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Canada Post back-to-work legislation advances in Senate

Debate on Bill C-89 to continue on Monday.

A bill that would end the Canada Post work stoppage has advanced through several legislative stages in the Senate during a rare weekend sitting.

Bill C-89 completed first and second reading, as well as Committee of the Whole, during which Senators heard from several witnesses, including:

  • Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu;
  • Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough;
  • Interim President and CEO of Canada Post Jessica McDonald; and
  • President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Mike Palecek.

The Senate had originally passed a motion to sit on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. On Saturday, the Senate adopted a new motion to adjourn until Monday to allow more time to consider the legislation in light of the evidence received during Committee of the Whole. Senators normally do not sit Mondays, but will do so this week to expedite debate.

Senator Peter Harder, the Government Representative in the Senate, said he was pleased that the bill has moved forward, particularly given the holiday season. But he also noted that Senators wanted more time to consider the testimony of witnesses heard during Committee of the Whole before moving ahead Monday to the final stage of Senate consideration.

Senators also wanted time to ensure the proposed legislation is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“I am pleased work is well underway on this urgent legislation, which is very important to Canadians and Canadian businesses,” Sen. Harder said following the more than seven-hour sitting.

“I had hoped we could complete the debate this weekend, but I also understand that some Senators might have wanted more time to study the bill in light of the testimony from ministers, Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers before it moves to the final stage.”

Canada Post back-to-work legislation advances in Senate