Originally published on the DaninOttawa.com site on June 19th, 2012.
Thank you Senator Bob Runciman!
When it comes to the Canadian Senate, most Canadians tend to have a very different view then what I have discovered during my relatively brief time in Ottawa. On a slightly different note, some have speculated to me that the reason why the NDP “accidentally” filibustered my Bill at 3rd reading was done intentionally in order to further delay getting the Bill into the Senate and thus increasing the odds against the Bill passing in time for the Summer wine tourism season. Such a delay would have been a disappointment to all and of course the NDP could then blame the Senate for not being able to pass a very popular bill in a timely manner. It is certainly no secret that the NDP are no fans of the Senate. All speculation aside, I was also very concerned that the one week NDP created delay we did experience in getting the Bill into the Senate might have been sufficient as to scuttle any chance we had in getting Bill C-311 passed prior to the House and Senate rising at the end of June.
Fortunately Bill C-311 had a very capable sponsor in Senator Bob Runciman from the scenic Ontario region of Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. Under Senator Runciman`s guidance and with the added support of the Senators on the Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee, Bill C-311 made it through the Senate with incredibly speedy passage. I should also add it was not just rubber stamped, at the Senate committee stage review the Senators also found time to hear from expert witnesses including the Canadian Vintners Association, Shirley Ann George from Free My Grapes and representatives from both the Ontario based LCBO and Quebec based SAQ who were appearing on behalf of the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdictions. It was certainly very rewarding and humbling for me to appear before the Senate for my first time as a Member of Parliament to represent my Bill and also to observe first hand of the very significant work that occurs within Senate chambers as legislation is reviewed.
Fortunately Bill C-311 received unanimous committee stage support in the Senate without amendments and late last evening “The Wine Bill” (As the Senators refers to it as) passed 3rd reading and I am told once again unanimously! This is great news for the Bill as the final stop is now Royal Assent which is expected to occur late next week. I would like to personally thank Senator Bob Runciman and his colleagues in the Senate who worked diligently to ensure that “The Wine Bill” received speedy passage and will soon become law.
For those interested you can also pass along a personal thank you to Senator Runciman at his website located here…
In addition to his weekly MP Report. the Dan in Ottawa blog is another resource for residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Chronicling Dan’s personal experiences as he travels to Ottawa and throughout the riding as your MP.
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