Welcome Back, Parliament!

The 2nd session of the 41st Parliament resumed on Monday, September 17, when the members of parliament (MPs) returned from their ridings after a two-and-a-half-month summer break on the barbecue circuit. They will be ready to pick up where they left off as the unfinished business will be reassigned position on the Order Paper in the House of Commons.

Among the issues ALPA will be actively engaged in is working to defeat Bill C-377, an Act to Amend the Income Tax Act for Labour Organizations. This bill, supported by MPs from the Conservative Party, would place unwarranted, onerous monetary reporting requirements on labour organizations such as ALPA. The bill had passed Second Reading prior to recess and was referred to the Finance Committee, which will begin deliberations on it this fall. ALPA will be coordinating its efforts in opposition to C-377 with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). The current Conservative government holds a comfortable majority in both the House and the Senate, which virtually ensures passage of legislation that they introduce or support.

Prior to the recess, Parliament had passed its omnibus budget bill, C-38. The omnibus bill made amendments to a great many parts of law. Although Royal Assent was given on June 29, each piece of the legislation has its own coming-into-force date, which ALPA will track. Of interest is the amendment to the Canada Labour Code which, when in force, will require a party to a collective agreement to file a copy with the minister of labour as a condition precedent to its validity. A second budget-implementation bill is to be introduced early in this session. It is expected to have an impact on public services and government programs such as the reform of pension plans for federal employees. ALPA will be monitoring this bill very closely when it is introduced.

With the return of the MPs to Ottawa, ALPA will renew its efforts to draw their attention to the issue of Canadian air carriers using foreign pilots. This issue involves many departments including Citizenship and Immigration, Human Resource and Skills Development Canada, Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency. ALPA will continue to engage lawmakers from all parties and the bureaucrats who administer the programs in an effort to rectify the problem.

The Senate will also resume its role in September. In the last session the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications held hearings into “The Emerging Issues in the Airline Industry” and produced an initial report on June 12. The Senate hearings are scheduled to resume on September 25. ALPA had appeared before the Committee previously and will continue to attend, participate in and monitor the hearings for pilot partisan issues.