The first session of Canada’s 41st Parliament is set to open tomorrow (Thursday, June 2, 2011).
Regardless of how you voted in the last election, are you cynical or hopeful that our elected politicians will earn their keep and have a productive Parliamentary session? (Alas, I remain cynical).
Early activity this week should see the election of a new Speaker of the House and perhaps some indication of the direction the new majority Conservative government will take in Friday’s Speech from the Throne.
A good Canadian Press article provides a great overview of what to expect with this new Parliament, suggesting in fact we will see only a brief “Spring Sitting” over the next 2 or 3 weeks with a summer break and a more detailed legislative agenda in the Fall, giving some of the rookie MPs more time to learn their new roles.
A number of topics of interest to legal researchers have made the news in the last short while on this topic:
- the impact of a majority government on copyright reform
- the need for increased transparency by our politicians, especially given the retirement of Auditor General Sheila Fraser
- the suggestion that Jack Layton was in fact the least civil MP in the last session of Parliament and how effective the NDP will be as the Opposition Party
- the likelihood of the Conservative party imposing their “tough on crime” legislative proposals
- increasing calls for abolishing the Senate
These may be interesting times, legislatively speaking.
I think that the improved Parliamentary and LEGISinfo websites should make federal legislative research easier to do. I also see that Eugene Forsey’s How Canadians Govern Themselves is now in a 2010, 7th edition.