All Together Now: Government Bill Bundling in the 42nd Parliament

All Together Now: Government Bill Bundling in the 42nd Parliament

Bill bundling – the reintroduction of all the substantive provisions of a bill without any modification in another bill – has been used on several occasions by the government during the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. In this article, the author notes that this method of packaging a legislative agenda is somewhat unusual and warrants further consideration from a legislative planning perspective. He explains that while combining or consolidating related matters into one bill maximizes efficiency, the introduction of government legislation carries with it a myriad of legal and practical consequences beyond the Senate and House of Commons, some of which are heightened when bills are bundled. The author suggests that the recent trend of bill bundling is linked to recognition of the limited time in the legislative calendar before the next scheduled election. However, if bill bundling becomes a more common practice in future parliaments, some questions about predictability and consistency of a legislative agenda should be considered.

Introduction

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Parliamentary Timing and Federal Legislation Referred to Courts: Reconsidering C-14

Article 5 / 12 , Vol 40 No 2 (Summer)

Parliamentary Timing and Federal Legislation Referred to Courts: Reconsidering C-14

Parliamentarians often express the desire to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of bills. For example, parliamentarians thought of asking for the Supreme Court’s opinion in the recent Bill C-14 on medical aid to die. In this article, the author analyzes six contexts of hypothetical referral of Bill C-14: pre-filing, simultaneous referral to filing, post-filing referral, post-adoption referral, adoption Conditional on removal and referral to provincial courts. The conclusion is that while legislators want a court decision on the constitutionality of a bill, complications arise because the executive controls the current referral powers. Therefore,

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