CPU | March 25, 2022

CP and TCRC Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining between Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) over labour stability failed on March 20th. While CP has agreed to a number of conditions, the two groups are facing an impasse regarding CP’s Defined Benefit Pension Plan. 

Following a 72-hour lockout notice from CP on March 16th, TCRC workers began picketing on March 20th. Global supply chain conditions and the current geopolitical context make this work stoppage especially problematic. Therefore, many are requesting that federal government intervene to ensure that CP operations resume as soon as possible. On March 15th, HPBAC signed a Letter to Ministers from Canada’s business community regarding possible work stoppage at CP initiated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

CPU | February 4, 2022

Canadian Federal Politics

The House of Commons re-opened on February 1st. The agenda for this session is expected to focus on the remaining objectives that the Liberals planned to accomplish in their first 100 days, which comes to a close on February 3rd. Among these promises are a pledge to mitigate hatred and harmful content online, address the impact of COVID-19 on the hard-hit Arts sector, provide equality reform plans for LGBTQ2 Canadians, and update the Official Languages Act.

Due to the minority government, Trudeau and the Liberals will need support from either the Bloc Québécois or the NDP to get anything done. Recent bills like the ban on conversion therapy received unanimous support from all parties, but this isn’t expected to continue. All three parties grew quite frustrated with the Conservatives last year as they often applied obstructionist tactics to run out the clock on bills.

The recent ousting of Erin O’Toole from his position as Leader of the Conservative party is expected to have further consequences for dynamics on the hill. It is anticipated that this change in leadership could lead to one of two outcomes: either the Conservatives will become a stronger and truly competitive party for the Liberals by shifting left on the political spectrum, or the party will continue to fracture and become more right-leaning. Either of these paths will result in a very different policymaking environment this year.

One bill that will likely have an influence on future federal decision-making is Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts. This bill previously died on the Order Paper last April but was re-introduced in the Senate in November 2021. This bill would make significant modifications to the Parliament of Canada Act and related acts to emphasize how the Senate is independent and non-partisan. Among the proposed changes, one major amendment from this Senate-housekeeping bill is that independent senators (those who aren’t affiliated with a party) would receive official recognition and annual allowances.