AuthorSimpson, Ferda
PositionLegislative Reports


On June 21, Governor General Julie Payette granted Royal Assent in a traditional ceremony that was broadcast on television for the first time from the Senate of Canada Building. There had previously been written declarations of Royal Assent on April 11, April 30 and May 27.

A total of 26 bills received Royal Assent during this quarter, including one Senate government bill, one Senate private bill, one Senate public bill, 22 House of Commons government bills and one House of Commons public bill. Full details about proceedings on bills are available through LEGIinfo at

The trend of increased messages between the houses concerning amendments to bills has persisted throughout this quarter; some of the messages, such as those concerning Bill C-69, An 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, have been extremely complex and lengthy. In these cases, all involving government legislation, the House of Commons either disagreed with Senate amendments, or accepted certain amendments, sometimes with changes, and disagreed with others. Ultimately, the Senate did not insist on its amendments and responded accordingly in its messages.

Chamber, Procedure and Speaker's Rulings

There were numerous points of order and questions of privilege raised during this quarter and the Speaker delivered 13 rulings. Many of the points of order dealt with unparliamentary language. The Speaker emphasized that senators should exercise caution and not impute motives to other individuals during debate.

A number of points of order and questions of privilege had to do with the use of social media. Points of order were raised to address language in social media, which was also the subject of a question of privilege. Another question of privilege addressed a leak of a political agreement on social media. When addressing the points of order, the Speaker urged senators to evaluate their tweets before posting them and consider whether they reflect poorly on the chamber. When ruling on May 2 about the posting of a political agreement on social media, the Speaker determined that a prima facie question of privilege was not established, since the agreement in question did not qualify as a matter that directly concerned the privileges of the Senate, any of its committees or any senator. The Speaker took the opportunity to, once again...

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