Elizabeth May’s Week in Review – Oct. 20, 2017

Week in Review

October 20, 2017

Welcome back to Elizabeth May's parliamentary week in review! This weekly e-newsletter recaps her work in Parliament when the House is in session. Using the links below, you can watch videos of Elizabeth's interventions in the House, keep up with her media releases, and read articles she has written. 

Over the week, Elizabeth spoke to the business and environmental sense of cancelling Energy East, the concerted efforts needed on sustainable development, and giving the parliamentary code of ethics some teeth. She also offered an amendment at Report Stage on Bill C-46, pertaining to cannabis legalisation.

This newsletter covers Elizabeth's work in the House from October 16, 2017 to October 20, 2017.

* If you are having trouble viewing this email, please view online at: https://elizabethmaymp.ca/category/news/week-in-review/ 

Key Moments in the House

Bill C-46, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code with respect to legalising marijuana, has made its way through the House. Elizabeth has voiced the concerns of citizens’ rights groups who worry that the new powers granted to law enforcement officers within the bill will be disproportionately deployed on visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, and marginalised groups. While she has proposed a number of amendments that would have mitigated this threat and avoided potential constitutional problems facing the bill, none of her amendments have been accepted. Click below for video and transcript of her intervention in the House.

Question Period

Will offshore petroleum boards be kept out of Environmental Assessment?


Bill C-48: Pipelines are a failing business model

Bill C-48: Bitumen is not safe for pipelines

Bill C-48: Energy East would not have reduced foreign oil imports

Bill C-57: Sustainability is about equity

– Make the parliamentary code of ethics enforceable

Sustainable forestry in Canada


Tax Reform

The Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, walked back on some of the more controversial proposals of his tax reform plan this week. Having heard from doctors, dentists, and family farmers across the country, the Government no longer intends to target 'surplus stripping,' or the conversion of income to capital gains. Elizabeth supports the change, insofar as it avoids upending the retirement and succession planning of many family businesses. She is even more pleased to hear that the small business tax rate will drop to 9 percent, which is something she advocated for weeks ago.

At the same time, there is more to be done. Attention should be directed to the stock option deduction loophole, which the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives cites as costing the government approximately $740 million per year. This loophole exclusively benefits the richest 1% of Canadians, which is unacceptable. There are many policy solutions to balance the needs of start-ups with the desire for equitable taxation. You can read more of Elizabeth's views by reading her submission to Minister Morneau, here.

Rohingya Crisis

This Monday, the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Canada-Bangladesh gathered to update MPs on the situation in Myanmar. As of this week, over 520 000 Rohingya have been displaced into Bangladesh. The Government of Canada has spent $12.25 million on efforts to aid this targetted minority, half of it since the situation reached a crisis level in late August. Additional funds have been channeled through the Central Emergency Response Fund as well as to core and regional funding to partners in Bangladesh. Canada's relief stocks from a warehouse in Dubai have also opened up, managed by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Government's diplomatic priority at this time is to gain full and unimpeded access for a U.N. fact-finding mission. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, has spoken to her counterparts in the region as well as international representatives in an effort to exert collective pressure on Myanmar's government. Canada recently opened a line of communication with military leader, Ming Aung Hlaing, which is an encouraging development.

The situation remains dire and the future of the Rohingya uncertain. Bangladesh and humanitarian organizations on the ground are operating a highly coordinated effort, but the volume of displaced persons is vast. Food, clean water, sanitation, and protection for minors without guardians are essential. Find out what you can do by clicking here.

In the Media

NDP, Green Party slam feds over ignored health concerns in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley
(Andrew Russell, Global News, October 17)

Ontario government ignored health warnings from its own engineers about Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, report claims
(Emma McIntosh, Toronto Star, October 17)

Why the Green Party matters now more than ever in Canadian politics
(Andrew Reeves, THIS
, October 18)

Liberals vote down opposition amendments to 'cash for access' bill
(Matthew Usherwood, iPolitics, October 19) 

Public Statements


Elizabeth introduced the following petitions to the government this week:

  • Ban the sale, distribution, and trade of shark fins in Canada.
  • Extend the proposed ban on crude oil tankers in Bill C-48 to include B.C.'s entire west coast. 
  • Extend employment insurance sickness benefits to 52 weeks for Canadians who are battling cancer and other critical illnesses.
  • Implement a national strategy on environmental education.
  • Close tax loopholes, like the stock options deduction.
  • Implement a national pharmacare program.
  • Design a national housing strategy inclusive of the approach taken by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
  • Ensure sustainable standards of practice for the cannabis industry.
  • Take animal cruelty crimes from the property section of the Criminal Code and strengthen the legislation.
  • Protect practitioners of Falun Dafa and Falun Gong and exhort the People's Republic of China to do the same.

View and sign e-petitions currently sponsored by Elizabeth here.

Read the governments' responses to petitions Elizabeth has introduced here.

Learn about the e-petition process or create one of your own here.

Community Newsletter

September 2017 Newsletter – Repair our Environmental, Privacy and Security Laws

Have Your Say

Engage in government consultations for key legislative items:

NAFTA Renegotiations 

Deadline: October 25th

National Food Policy*

Deadline: Passed

*If you would like to submit comments regarding food policy, you can always write to Minister for Food and Agriculture Canada, Lawrence MacAulay. Contact information, here.

Committee Briefs & Responses

Brief Submitted to the Minister of Food and Agriculture Canada for "A Food Policy for Canada"

Response Submitted to the Consultations on Tax Planning Using Private Corporations

Response Submitted to the "Environment and Regulatory Reviews: Discussion Paper"

Brief Submitted to the Expert Panel Reviewing Environmental Assessment Law

Brief Submitted to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the "Let's Talk Parks Canada" Consultation

Brief Submitted to the Standing Committee on International Trade for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Consultation

Brief Submitted to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in Response to their Review of the Navigation Protection Act

Brief Submitted to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in Response to the Review of Changes to the Fisheries Act

Brief Submitted to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

Private Members' Bills

Elizabeth May has introduced the following bills:

Bill C-269: This bill will abolish mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes except murder and treason.

Bill C-258: This "Think Small First" bill would require that every new bill introduced in the House undergo an assessment to determine how the bill would impact Canadian small businesses.

Bill C-259: The Open Science Act would require all federal departments to make all publicly funded scientific research available to Canadians on their websites.

For a list of private members' bills Elizabeth May has seconded, please visit elizabethmaymp.ca.

Recent Events 

Tuesday, October, 17th

Wednesday, October 18th 

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 25th to Sunday, October 29th

Saturday, November 11th to Sunday, November 19th 

As always, the support of the Green Party of Canada has been invaluable in enabling Elizabeth to hold the government to account on such a large number of issues. For more information on their work, or to get involved, please visit: https://www.greenparty.ca/