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Mandate letters set objectives for cabinet ministers
January 6th, 2022 4:30 pm     A+ | a-

By Amina Dibe/RESCON

Federal Government Update
 
The last two months of 2021 provided for multiple federal updates. First, the fall economic and fiscal update was released in late November, then Parliamentary secretaries were appointed for each minister/ministry and in mid-December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released mandate letters for his cabinet.

These are all important developments, as the federal government is set to begin pre-budget consultations for the 2022 budget, set to be released sometime in the spring (exact date TBD). Moreover, as Omicron cases spike and public health restrictions come back across most provinces, the federal government’s leadership and policy intentions remain ever important.
 
Mandate Letters and Parliamentary Secretaries
 
Mandate letters, traditionally released after a new cabinet is announced (post election and/or post cabinet shuffle), set objectives for each minister to work on and ultimately accomplish. Many of the objectives set out in these mandate letters were part of the Liberal Party campaign platform. For each of our key ministries, I’ve highlighted two key objectives that are tangible to RESCON’s core files.
 
Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen
  • Launch of Housing Accelerator Fund, in conjunction with provinces, territories and municipalities. This fund is intended to support municipalities increase housing supply through more densification, reductions in construction approval timelines and the rapid development of vacant or underused lands. 
  • Lead work across government to develop and launch a National Action Plan on Combatting Hate as part of the Anti-Racism Strategy.
As Minister Hussen’s ministry encompasses two large files, he has two parliamentary secretaries. For housing, MP Soraya Martinez Ferrard (Hochelaga, Que.) and for diversity and inclusion, MP Paul Chiang (Markham-Unionville).
 
Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser
  • Reduce processing times and address COVID-19 delays.
  • Establish a Trusted Employer system for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers, simplify permit renewals, uphold the two-week processing time, and establish an employer hotline.
Minister Fraser’s parliamentary secretary is MP Marie-France Lalonde (Orleans).
 
Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan
  • Advance amendments to the Canada Labour Code to provide 10 paid days of sick leave for all federally regulated workers and convene provinces and territories to develop a national action plan to legislate sick leave across the country. 
  • Include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety and to require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury.
Minister O’Regan’s parliamentary secretary is MP Terry Sheehan (Sault Ste. Marie). 
 
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
  • Double the Union Training and Innovation Program to support more apprenticeship training opportunities and partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada, with greater participation from more diverse populations.
  • Promote the skilled trades as first-choice careers for young people and diverse populations.
Minister Qualtrough’s parliamentary secretary is Irek Kusmierczyk (Windsor-Tecumseh).
 
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Carolyn Bennett
  • Address problematic substance use in Canada, improve public education to reduce stigma, and support provinces and territories to create standards for substance use treatment programs.
  • Continue advancing Canada’s first-ever National Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries.
Minister Bennett’s parliamentary secretary is MP Élisabeth Brière (Sherbrooke, Que.).
RESCON congratulates the recently appointed parliamentary secretaries and looks forward to working with both ministers and their parliamentary secretaries on achieving the objectives outlined in the mandate letters in 2022.



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