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The first session of the 39th Manitoba legislature resumed on September 25, 2007. In accordance with the sessional order passed during our June sitting, the House immediately began consideration of the departmental estimates of expenditure in the Committee of Supply flowing from the reinstated budget. The entire budget process concluded on October 25.

In addition to completing the financial business, 21 government bills and two opposition private member's bills also completed their journey through the legislative process during this fall sitting, receiving Royal Assent before the House rose on Thursday, November 8. These bills included:

* Bill 12--The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (Leave for Reservists)--which amends the Employment Standards Code to provide job protection for members of the reserve force of the Canadian Forces. It gives them a right to an unpaid leave to participate in training or active duty in the reserves.

* Bill 15--The Biofuels Amendment Act--which expands the Biofuels Act to include biodiesel and other types of fuels derived from biomass material that are specified in the regulations. The Bill creates the Ethanol Fund, which will be funded by a portion of provincial gasoline tax revenues for eight years. The fund will be used to pay grants to producers for denatured ethanol produced and consumed in Manitoba.

* Bill 16--The Statutory Holidays Act (Various Acts Amended)--which establishes the third Monday in February as a statutory holiday to be known as "Louis Riel Day".

* Bill 17--The Firefighters, Peace Officers and Workers Memorial Foundations Act--which establishes foundations to honour firefighters and peace officers who have died in the line of duty as well as workers who have died in the workplace.

* Bill 19--The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act--which is designed to help ensure that regulated professions and people applying for registration to practise those professions are governed by registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair. The Bill provides for the appointment of a fair registration practices commissioner.

* Bill 202--The Apology Act, a private member's bill sponsored by Jon Gerrard (Independent Liberal--River Heights), Bill allows a person to make an apology about a matter without the apology constituting an admission of legal liability.

* Bill 209--The Historic Highway No. 1 Act, a private member's bill sponsored by Gerald Hawranik (PC--Lac du Bonnet), designates Provincial Trunk Highway No. 44 as the "Historic Highway No. 1" to commemorate its historical significance to Manitobans.

* A sessional order identifies a series of dates when certain steps in the legislative and budget processes must be completed. Additionally, the order outlines our sitting schedule up to the spring of 2008, as follows:

* The House sat from September 25, 2007 to November 8, 2007 to conclude the current budget process and to consider the bills re-introduced from the previous session.

* The House will sit from November 20, 2007 to December 6, 2007 to hear and debate the throne speech commencing the second session of the 39th Manitoba legislature.

* The House will sit from no later than April 9, 2008 to June 12, 2008 to consider the next budget and legislative agenda.

The Standing Committee on Crown Corporations met in October and November 2007. The committee considered several years of Annual Reports from Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation.

Rick Yarish

Clerk Assistant / Clerk of Committees
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Title Annotation:Legislative Reports
Author:Yarish, Rick
Publication:Canadian Parliamentary Review
Geographic Code:1CMAN
Date:Dec 22, 2007
Previous Article:Senate.
Next Article:British Columbia.

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