Senate adopts historic climate change legislation
Bill C-30 and Bill C-12 received Royal Assent on June 29.
A bill to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and another to implement provisions of the April 2021 budget have passed into law after being adopted by the Senate.
Bill C-30 and Bill C-12 were both the subject of indepth pre-studies in Senate committees prior to their introduction in the Senate last week.
Two other key bills advanced to Senate committees for further study after being adopted at second reading: Bill C-6, a ban on conversion therapy, was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and Bill C-10, an update to the Broadcasting Act, was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.
As the Senate received these four significant bills in the dying days of the calendar and at the expiration of its hybrid agreement, Senators unanimously agreed to extend sittings until June 29 in order to move these priorities as far along the legislative process as possible.
“I am always grateful for collaboration in the Senate to ensure that Government bills are efficiently and appropriately studied, consistent with the upper chamber’s duty to give sober second thought,” said Senator Marc Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate.
Senator Gold said he would have liked to see Bill C-6 become law in June; however, it was made clear he would not find the consensus required to truncate the legislative process.
Late in Tuesday’s sitting, Senator Gold unsuccessfully sought unanimous consent to empower the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to conduct its study of Bill C-6 during the adjournment period.
“From a personal standpoint, I think it is a shame, because conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice, and it needs to be banned now,” he said.
In the past two months, the Senate studied and adopted 10 Government bills, including three that advance recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Bill C-5, Bill C-8 and Bill C-15).
Senator Gold thanked senators – and all those who supported chamber and committee operations – for working together to manage legislation during this trying pandemic period.
“Frankly, we did better than simply manage. It wasn’t easy but senators negotiated, we prioritized, we insisted on occasion and conceded on occasion. And for every decision we reached in our mission to continue Senate operations, there were dozens of people in the background making it happen,” he said.
“It wasn’t always easy or convenient, but I am proud of the work we accomplished and how we were always able to hammer out our differences without rancor or animosity.”