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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.

Our National Anthem’s 35th Anniversary: The Evolution of “O Canada”

26 June 2015

On Canada Day 2015, the nation celebrates the 35th anniversary of “O Canada” as its official national anthem. Versions of the song have been sung for over a century.

National Aboriginal Day: Celebrating Aboriginal Cultures, Heritage and Achievements

19 June 2015

On June 21, hundreds of communities across Canada will hold numerous events for National Aboriginal Day to celebrate Aboriginal cultures and contributions to Canada.

Bill C-59: Implementing the April 2015 Budget

5 June 2015

When the finance minister delivers the government’s budget in the House of Commons, a complex approval process is just beginning.

Canada and the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto

2 June 2015

Some 7,000 athletes from 41 countries and territories in the Americas will soon converge on Toronto to take part in the Pan American and Parapan American Games.

The Declining Monarch Butterfly Population: Government Responses

29 May 2015

Many environmental issues in North America require continent-wide cooperation. Managing the monarch butterfly, the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration like birds do, is an example of this need.

In retrospect: The 10th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision in Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, and the Future of Parliamentary Privilege

27 May 2015

Ten years ago, in May 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision that clarified the scope and application of parliamentary privilege.

The Supreme Court Once Again Clarifies Minority Language Education Rights

20 May 2015

On 24 April 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued a ruling in which it found that there had been a breach of the minority language education rights guaranteed by section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Part II: The International Security of Medical Isotope Supply: Assessment of Potential Technologies

13 May 2015

The main technology options available to produce molybdenum-99 (99Mo) (or technetium-99m (99mTc) directly) can be grouped under two broad categories: reactor-based technologies and accelerator-based options.

Part I: The International Security of Medical Isotope Supply: A Work in Progress

13 May 2015

The global supply of medical isotopes remains uncertain, despite increased efforts at home and abroad to secure production sources.

Mouvement laïque québécois v. Saguenay (City): Freedom of Religion and the State’s Duty of Neutrality

12 May 2015

On 14 April 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously agreed that the City of Saguenay is not permitted to open its council meetings with a prayer and that the state must remain neutral in matters of religion.

The Confederation Inkstand

8 May 2015

The Confederation Inkstand is a Canadian artifact that, although unremarkable in its design and manufacture, is historically important because it was used at three significant moments in the nation’s history.

Crowdfunding and Charitable Giving: The Donation-Based Model

5 May 2015

Crowdfunding – a practice in which many entities make small contributions through the Internet and social media – is an increasingly popular way for citizens, businesses and not-for-profit organizations to raise funds for charitable causes.

Canada’s Anti–Money Laundering and Anti–Terrorist Financing Regime: The Legal Profession’s Obligations

1 May 2015

On 13 February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that certain provisions of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act that impose obligations on lawyers violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

29 April 2015

On 14 April 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R. v. Nur, a case that challenged the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentences for the possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

National Day of Mourning: Remembering Those Killed or Injured on the Job

28 April 2015

Since the early 1980s, Canadian labour unions have observed 28 April as a day of mourning for workers who were killed or injured as a result of workplace-related hazards and incidents.

The Arctic Council Under Canada’s Chairmanship

24 April 2015

As Canada’s 2013–2015 chairmanship of the Arctic Council comes to an end, the country hands that role over to the United States at the biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting on 24–25 April 2015 in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit.

Organ Donation in Canada

21 April 2015

Every year, the number of Canadians awaiting organ transplantation surgery surpasses the number of organs available for transplant.

Update: Water Pollution from Microplastic Beads in Consumer Products

20 April 2015

Since the publication of the HillNote on water pollution from microplastic beads in consumer products, Parliamentary initiatives have been introduced by both the federal government and the provincial government in Ontario.

Canada and the Eurozone: What Distinguishes the Two Currency Unions?

8 April 2015

The International Monetary Fund defines a currency union or a monetary union as an agreement among members – for example, provinces in Canada or countries in the eurozone – to share a common currency and a single monetary and foreign exchange policy.

Combatting Aggressive Corporate Tax Planning: A Domestic and Global Challenge

23 March 2015

Aggressive tax planning by multinational corporations has had an adverse impact on the tax revenues of a number of countries, including Canada.

Constitutional Protection of the Right to Strike

12 March 2015

On 30 January 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a constitutional protection of the right to strike, ruling that it is an indispensable part of collective bargaining.

Television Policy in a Changing Environment

11 March 2015

When it comes to Canadian television policy, it has always been tricky to balance the interests of consumers, content creators, and broadcasting and distribution companies. Corporate integration, rapid technological change and shifting viewing habits make it even trickier.

In its latest review of the Canadian television system, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) takes on the challenge of balancing these interests and responding to technological change.

Women’s Representation on Corporate Boards in Canada

5 March 2015

Canadian women earn a third of master’s degrees in business administration and play a greater role in the business sector than at any time in Canada’s history, yet they remain under-represented in the highest echelons of business in Canada – on corporate boards.

Water Pollution From Microplastic Beads in Consumer Products: Public and Private Sector Response

3 March 2015

Plastic has long been a known contaminant in the world’s oceans. Of particular concern are the smaller pieces of plastic – those less than 5 mm – that can cause harm to fish and other wildlife.

National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

25 February 2015

Although Aboriginal women make up about 4% of the Canadian population, they represented 11% of missing women and 16% of female homicides between 1980 and 2012.

The Supreme Court Decision on Assisted Suicide

23 February 2015

On 6 February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision on a constitutional challenge of the prohibition in the Criminal Code against assisted suicide.

Banks and Consumer Protection: Not Exclusively Parliament’s Jurisdiction

19 February 2015

In 2003, two class-action lawsuits – each of which had the same facts – were launched against nine Canadian banks by consumers in Quebec: Bank of Montreal v. Marcotte and Amex Bank of Canada v. Adams. The Supreme Court of Canada heard these cases on 13 February 2014. On 19 September 2014, it issued its judgments in favour of the consumers.

Language Rights of Francophones in Western Canada to Be Heard by the Supreme Court … Today

13 February 2015

Today the Supreme Court will hear the case between Her Majesty the Queen, et al. (respondents) and Gilles Caron, et al. (appellants), a francophone Albertan charged with an offence under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act.

Parliament and the Birth of the Canadian Flag

11 February 2015

The raising of the red maple leaf flag for the first time on Parliament Hill 50 years ago, on 15 February 1965, was the culmination of a long, heated parliamentary debate.

The RCMP and the Right to Collective Bargaining

9 February 2015

On 16 January 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its ruling on the right of members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to engage in collective bargaining.

800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

27 January 2015

This anniversary presents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on how our fundamental legal principles have emerged, how they have endured, and how they continue to be put to the test in our modern society.

Please note: The links provided within HillNotes may point to external sources. The Library of Parliament is neither affiliated with these organizations nor responsible for content found on their websites.

© Library of Parliament 2012

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