Library of Parliament Research Publications
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 December 2013
In 2009, Bitcoin, the world’s first digital, decentralized and partially anonymous currency system, was created on the Internet by Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown programmer or group of programmers.
Bitcoins are computer files that can be used to purchase real and virtual products globally. Unlike traditional currency, bitcoins are not issued by governments or central banks. Nor is the value of bitcoins guaranteed by governments, as is the case with traditional currencies.
4 December 2013
November was Financial Literacy Month in Canada, a time to learn more about a range of financial services and products. One of those products, which was mentioned in the October 2013 Speech from the Throne, is payday loans.
What is a payday loan? What is the federal role in relation to those who make such loans? What is the situation among the provinces regarding payday lenders?
27 November 2013
What is the value of Canada’s merchandise trade? What about the merchandise trade relationship that each of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories has with the world? How significant is Canada’s services trade with the world and with various countries? What is the situation with respect to stocks of foreign direct investment?
The Library of Parliament’s Trade and Investment Series 2012 answers all these questions using data published by Statistics Canada in the spring of 2013.
20 November 2013
Recently, the rights of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) persons have received global media attention. This provides an opportunity to look at the current legal and social status of Canada’s LGBTQ community and its defining milestones.
6 November 2013
For three days in November 2013, Canada’s top court will hold long-awaited hearings on Senate reform in a bid to resolve issues that arguably have as much to do with constitutional history as they do with law.
30 October 2013
Recent accidents involving federally regulated freight and passenger rail operations have drawn attention to rail transportation safety in Canada.
In July, an unmanned freight train derailed and set off explosions in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, leaving 47 people dead. In September, six people died and dozens were injured in a crash between an Ottawa transit bus and a passenger train. Finally, in October, a freight train hauling liquid petroleum gas and crude oil derailed and exploded, forcing the evacuation of residents in Gainford, Alberta.
23 October 2013
Fifty years ago, the work of two royal commissions paved the way for official bilingualism in the public service. Ten years later, a parliamentary resolution was the first step toward the implementation of bilingualism as it is known today. Now, as we look forward to celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation, there is a new strategic plan to promote official languages and bilingualism throughout the public service.
16 October 2013
It is a day of pomp and ceremony, of Mounties in full dress, the horse-drawn carriage for the Governor General and, of course, the procession of dignitaries led by the Usher of the Black Rod.
The occasion is the official opening of a new session of Parliament, in this case, the second session of the 41st Parliament, on Wednesday, October 16.
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