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Legislation

Bill C-48: a defining moment for the Senate

By ISG Senator Pierre J. Dalphond      

It is worth reminding that Senators do not face binary choices between passing or killing a bill. In fact, our role is to review the bills thoroughly, and if there exists a legislative defect, to propose an amendment. To propose additions or corrections to a bill is one thing. To change the policy choice of the government or to try to outsmart it on the ways to achieve a policy is beyond our realm.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage, pictured May 2, 2019, at the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Since the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications recommendation not to proceed with Bill C-48, numerous political commentators have weighed in on whether the Senate should accept this recommendation and defeat the bill. The debate culminated in Liberal MP Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to the environment minister and MP for Central Nova, N.S., reminding Senators “that when it comes to the measures including Bill C-48, these are measures that Canadians voted for.”

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