Q-334 — Mr. Cotler (Mount Royal) — With regard to bijuralism and harmonization: (a) what measures are in place to ensure legislative bijuralism across all departments; (b) since the adoption of the “Policy on Legislative Bijuralism”, how has the Department of Justice (i) ensured that all legal counsel in the Department are made aware of the requirements of legislative bijuralism in order for them to be able to take it into account when advising client departments on legislative reforms, (ii) enhanced the capacity of the Legislative Services Branch to draft bijural legislative texts, (iii) undertook, in drafting both versions of every bill and proposed regulation that touches on provincial or territorial private law, to take care to reflect the terminology, concepts, notions and institutions of both of Canada’s private law systems; (c) since the adoption of the “Policy for Applying the Civil Code of Quebec to Federal Government Activities”, what measures are in place to ensure (i) changes to Quebec’s Civil Code are known and monitored by the government, (ii) assessment of federal legislation relative to changes to Quebec’s Civil Code, (iii) federal legislation is introduced to reflect, where necessary, changes to the Civil Code of Quebec; (d) with respect to the “Index of Bijuralism and Harmonization Caselaw” found online and indicating its most recent update was June 12, 2012, (i) how often is this page updated, (ii) given that some cases thereupon are from 2013, when was this page last updated, (iii) whose responsibility is it to update this page, (iv) what cases are currently being monitored for potential addition to this page; (e) with respect to cases involving bijuralism and harmonization, (i) in what ways are these made known to the Department, (ii) whose responsibility it is to monitor these cases, (iii), what role does the Federal government play in these cases if a party, (iv) what role does the government play if not a party, (v) who makes the determination and as to when the government should intervene if not a party and how is this decision made;
(f) with respect to Bijurilex, whose website at http://www.bijurilex.gc.ca/ appeared not to function as of March 17, 2014, (i) is this website still available, (ii) if not, when was it taken off-line and why, (iii) where can its former contents be found; (g) what resources exist to provide information about the implications and challenges of bijuralism as it relates to legislation; (h) with respect to the bijuralism publication of the Department entitled “THE LINK”, (i) how often is it published, (ii) when is it next expected, (iii) what causes it to be published, (iv) who prepares it, (v) how is it disseminated and to whom; (i) what specialized consultative services are offered to the government with regard to bijuralism issues; (j) when were the most recent services in (i) sought and provided, and at what cost; (k) what studies have been undertaken within the last five years regarding (i) the relationship between federal law and the law of the provinces and territories, (ii) between the common law and civil law legal traditions, (iii) between these legal traditions and Aboriginal law; (l) what studies are presently being undertaken regarding (i) the relationship between federal law and the law of the provinces and territories, (ii) between the common law and civil law legal traditions, (iii) between these legal traditions and Aboriginal law; (m) what training courses on bijuralism and comparative law have been developed for Justice Canada’s legislative drafters, (i) how often are they offered, (ii) how many participate, (iii) are they open to individuals from other departments; (n) what bijural drafting notes and course material for training on bijuralism have been developed in the past five years and by what means are these accessible (i) within the Department of Justice, (ii) across the government, (iii) to the legal community, (iv) to the public; (o) what issues and challenges of legislative bijuralism has the government most recently identified and how does it seek to address these; (p) what issues and challenges of harmonization has the government most recently identified and how does it seek to address these; (q) what is the content of the departmental policy on the application of Quebec civil law to the government; (r) what was the mandate and role of the Civil Code Section upon its creation and how did the role and mandate change over time; (s) in what ways does the government review any situation in which legal rights are in issue or proceeding under Quebec civil law which concerns the government;
(t) in what ways has the government ensured inclusion of Quebec civil law in the curriculum of the Departmental continuing education programs; (u) with respect to the Department’s recognition that “si le bijuridisme vise d’abord le respect et la prise en compte du droit civil et de la common law dans le contexte fédéral, notamment en matière de rédaction et d’interprétation des textes législatifs fédéraux, il n’exclut aucunement le respect et l’intégration d’autres règles propres au droit fédéral, la prise en compte d’autres sources, notamment en matière de droit international, ni le respect d’autres cultures juridiques, plus particulièrement les cultures autochtones” (i) what other rules has the government found to apply to it, (ii) what sources of law has the government recognized other than civil, common, aboriginal, and international law, (iii) what other cultures has the government sought to respect in this regard and how; (v) with which international law sources has the government sought to harmonize its laws and how so; (w) with what aboriginal law sources has the government sought to harmonize its laws and how so; (x) how may the Bijural Terminology Records Research Index be accessed and how often is it updated; (y) of what cases is the government currently aware where the matter at issue is one of bijuralism or harmonization; (z) what statutes would benefit from modification to respect best practices with respect to bijuralism and harmonization; (aa) what statutes have been identified as having bijuralism issues and how have they been so identified; (bb) what statutes require amendment to conform with the solutions proposed in the Bijural Terminology Records Research Index; (cc) is a new Federal Law – Civil Law Harmonization Act being prepared;
(dd) what efforts have been made to identify whether a new Federal Law – Civil Law Harmonization Act is necessary and what determines its necessity; (ee) how is proposed legislation vetted or otherwise checked to ensure conformity with bijuralism and harmonization best practices; (ff) in what ways are existing statutes checked to ensure conformity with bijuralism and harmonization best practices; (gg) what prompts the introduction of legislation to address an issue of bijuralism / harmonization; (hh) in what Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT)) meetings have bijuralism issues been raised and in what context; (ii) in what FPT meetings have harmonization issues been raised and in what context; (jj) in what ways is Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure being analysed by the government, (i) by whom, (ii) with what mandate, (iii) with what purpose; (kk) does Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure – fully coming into force in 2015 – suggest any need for legislative response on the part of the Government of Canada to ensure federal law harmonization with civil law practice in Quebec; (ll) does the review of government legislation under the Department of Justice Act include in any way the review of legislation for any issues of bijuralism and, if so, how and to what extent; (mm) does the review of government legislation under the Department of Justice Act include in any way the review of legislation for any issues of harmonization and, if so how, how and to what extent; (nn) to what extent and in what ways are regulations reviewed to ensure conformity with bijuralism best practices; (oo) to what extent has cabinet been informed of the importance of bijuralism, by what means and on what dates; (pp) is bijuralism assessed in any way when filling vacancies at the Department of Justice and, if so, how; (qq) what grants and other programs exist to promote bijuralism (i) within the Department of Justice, (ii) across government, (iii) within the legal community, (iv) at law schools, (v) to the broader public; (rr) what involvements and engagements are being undertaken with respect to bijuralism internationally;
(ss) in what ways and forums has Canada shared its bijuralism expertise and experience with other countries; (tt) does a review of legislation for harmonization issues include any consideration of provincial implementation cost; (uu) in what ways are coming into force provisions used, if any, to assist with harmonization; (vv) is there any federal legislation that has not been reviewed for bijuralism or harmonization issues in any way and, if so, how and why is this so; (ww) are private member’s bills reviewed for issues of bijuralism and harmonization and, if so (i) by whom, (ii) in what context, (iii) with what mandate, (iv) to what extent, (v) reporting to whom, (vi) with what work product, (vii) at what point or points in the Parliamentary process, (vii) with what consequence if an issue is spotted; (xx) with respect to the gap between publications dated 2006 and prior and the most recent publication in 2013 on the “Bijuralism and Harmonization” webpage at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/harmonization/index.html, (i) why does this gap exist, (ii) were any reports or studies conducted during this time, (iii) if so, were they published and if not, why not, (iv) what materials are being presently prepared or research that may be published on this page; (yy) in what ways does the Department seek to promote contact between the civil law and common law traditions; and (zz) with respect to Canada’s four legal audiences (anglophone common law lawyers, francophone common law lawyers, anglophone Quebec civilian lawyers and francophone Quebec civilian lawyers), in what ways does the department ensure it has the means and resources adequate to address the unique concerns of each with respect to bijuralism and harmonization, and what issues and challenges have been identified? — Sessional Paper No. 8555-412-334.