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HillNotes are brief analyses of current or emerging issues that also provide related resources for further reading, as well as recent news clippings on the topics. HillNotes over 90 days old may be found in the Archives section.

Ratifying and Implementing Trade and Investment Treaties in Canada

9 April 2014

Under Canada’s constitutional system, the conduct of foreign affairs is a royal prerogative power of the federal Crown.

Consequently, the Executive Branch has the exclusive power to negotiate and conclude international treaties. Parliament has the exclusive power to enact legislation to implement those treaties.

Cyber Sexual Violence in Canada

2 April 2014

Tweet, post or send … Users of social media and communication technologies should be aware of a new form of victimization, one that can particularly affect girls and women: cyber sexual violence.

Uses of the Internet have expanded the scope, nature and impact of sexual violence. This change presents important challenges to victims, their families, law enforcement agencies, the justice system, governments and the general public.

Current Issues in Mental Health in Canada

26 March 2014

Mental health problems and mental illness exact a huge human, social and economic toll.

In Canada, roughly one in every five people will experience a mental illness in his or her lifetime. Individuals with mental health problems or mental illness may suffer from such consequences as stigmatization, discrimination, lost income, homelessness and substance abuse, among others. Left untreated, some mental health disorders may even lead to suicide.

Canada at the Paralympic Winter Games

5 March 2014

True models of resilience and determination, Canadian athletes with disabilities will no doubt excel once again during the XI Paralympic Winter Games, which will take place from 7 to 16 March in Sochi, Russia. Team Canada is aiming to place in the "Top 3," both in the gold medal count and in the ranking of competing countries.

Resource Revenue–Sharing Arrangements with Aboriginal People

26 February 2014

The federal government forecasts that, in the coming decade, investments of more than $650 billion will be made in natural resource projects, a majority of which will occur on or near Aboriginal traditional lands. Whether these projects proceed, and under what conditions, increasingly depends on the level and quality of Aboriginal participation.

Recent court decisions have required governments to consult and accommodate Aboriginal interests when contemplating resource developments on traditional territories. The rulings suggest that Aboriginal people have the legal leverage to delay or even halt development until their legal interests are meaningfully reconciled with non-Aboriginal interests.

Canadian Heritage Designations

12 February 2014

Over the years, the federal government has granted 3,500 heritage designations to places, buildings, events and people of historical significance. These designations, which showcase the creativity and cultural traditions of Canadians, commemorate significant events in Canada’s history and foster understanding about how the country was built.

Below-Target Inflation and Monetary Policy

5 February 2014

During and following the global financial and economic crisis, central bankers in a number of countries implemented unprecedented monetary stimulus measures to encourage economic growth. These included a marked and timely lowering of their policy interest rates.

Now, central bankers in Canada, the United States, some other developed countries and the euro area are concerned about the inflation rate being persistently below the target they had set for it.

Combatting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Canada’s Regime

29 January 2014

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, each year roughly US$800 billion to US$2 trillion in money or assets derived from criminal activity is laundered globally, equivalent to about 2% to 5% of the world’s gross domestic product.

In 2011, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimated that between C$5 billion and C$15 billion is laundered each year in Canada.

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