This has been an interesting week on Parliament Hill given a few well publicized verbal gaffes from two opposition party leaders. While I am frequently asked to comment when such episodes occur (usually from partisans of various stripes) in my view I believe ultimately how an elected official conducts themselves is a topic best left between an MP or MLA and the citizens they represent.
In Ottawa there is currently four weeks remaining until the House adjourns in June for what is expected to be the final sitting of this 41st Parliament. There has been sixty Government Bills introduced during this 2nd session of the 41st Parliament. Of those 60 Bills, 40 have received Royal Assent and of the remaining 20 there are currently five bills in the Senate leaving fifteen at various stages of debate in the House of Commons barring the introduction of any more Bills.
Aside from Government Bills there have also been 475 Private Members Bills introduced during this 2nd session. Of this 475, twelve have received Royal Assent; fourteen are currently before the Senate meaning that roughly 449 are still up for debate in the House of Commons. From a quick glance of the 449 Private Members Bills remaining in the House, roughly 10 have reached second reading with the majority at first reading, meaning they have been introduced but not yet debated. There have also been seven Senate Bills with one receiving Royal Assent to date and the remaining six at various stages of debate. Individually Senators have sponsored twenty seven bills with five having received Royal Assent and the rest still under debate.
What will happen to the bills that have not been passed? Before an election Parliament will be formally ended by a proclamation from the Governor General that is referred to as Dissolution. Upon dissolution all items on the Order Paper including government and Private Members’ bills die. Thus when the House of Commons adjourns in this case any Bill not passed third reading will most likely not receive Royal Assent. While it is not uncommon for the Senate to sit beyond the House of Commons once the Senate has adjourned it is likely that any Bill not receiving Royal Assent will potentially die on the Order Paper in the Senate. The next election will see the creation of the 42nd Parliament and both Government and Members of that Parliament are free to sponsor bills similar or even precisely the same that may have existed and not been passed in this 41st Parliament.
If you would like more specific information or have questions on any Bill before the 41st Parliament please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-880-665-8711.
Before I conclude this week’s MP report I would like to express sadness and condolences to the family of recently deceased former Osoyoos Mayor and Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater. Mr. Slater spent many years as a vibrant small town Mayor and gave greatly to the community of Osoyoos and the surrounding area. John Slater’s contributions were many and he will be missed for his service and his friendly demeanour to all who worked with him.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.