Question Period: Re-establishment of Law Reform Commission

By: The Hon. Pierre Dalphond

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Landscape, Yukon Territory

Hon. Pierre J. Dalphond: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate, Senator Gold. I was pleased to see that Budget 2021 would at last reinstate funding for the Law Reform Commission of Canada in the amount of $18 million over the next five years, starting this year. We have ample evidence that the commission’s work is important. Can you update us on the government’s work to re-establish the commission?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question, senator, and for highlighting the importance of the government’s decision to re-establish the commission and support its work. The Law Reform Commission of Canada will provide advice on current and future legal questions, as it did in the past. Among other things, the commission will support work to eliminate systemic barriers in the justice system that affect Indigenous peoples and racialized Canadians.

Thanks to your advance notice, I was able to inquire with the government, but I haven’t yet received the details you’re after. However, I assume it’s still early in the process, and I would note that the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, has not yet been passed. That said, the government is pleased to be taking this initiative so that, hopefully, we can soon benefit from the commission’s work.

Senator Dalphond: If I understand correctly, the legal framework that will apply to the commission has been in place since 1996 under the Law Commission Act of Canada. Am I to understand that as soon as the budget is passed, the processes will be put in place to appoint a president and four commissioners?

Senator Gold: I will find out what steps will be taken as soon as the budget is passed, and I will inform the Senate as soon as I get a response.

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