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Bill C-315

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1st Session, 37th Parliament,
49-50 Elizabeth II, 2001

House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-315

An Act to provide for the conduct of public hearings and approval by the House of Commons before the ratification of important treaties

      Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Treaty Approval Act.



2. The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

``important treaty''
« traité important »

``important treaty'' includes any treaty

    (a) whose implementation requires

      (i) the enactment of an Act of Parliament,

      (ii) that Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada be invested with new powers, or

      (iii) the imposition of a tax by Parliament;

    (b) imposing a substantial financial obligation, whether direct or conditional, on Canada;

    (c) concerning the transfer of a part of the territory of Canada or any change to the boundaries of Canada;

    (d) under which Canada undertakes to impose economic or military sanctions, whether direct or conditional, against a State;

    (e) concerning the territorial jurisdiction of Canada, including jurisdiction by Canada over any area of the sea or air;

    (f) concerning international trade or investment or Canada's place in the world economy; or

    (g) concerning the participation of Canada in international institutions, including the transfer of jurisdiction to such institutions.

« traité »

``treaty'' means an international agreement in writing between States that is governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation, and includes a treaty amending a treaty.

``treaty ratification''
« ratification d'un traité »

``treaty ratification'' means an act or instrument by which Canada establishes at the international level its consent to be bound by a treaty and includes an exchange of instruments, acceptance, approval and accession to a treaty and, where consent is expressed by the signature of Canada's representative, the signing of the treaty.


Approval of important treaties

3. (1) No important treaty shall be ratified by Canada unless the House of Commons has first approved the treaty by resolution pursuant to the rules of procedure of the House and to subsection (3).

No amendments

(2) For greater certainty, where the House of Commons approves a treaty, it shall not amend the text of the treaty.

Public hearings

(3) The House of Commons may not pass a resolution to approve an important treaty for the purposes of subsection (1) until the standing committee of the House designated in a motion moved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and adopted by the House

    (a) conducts public hearings at which all interested persons may make representations with respect to the important treaty; and

    (b) reports to the House the representations made with respect to the important treaty at the public hearings.


Coming into force

4. This Act shall come into force one month after the day on which it is assented to.