Monday, September 1, 2008

Crime, Senate reform and other bills that die if Harper calls early election...

As we all expect, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to break his own law this week and call an election one year early. In doing so, he'll be killing a large number of bills still before Parliament, including some rather controversial legislation. Many suspect that Harper is going to focus much of his campaign showcasing the government's crime-fighting actions, as well as his personal commitment to reform the Senate; however, four major crime bills and two Senate reform bills introduced by his government are set to die if Harper calls the early election.

Of course, the Tories will say they wouldn't have been able to pass these bills would they have waited until the Oct 2009 fixed election date. But considering the Tory record in getting many bills through Parliament this term, surely that assertion is false. I think the fact that Harper is willing to let so many pieces of legislation die on the altar of political opportunism speaks volumes about his priorities.

When the Tories argue they've taken action to fight crime and promote Senate reform in the upcoming election, we should remind voters that in calling the early vote, Harper killed the following legislation:

An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act (non-registration of firearms that are neither prohibited nor restricted)
The Minister of Public Safety

An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act
The Minister of Justice

An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
The Minister of Justice

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct)
The Minister of Justice

An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (Senate tenure)
The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

An Act to provide for consultations with electors on their preferences for appointments to the Senate
The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

This site lists the status of all government bills introduced in the Canadian House of Commons this session, those bills passed and those that will die on the order paper. Other bills set to die that caught my eye are:

An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (visual identification of voters)
The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, including amendments in relation to foreign investment entities and non-resident trusts, and to provide for the bijural expression of the provisions of that Act
The Minister of Finance
(This bill would kill Canadian film & TV production as it would put at risk producers' abilities to guarantee huge portions of their budgets before getting loans from banks. A big mess if passed, thank God it's not yet the law.)

An Act to amend the Copyright Act
The Minister of Industry

Of these, I truly hope that Bill C-10 and Bill C-61 don't come back in their existing forms, should the Tories get the chance to introduce government legislation again. Of course, the best way to ensure that doesn't happen is to elect a Stephane Dion Liberal government.


Lizt. said...

A great many of these bills should be junked anyway..he will find a way to blame the oppositon for this.

Anonymous said...

C-26 must go. It would put people -- even sick medical cannabis patients who can't find a doctor to sign their paperwork -- in jail for six months minimum for just one plant!