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Current and Emerging Issues

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Information, Knowledge, Understanding

The Library of Parliament’s reference and research specialists use the best printed and electronic resources from around the world to identify and deliver information and analysis tailored to your needs.

Whether you are looking for statistics for a debate in the House or Senate, or a more detailed analysis for a committee study, Library staff deliver information, research and analysis at the right time and in the format you want. No request is too simple or too complex.

Online, by phone, or in person, the Library is a parliamentarian’s best source for information and customized research in either official language.

Parliamentary Information and Research Service

Sonia L’Heureux

Industry, Infrastructure and Resources

Jean-Denis Fréchette

Offers information and analysis in the areas of science and technology, industry and infrastructure, as well as natural resources and the environment.

International Affairs, Trade and Finance

James Kalwarowsky

Focuses on the analysis of economic issues at the macro level, international relations, trade and investment, defence and security matters, and government finance and oversight.

Legal and Legislative Affairs

Kristen Douglas

Provides information and analysis on legal, constitutional, parliamentary, legislative and regulatory issues, including criminal justice, human rights, official languages, parliamentary procedure, electoral law, and the regulatory process.

Social Affairs

Yvan Gervais

Performs research and analysis on a wide array of public policies and programs, including health, employment, immigration, Aboriginal affairs, and culture.

Reference and Strategic Analysis

Joseph Jackson

Processes information and research requests, oversees the research publications program and monitors current and emerging issues.

At Work for You

For a thorough understanding of public policy issues, parliamentarians often need to dig deep for the facts, seek out trusted sources, and look for research and analysis that informs and educates. Current and Emerging Issues for the 41st Parliament shows how the Library can help meet that need.

This publication illustrates the type of concise, non-partisan analysis our research staff can offer. The articles it contains are a small sample of the more in-depth information and research products and services that our information and research professionals provide regularly to parliamentary clients.

And at Your Service

At the Library, more than one hundred subject-matter specialists − economists, lawyers, librarians, scientists, and political and social policy experts – are available to synthesize complex information and research from credible sources and to deliver high-quality, confidential analysis and information on any issue.

... in your role as legislator

A parliamentarian’s role in proposing and shaping legislation is fundamental, but keeping track of the progress of numerous public and private members’ bills can be daunting. You can stay current and learn more about the purpose and status of legislation on the agenda in either chamber by using legislative tools like LEGISinfo – a database that includes the text and status of bills and their associated debates, news releases, background papers, articles and online links.

Legal experts at the Library produce summaries of draft legislation before Parliament, explaining the legislation’s purpose and history, analyzing key clauses and referencing media reactions and comments from major interest groups. Library research staff can also help you to develop drafting instructions for a private member’s bill.

... in your role on committees and in associations

Senators and Members of Parliament are called upon to scrutinize and approve the expenditure of public funds, to hold government to account and to analyze major issues. The study of proposed legislation, the oversight of government spending and the analysis of public policy challenges are all tasks undertaken through parliamentary committees.

Library analysts are assigned to every parliamentary committee and assist all committee members with their work. Guided by the priorities of the committee, analysts deliver briefings, suggest possible topics for study or propose potential witnesses, and draft reports that synthesize committee deliberations and recommendations.

Parliamentary Budget Officer

Kevin Page

Economic and Fiscal Analysis

Mostafa Askari

Provides information, advice and analysis on emerging and current trends in the national economy, the finances of the federal government, and on national economic and fiscal issues.

Expenditure and Revenue Analysis

Sahir Khan

Focuses on the scrutiny of proposed government expenditures, business decision support analysis on major policy and operational initiatives, and assessment of the performance of government expenditures.

Committees may also ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) for analyses concerning the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates or trends in the Canadian economy. Upon request from a committee or an individual parliamentarian, the PBO may estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction.

And when parliamentarians’ work transcends domestic borders, Library analysts act as advisors − providing research and analysis services on a wide range of issues discussed in international forums, through parliamentary associations, interparliamentary groups and delegations.

... in your role as representative

Library employees are ready to support you with confidential, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis. Every Senator and MP can request information or analysis on matters of interest to him or her. The Library’s multidisciplinary teams of highly trained professionals are at your service to answer queries on the full spectrum of issues that may cross your desk.

Supported by an Active Publications Program

Current and Emerging Issues for the 41st Parliament is the latest product in our publications program and is timed to coincide with the new parliament. Each of its 27 articles provides an overview on a topic of either immediate or ongoing interest.

Our many other publications range from short overviews of current issues to more substantive background papers that provide insight on key policy topics. They all contain non-partisan, reliable and timely information on subjects relevant to parliamentary and constituency work.

Ask the Library

There are no wrong doors. The Library offers multiple service points and promotes a culture of responsive and anticipatory research and reference support. Online, by phone, or in person, the Library is a parliamentarian’s best resource for information and customized research in either official language.

Ask the Library

  • HillNotes
    Concise overviews of current and emerging issues of immediate interest, designed in formats for desktop and mobile devices with links to related resources and recent news clippings.
  • Legislative Summaries
    Outlines of government bills considered by Parliament, explaining the purpose and history of the legislation, analyzing key clauses, and including media reaction and comments from interest groups where available.
  • Background Papers
    In-depth studies of policy issues, including historical background, current information and references. Many of these papers anticipate the emergence of policy issues.
  • In Briefs
    Short briefings on current issues that may refer the reader to more substantive sources published on the same topic.
  • Trade and Investment Series
    Fact sheets on Canada’s trade and investment relationship with selected countries, focusing on bilateral trade in goods and services as well as on foreign investment.
  • InfoSeries
    Sets of concise reports on topical issues, which explore the issues from a number of perspectives and include historical context, principal stakeholders and economic outcomes.
  • Quorum
    News clippings selected daily from Canadian newspapers in print and online; and Pass(e)port, a weekly selection of world news from online news sources.
  • Seminars
    Presentations by experts, special guest lectures, non-partisan roundtables and information sessions for parliamentarians and staff on public policy and legal issues.

Find more information on Library products and services on IntraParl at

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© Library of Parliament 2011