Senators voted on Wednesday to extend their sitting hours beyond this week before they rise for the summer so they can hold final votes on two of the government’s priority bills. Senators will now sit next Monday and Tuesday with extended hours.
Earlier this month, Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez presented those bills: the Budget Implementation Act (C-30), the conversion-therapy ban (C-6), the bill to modernize the Broadcasting Act (C-10), and the net-zero-emissions bill (C-12).
On Monday evening, the House passed Bill C-10 and sent it to the Senate. On Tuesday, MPs voted to send C-6 to the Senate. Then on Wednesday, the final two bills, C-12 and C-30, were passed and sent to the Senate.
The Conservative leader in the Senate, Don Plett, questioned the importance of the bills to the government, given they landed in the Senate in the same week the red chamber was due to rise for the summer.
“The legislative agenda is the responsibility of the government, but, once again, we are seeing a government without a plan, that fumbles ahead while showing its incompetence,” Plett said in a statement provided to iPolitics.
“The Trudeau government suffers from the absence of leadership skills. When everything is a priority, nothing is, resulting in very few accomplishments.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Marc Gold, the government’s representative in the Senate, tried to reassure his colleagues that they wouldn’t be asked to rush the bills’ passage.
“We have received several bills recently, C-10 and C-6,” Gold said. “These are important bills that will receive proper study, (to) respect the role of senators, and to give proper consideration.”
The Senate began second reading of C-6 and C-10 on Wednesday afternoon. Debate is set to resume early next week before they’re sent to committee for further study. The committees aren’t expected to begin their studies until the Senate returns from its summer recess in late September.
Bills C-30 and C-12 were pre-studied by senators. Third-reading votes on both bills are expected when the Senate sits next Monday and Tuesday, and both are expected to pass.