Bill C-288, a private member's bill introduced by Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez, has received Royal Assent and is now in force. The bill, known as the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, requires the Minister of the Environment to prepare an annual Climate Change Plan to ensure that Canada meets its greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. The bill also requires the government to achieve the Kyoto targets within 180 days of the coming into force of the bill, by making or amending the necessary regulations.

It is unusual for a private member's bill to make it into law, even when the government holds a minority of the seats in Parliament. The exact legal implications of this particular bill are the matter of some uncertainty. Conceivably the opposition could call a vote of non-confidence in Parliament if the government were to contravene the new Act. This in turn could topple the government and trigger a general election.

Bill C-288 is available at:

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=39&Ses=1&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-288_4