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Government bills in the Senate now


Government bills in the Senate now

A look at government legislation currently in the Upper Chamber — and what these bills mean for you.

Bills are proposed laws. They vary in size, effect and the public interest they receive. Typically, Government bills are introduced by a Cabinet Minister in the House of Commons, but this type of legislation can also originate in the Senate if it does not initiate spending or impose a tax.

Here’s a list of government bills currently before the Senate.


The Bill: C-48Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Mobina Jaffer, independent Liberal Senator representing British Columbia.

Summary: The bill formalizes a crude oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia and sets penalties for contravention of this moratorium.


The Bill: C-55Act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patricia Bovey, independent Senator representing Manitoba.

Summary: This bill would empower the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, through a ministerial order, to designate a marine protected area and to prohibit for up to five years certain activities within that area. By the end of that period, the Minister must recommend to the Governor in Council either that the order be replaced by regulations permanently designating the area as a marine protected area or that the order be repealed. In addition, the bill would empower the competent minister to cancel, with compensation, an oil and gas interest in areas where marine protected areas designated under the Oceans Act.


The BillC-58An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs for consideration.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Pierrette Ringuette, independent Senator representing New Brunswick.

Summary: This legislation proposes to update the Access to Information Act for the first time in more than 30 years. Among other things, C-58 details reasons for which the head of a government institution may decline a request for access to a record, including because it is vexatious or made in bad faith, and give the requester the right to make a complaint to the information commissioner if their request is declined. It also clarifies the powers of the information commissioner and the privacy commissioner to examine documents containing information that is subject to solicitor–client privilege.


The Bill: C-59An Act respecting national security matters

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Marc Gold, independent Senator representing Quebec.

Summary: The purpose of this bill is to enhance Canada’s national security while safeguarding Canadians’ values, rights and freedoms. It also strengthens accountability and transparency by creating the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) and the position of Intelligence Commissioner.


The Bill: C-68An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Dan Christmas, independent Senator representing Nova Scotia.

Summary: This bill aims to fulfill the Government’s commitment to better protect Canada’s freshwater and marine fisheries, helping to ensure their long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Changes include the restoration of protections removed for fish and fish habitats in 2012, as well as the introduction of new ecological safeguards. C-68 also seeks to better recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples with respect to fisheries.


The Bill: C-69An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Grant Mitchell, Government Liaison.

Summary: The objective of the bill is to improve the rules for the assessment of major projects to protect the environment and waterways, to rebuild public trust in how decisions about resource projects are made, and to provide certainty and predictable timelines to industry and investors. It also ensures that Indigenous knowledge be formally regarded and integrated into review processes.


The Bill: C-71An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms

Status: Referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

Senate Sponsor: Senator André Pratte, independent Senator representing Quebec.

Summary: This bill introduces pragmatic measures aimed at preventing and reducing gun violence, prioritizing public safety and effective police work, while treating law-abiding firearm owners and businesses fairly and reasonably.


The Bill: C-75An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Status: Awaiting second reading.

Summary: This bill is intended to make the criminal justice system more modern and efficient, and to reduce delays in criminal proceedings.


The Bill: C-81Accessible Canada Act

Status: Awaiting second reading.

Summary: This legislation aims to enhance the full and equal participation of all persons, especially persons with disabilities, in society.


Photograph at top: copyright Senate of Canada.

Government bills in the Senate now