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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.


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.

Crowdfunding: A Non-traditional Source of Business Financing

10 December 2014

According to the Industry Canada report Credit Condition Trends, in 2013, financing approval rates were 81% for businesses with up to four employees, 84% for those with between five and 19 employees, and 93% for those with between 20 and 99 employees. With unmet financing needs, some of Canada’s small businesses are turning to non-traditional sources, such as crowdfunding.

Parliament and the First World War – 3. Quagmire

9 December 2014

This is the third in a series of six instalments that present an overview of parliamentary debates surrounding the First World War, the 100th anniversary of whose outbreak Canada commemorates this year.

The Tax-Free Savings Account – 2. Impact on Household Personal Finance Strategies and Federal Fiscal Cost

4 December 2014

This is the second in a series of two articles that provide information and statistics regarding the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). The TFSA will celebrate its sixth anniversary in January 2015. It is the most significant personal savings vehicle established by the federal government since the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which was created in 1957.

The Tax-Free Savings Account – 1. How It Works and How Canadians Use It

2 December 2014

This is the first in a series of two articles that provide information and statistics regarding the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). The TFSA will celebrate its sixth anniversary in January 2015. It is the most significant personal savings vehicle established by the federal government since the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which was created in 1957.

R. v. Spencer, Internet Privacy and Parliament

26 November 2014

In June 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision in R. v. Spencer in which it held that Internet users can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their online activities. It found that a police request made without a warrant to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for customer information corresponding to particular Internet activity amounted to a “search” under section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter).

Metadata, National Security and Law Enforcement Agencies

21 November 2014

Metadata – data about data – matters to national security and law enforcement agencies. They repeatedly tell parliamentarians that collecting and analyzing metadata are essential to their operations.

Just what can others learn about you from the metadata you generate? This will give you an idea:

Disclosing and Reviewing Parliamentarians’ Expenses: International Perspectives

18 November 2014

To help parliamentarians fulfill their responsibilities, they receive public funds, which allow them to hire staff, travel to and from their constituencies and pay various costs related to their duties. … To put the Canadian situation into greater context, this HillNote outlines practices related to the disclosure and review of parliamentarians’ expenses in the United Kingdom, Australia and France.

Ebola: The Disease, Canadian Government Interventions, and Economic Impacts

6 November 2014

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered” in 1976.

Big Data and the Big Picture in Criminal Investigations

5 November 2014

Given the ubiquity of communication technologies and the potential for the Internet to be used in criminal activities, telecommunications data are becoming increasingly important to domestic and international criminal investigations.


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.



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