7 things ....
Saturday November 28, 2015
With the first session of the 42nd Parliament scheduled to open on Thursday, followed by a speech from the throne on Friday, The House spoke to government House leader Dominic LeBlanc about some of the key issues parliamentarians will be tackling (or not).
1. What will the government's first order of business be?LeBlanc says the first item on the agenda will be to introduce a ways and means motion to implement the promised tax cut for the middle class, along with a promised tax increase for Canadians making more than $200,000 a year. "It would go into effect for the calendar year of 2016," LeBlanc explained.
2. How quickly will committees get to work?Finance would likely be the first committee to be established so pre-budget consultations can get underway.
LeBlanc said he has spoken to House leaders of the opposition parties with a hope of setting up membership of the finance committee while the House is sitting.
"So they'd be able to do pre-budget consultations in January and February," he said.
3. Deadline for legislation on physician-assisted death"Because of the timetable imposed by the Supreme Court, we would hope that we could set up a parliamentary process in the first week of December," LeBlanc told The House.
He didn't rule out asking for an extension to the court's Feb. 6 deadline, but he said parliamentarians would be able to "do some quick and expedited work around possible legislation to fill the void."
4. How will the government work with the Senate?It's not sure yet. With Senate Liberals being independent from the Liberal caucus, the government finds itself in an unprecedented position.
The prime minister is looking at a number of options in terms of how to craft a "leadership structure in the Senate that maintains his commitment to have a more independent, less partisan body," LeBlanc said.
5. When will consultations around the TPP agreement start?Not in 2015. "I would think that when Parliament comes back in January, the trade committee would be an obvious place to begin," LeBlanc said.
During the federal election, Trudeau promised "a full and open public debate in Parliament" on the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
6. Will the future of the ISIS mission be debated?With the prime minister intent on ending Canada's contribution to the bombing mission and musing about sending more trainers to Iraq, will there be a debate in the House over what role the country should play?
"It wasn't our intention to have a debate," LeBlanc said.