Spring 2021 Outlook and Parliamentary Dynamics

Spring Dynamics

Current Environment

  • Continued adaption to virtual Parliamentary business
  • Sustained scrutiny of all departmental activities related to COVID-19 and the economy
  • Acute attention on Canada-China relationship
  • Emphasis on federal / provincial / territorial collaboration

Emerging Issues

  • Review of vetting process for appointment of senior officials;
  • Management of vaccine roll-out;
  • Release of federal budget and potential stimulus plans;
  • Collaboration with new US administration; and
  • Potential for spring / summer election.

Defence Dynamics & Parliament

How Parliament assesses National Defence

  1. Progress on initiatives laid out in Strong, Secure, Engaged
  2. Economic benefits to local areas and regions / provinces
  3. Impacts on specific populations (Indigenous, minorities, women)
  4. Emotional connection to constituents' issues and culture / history

Spring issues for National Defence

  • Allegations / investigations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by senior leadership
  • Social cohesion of CAF (hateful conduct inclusion and diversity, sexual misconduct)
  • Role of CAF in vaccine distribution
  • Scrutiny of Surface Compabant project
  • Committee studies on military justice, fighter jets, and continental defence
  • Independent review of NDA
  • Text version

    March 2021:

    • Early March:
      • Potential MND appearance, Supplementary Estimates (C) 2020/2021
    • Mid-March:
      • 11 March (TBC): Potential appearance at Canada-China Special Committee study on national security
      • House Defence Committee study on allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour
      • 16 March: Senate resumes
    • Late March:
      • Federal Budget/Fiscal Update
      • Tabling of Main estimates 2021/2022
      • 26 March: Deadline for Committees to report Supps(C) back to the House
      • House Defence Committee study on military justice

    April 2021:

    • Early April:
      • House Defence Committee on fight jets (TBD)
        • Government response required
      • 9 April: Two government responses tabled in the House:
        • House Veterans Affairs Committee on veterans benefits backlog (VAC lead; CAF implicated in 3 recommendations)
        • House Public Accounts Committee on Supplying the CAF
    • Mid-April:
      • Potential Appearances:
        • Operations and Government Estimates Committee: Senior DND/CAF officials likely to appear on PBO and AG reports (PBO is also likely to appear)
        • Public Accounts Committee: DM to appear at Public Accounts Committee on OAG report on shipbuilding
    • Late April:
      • NA

    May 2021:

    • Early May:
      • Private Members’ Business M-58 presented in House
        • Use of GBA+ in National Defence recruitment and retention
      • House Defence Committee study required on Operation UNIFIER (TBD)
        • Government response required
    • Mid-May:
      • Update to Public Accounts
        • Inventory Management (30 May)
    • Late May:
      • House Defence Committee study on Continental Defence / NORAD (TBD)
        • Government response required
      • Tabling of Supplementary Estimates (A)

    June 2021:

    • Early June:
      • Potential MND Appearances:
        • Main Estimates 2021/2022
        • Supplementary Estimates (A)
      • Third Independent Review of National Defence Act
    • Mid-June:
      • NA
    • Late June:
      • Parliament rises:
        • 23 June: House of Commons
        • 25 June: Senate
      • Updates to Public Accounts (all due 30 June)
        • Canadian Army Reserve
        • CAF Housing
        • Administration of Military Justice
        • Canada’s Fighter Force (recruitment/retention)
        • Canada’s Fighter Force (upgrades)

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