Is it too late to extend the tax filing deadline?

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April 25, 2021
 
 
Here's how the week in Canadian politics is shaping up                  
 

After last week's major budget, climate, and COVID-19 vaccine developments the calendar is looking a little less intense but this reporter knows that reprieve is likely going to be fleeting, with the prospect of a pushed back tax filing deadline and the potential for Canada to both give and receive international COVID-19 aid.

The week ahead
 
Expect to start seeing this week whatever the pandemic equivalent of a travelling road show is, where MPs and cabinet ministers shop around some of the hundreds of spending announcements within the 2021 budget, looking to make regional or other niche funding presentations.

Should patterns hold, plan to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holding COVID-19 update press conferences on Tuesday and Friday, with the usual vaccine rollout update briefing from Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin on Thursday. Here's where this week's COVID-19 vaccine deliveries stand. 
 
 
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has also signalled it'll have things to say about how Canada should use the incoming Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines before they arrive in Canada, which is expected to happen this week… So prepare for their interjection.

After last Friday's NACI advice—which interjected language around certain people opting to wait to be vaccinated— seems to have been taken under consideration by provinces but was not well received by front-line doctors, we’ll see how much weight NACI's future guidance is given.

The federal government may also have more to say about sending COVID-19 personal protective equipment or other pandemic supports to India, where a record-setting number of new cases has resulted in devastating losses and has overwhelmed the health-care system and crematoriums. Keep reading for why Canada may soon be getting more pandemic help—in the form of vaccines—from the United States.

Legislatively speaking, the first bill up for consideration on Monday will be a Bloc Quebecois MP's private member's bill, which seeks to amend the Governor General's Act to set the governor general's annual salary at $1 and to remove the right to a pension. 

Monday will also be the fourth and final day of debate on the budget, followed by the third confidence vote, seeking MPs' support that "this House approve in general the budgetary policy of the government." Keep an eye on the notice paper for the budget implementation bill.

And, according to Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez here’s the rundown of major government bills you can expect to be on the move this week: Tuesday MPs will debate Bill C-12 regarding Canada's net-zero greenhouse gas emissions targets; Wednesday MPs will debate Bill C-19, which looks to enact pandemic election provisions; and Friday MPs are set to debate Bill C-22, which looks to amend the Criminal Code to repeal some mandatory minimums.

So what's happening Thursday, you ask? It's scheduled to be an opposition day and the Conservatives have given notice of a motion that may be of interest to those of you procrastinating your tax filing.

Unless they opt to go a different direction with another motion put on notice much prior, the Conservatives could be asking the House of Commons to vote on calling for the federal government to extend the tax filing deadline for Canadians and small businesses to June 30, 2021.

A similar reprieve was offered last year due to the state of the pandemic and one could argue much of the country is experiencing similar circumstances now. It's worth noting that by the time this motion comes to a vote the deadline could have already passed so I wouldn't bank on it.   
 
Not to be missed
  • Facing down a shortage just as more Canadians could be offered this vaccine, Procurement Minister Anita Anand says she is in continuous communication with the U.S. about securing more doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19. In an interview with CTV's Question Period airing Sunday, Anand said the government is on "solid footing" in the ongoing negotiations. 
  • Pointing out the biggest complicating factor in the 2021 budget's crown jewel: While the government has promised child care, how long it takes to become reality is up to the provinces and territories, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a separate interview with CTV's Question Period host Evan Solomon. 
  • And, more details keep being revealed around former defence chief General Jonathan Vance's tenure. A former adviser to the prime minister told MPs on Friday that Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford knew about a misconduct allegation three years ago. 
 
On notice
 
As for what's on the docket at committees this week, on Monday, the House of Commons International Trade Committee will hear from Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng and a series of senior officials including Assistant Deputy Minister of Trade Policy and Negotiations Steve Verheul on the "Invest in Canada Hub" as well as on investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms.

Also happening Monday: The House Natural Resources Committee will hear from several departments on the state of Canada's low-carbon renewable fuels industry, while the House Canadian Heritage Committee conducts clause-by-clause consideration on Bill C-10, the legislation that looks to amend the Broadcasting Act.

On Tuesday, the House of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee will be studying the impact of COVID-19 on the judicial system. It'll hear from the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Canadian Juries Commission, and the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Heidi Illingworth.

Also happening on Tuesday, the House Finance Committee will hear from Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem on the latest report from the Bank of Canada on monetary policy. Then, MPs will hear from the Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux on the overall economic and fiscal outlook.

Wednesday, the House Government Operations and Estimates Committee will hear from Shared Services Canada's President Paul Glover and Deputy Chief Technology Officer Matt Davies about the agency's procurement practices.

And on Thursday, the Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States will continue its examination of the economic relationship between Canada and the United States and will hear from: AddEnergie Technologies Inc.; the Canadian Canola Growers Association; the Aluminium Association of Canada; the Business Council of Canada, and others.

 
 
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