The brief summer sitting of the fifth session of the 40th Parliament opened on July 25, 2016, and adjourned on July 28, 2016, with the passage of two government bills. On October 2, 2016, the government announced that there would not be a fall legislative sitting, and, as such, the Legislative Assembly is not expected to resume until February 14, 2017.
During the summer and early fall, a number of the Legislative Assembly's parliamentary committees were active with inquiries and statutory officer appointment processes.
The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services launched its annual budget consultation process as required by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. The Committee held public hearings in 13 communities across the province, hearing a total of 236 oral presentations. The Committee also received 137 written submissions and 332 responses to an online survey on budget issues. The Committee must release its report by November 15, 2016.
The Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth commenced a statutory review of the Representative for Children and Youth Act, as required by section 30 of that Act. In this regard, on October 24, the Committee received an initial submission from the Representative on the provisions of the Act.
The Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills met to consider the referral and consideration of the Estimates by Committee of Supply, and whether parliamentary committees should be established for the duration of a Parliament (under existing procedures, Select Standing Committees are established on a sessional basis). The Committee is required to make its recommendations on these matters to the Legislative Assembly by October 31, 2016.
Two special committees charged with recommending statutory officers had busy work programs. The Special Committee to Appoint an Information and Privacy Commissioner continued deliberations, and the Special Committee to Appoint a Representative for Children and Youth was unable to reach a consensus from the applications received during its initial recruitment process. It extended its search with a new deadline for additional applications of September 23, 2016.
On September 24, 2016, Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrived in Victoria for the start of an eight day visit to western Canada. Their official welcoming to Canada was held at the...