Canada: Made in Canada Act
On 10 February 2009, MP Bruce Hyer of the opposition New Democratic Party introduced Bill C-312 to the House of Commons. Known as the Made in Canada Act, the Bill seeks to impel the government to favour Canadian products in procurement decisions related to infrastructure development. For the purposes of the Act, Canadian products are those goods of which at least 50% of content is produced in Canada. The Act applies both to government procurement in infrastructure projects (including roads, railways, sewage systems, water infrastructure and tourism and urban development) and to government transfers of CAD100 000 or more for regional economic development. The restrictions would also apply to purchases of ships, planes and aerospatial equipment for use outside of Canada. Exceptions to the requirements of the Act include purchases from NAFTA countries (the United States and Mexico), goods purchased for use in provision of humanitarian supplies, and goods procured from countries party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
MP Hyer is not a member of the Federal Government and Bill C-312 has not received the support of the Government of Canada. Despite its introduction in February 2009, MPs have yet to vote on the First Reading of the Bill.
The New Democratic Party currently holds 36 seats in the House of Commons, out of a total of 308 seats. In December 2008, the New Democratic Party formed a coalition with the Liberal Party (77 seats) and the Bloc Québécois (48 seats) in order to topple the Conservative Party's minority government (143 seats). Parliament was prorogued until late January 2009, at which point the coalition agreement ceased to function. Opposition parties effectively control a majority of seats in Parliament, but do not have a formal understanding on the passage of Private Member's Bills introduced by opposition members.
The House of Commons is in recess until 14 September 2009. Speculation of a general election in fall 2009 is rife, but has not been confirmed by the Government. The last general election was held on 14 October 2008, before the worst of the global recession had become apparent and protectionist measures had been adopted by some of Canada's trading partners.
Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:
|Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?||No|
|Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?||No|
|Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?||No|
|Was such evidence identified?||No|
|Is such evidence publicly available?||No|
|Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?||No|
|Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?||No|
|Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?||No|
|Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?||No|
Date Discovered: 28/07/2009
Date of inception: 10 Feb 2009
GTA Evaluation: Amber
Parliament of Canada, Bill C-312, 10 February 2009, http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3661717&...
McMillan Lawyers, Made in Canada guidelines: