The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

It’s a wrap! The rest of what we did in 2016

January 31 2017 31 January 2017

2016 was a banner year for CBA advocacy – we broke the previous record for submissions in a single year by 15, with a total of 97.

And 19 of those submissions came in late November and December ahead of the Christmas break, as CBA National Sections and Forums and the Legislation and Law Reform people scrambled to meet deadlines and respond to consultations even after Parliament rose for the holidays.

This newsletter contains short articles about many of those submissions. Here’s some information about the rest of them.

  • Bill C-235 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (fetal alcohol disorder) – Yukon MP Larry Bagnell sponsored this private member’s bill. The CBA supported the bill and offered suggestions to improve it. The bill was defeated on second reading in the House.
  • Income Tax Act – Technical Amendments Package of Sept. 16, 2016 – The Joint Canadian Bar Association/Canadian Professional Accountants of Canada Taxation Committee commented on technical amendments to the Income Tax Act.
  • Proposed Amendments to IAD Rules of Procedure – The CBA National Immigration Law Section recommended changes to simplify the Immigration Appeal Division rules and promote early resolution of matters before the IAD.
  • Bill C-226  - Impaired Driving Act -  The CBA National Criminal Justice Section commented on a private member’s bill on impaired driving. The Section told the House of Commons Public Safety Committee that it supports measures to reduce impaired driving, but opposes Bill C-226 as it would lead to uncertainty to the law and constitutional challenges.
  • Court Martial Comprehensive Review – Public Consultation – The CBA National Military Law Section offers to add its input to the review of Canada’s court martial system, which is being carried out by the Judge Advocate General’s office.
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program – The CBA National Immigration Law Section has been watching developments in the TFWP very closely, and has made a number of previous submissions with its recommendations to improve the program. In this submission, the Section applauds the spirit of a Parliamentary study on the program, but makes more recommendations for revisions.
  • Shortage of Judges – One of the last things we did in December was write to the Federal Justice Minister to encourage her to work as quickly as possible to fill the 43 vacancies on superior court benches. In January, we took the additional step of publicizing the letter, which shone a much-needed light on the urgency of the matter. On January 19, the Minister made appointments to several Judicial Advocacy Committees. CBA President René Basque welcomed this next step in filling the judicial vacancies, urging the immediate review of judicial applications so the vacancies can be filled as quickly as possible. He also encouraged the Minister to appoint the remaining JACs without delay, to help solve the acute access to justice problem in Canada.

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