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Legislation

Senate delays: just another urban myth

By Senator Elaine McCoy      

The Senate does not delay passage of government legislation. It’s the other way around: government delays passage of its own bills, since it’s the government which enjoys near total control of the House of Commons most of the time and it sits on bills for months on end in its own chamber, writes Senator Elaine McCoy.

Senator Elaine McCoy says claims the Upper Chamber delays the passage of legislation are not borne out by facts. The Hill Times file photograph

Everyone knows that the Senate delays government legislation. Don’t we? Well, no we don’t. In fact, the House of Commons tends to take almost three times as long to deal with government legislation as the Senate does. This incontestable fact is based on an actual count of official parliamentary records over the last ten parliaments (i.e., the past 37 years). On average, government bills spend 144 days in Parliament from first to final reading. Only 35 of those

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