, the Conservative government has wasted a year and a half on its own legislation and now it has the gall to tell the Senate to hurry up.
My goodness gracious me. It is an extraordinary circumstance in which a minister kills his own legislation through prorogation, then comes back to the House and says he has a new package and he wants us to pass it immediately. That is my number one point.
My number two point is about the further hypocrisy of the government. Two bills, Bill C-292 and Bill C-293, have been sitting in the Senate since March 2007. Conservative senators stonewall them, divert them and do everything but deal with them. Therefore, I wonder if the minister's enthusiasm to have the senators move on his own legislation extends to other bills that this chamber has in fact passed.
Statements By Members
February 4th, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.
Tina Keeper Churchill, MB
Despite the harsh and disappointing opposition from the Conservative members, a majority of MPs passed this critical bill in the House of Commons last year. As important as the investments for first nations, the Inuit and Métis, Kelowna represented a new partnership. It was the commitment to principles which Canadians hold dear: human rights, equity and justice.
The passage of this bill is well overdue and will finally correct a grave error in judgment at the hands of the government. I call on the Conservative members to urge their colleagues in the upper chamber to work together to swiftly pass this bill.
Business of the House
Opening of the Second Session of the 39th Parliament
October 16th, 2007 / 6:45 p.m.
The Speaker Peter Milliken
Order. It appears we have a few moments and to save time later I will inform members of something they are just aching to hear about now.
As hon. members know, our Standing Orders provide for the continuance of private members' business from session to session within a Parliament.
The list for the consideration of private members' business established on April 7, 2006, continues from the last session to this session notwithstanding prorogation.
As such, all items of private members' business originating in the House of Commons that were listed on the order paper during the previous session are reinstated to the order paper and shall be deemed to have been considered and approved at all stages completed at the time of prorogation of the first session.
Generally speaking, in practical terms, this also means that those items on the Order of Precedence remain on the Order of Precedence or, as the case may be, are referred to committee or sent to the Senate.
However, there is one item that cannot be left on the Order of Precedence. Pursuant to Standing Order 87(1), Parliamentary secretaries who are ineligible by virtue of their office to be put on the Order of Precedence will be dropped to the bottom of the list for the consideration of private members' business, where they will remain as long as they hold those offices.
Consequently, the item in the name of the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Motion M-302, is withdrawn from the Order of Precedence.
With regard to the remaining items on the order of precedence let me remind the House of the specifics since the House is scheduled to resume its daily private members' business hour starting tomorrow.
At prorogation, there were seven private members' bills originating in the House of Commons adopted at second reading and referred to committee. Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 86.1:
Bill C-207, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for new graduates working in designated regions), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Finance;
Bill C-265, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (qualification for and entitlement to benefits), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities;
Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States social security payments to Canadian residents), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Finance;
Bill C-327, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act (reduction of violence in television broadcasts), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage;
Bill C-343, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (motor vehicle theft), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights;
Bill C-377, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change, is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development; and
Bill C-428, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (methamphetamine), is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
(Bills deemed introduced, read the first time, read the second time and referred to a committee)
Furthermore, four Private Members' bills originating in the House of Commons had been read the third time and passed. Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 86.1, the following bills are deemed adopted at all stages and passed by the House:
Accordingly, a message will be sent to inform the Senate that this House has adopted these four bills.
Hon. members will find at their desks an explanatory note recapitulating these remarks. The Table officers are available to answer any further questions that hon. members may have.
I trust that these measures will assist the House in understanding how private members' business will be conducted in this second session of the 39th Parliament.
(Bills deemed adopted at all stages and passed by the House)
Opposition Motion--Indian Residential Schools
Business of Supply
May 1st, 2007 / 4:05 p.m.
Colin Mayes Okanagan—Shuswap, BC
Mr. Speaker, when the former prime minister was a witness at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs discussing Bill C-292, one of the statements I made was that leadership was about knowing when the talk stops and the work begins, which is one thing our government has moved forward. We are getting the work done. We are taking action to address those needs that were addressed in those negotiations, those discussions, that led up to the meeting in Kelowna.
I would just say to the member opposite that the evidence is there. The proof is in the pudding. We are getting things done for aboriginal people. For instance, with regard to the issue around water quality, we inherited a situation where over 200 communities were on water advisories. We cut that in half within a year. I think that is a great accomplishment that the minister and his department have managed to accomplish over the past year.
Kelowna Accord Implementation Act
Private Members' Business
March 21st, 2007 / 6:50 p.m.
The House resumed from March 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord, be read the third time and passed.