Even at the best of times, members of parliament struggle to find attention for the bills they table in the House of Commons. Every so often, a bill will wade through the various legislative stages—first reading, which is the easy part; second reading, which requires a vote in the House; examination by a committee, and report stage; and then third reading, which requires another vote. The bill’s then carted off to the Senate, where it winds its way through the same series of stages before, if it’s lucky, receiving Royal Assent. That’s the long and winding road down which MPs must guide their pet projects; not an easy task.
Publicity helps. Currently, 322 private member’s bills are sitting in the queue, somewhere between first reading and Royal Assent. If you’ve heard of only a few of these pet projects, you can be forgiven—particularly during the last few weeks, when virtually no parliamentary debate that didn’t mention “Duffy” or “Wright” or “Senate expenses” found its way into the outside world.
The good news is that reporters picked up on a couple of bills that have emerged from the House in recent days: Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux’s proposal that party leaders be forced to approve political ads; and Conservative MP John Williamson’s suggestion that parliamentarians who are convicted of offences that carry at least two-year sentences should have their pensions removed. Both are ideas worth a debate, and both are worth some ink in the papers. Even if there are almost as many PMBs as there are days in a year, and very few will become law or even be debated, at least a few of them spark conversations.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with the CRTC’s new wireless code that allows consumers to leave contracts after two years. The National Post fronts a critical look at the demise of three-year wireless contracts. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with why the wireless code is a victory for consumers. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the Canadian Forces’ investigation of a CTV journalist who reported sensitive information. iPolitics fronts new Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s views on Dutch disease in the energy sector. CBC.ca leads with the potential “sticker shock” caused by shorter wireless contracts. CTV News leads with Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary as British monarch. National Newswatch showcases Chantal Hebert’s column in the Toronto Star that suggests political reporters are focusing more on government than opposition—as it should be, she says.
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Corruption. The Quebec Municipal Commission has taken over operations of the City of Laval, which the province placed under trusteeship in light of sweeping corruption allegations.||2. Pensions. Conservative MP John Williamson introduced a private member’s bill that would take away pensions from parliamentarians convicted of offences that carry at least two-year sentences.|
|3. Advertising. Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux introduced a private member’s bill that would force political party leaders to vocally approve the messages in their partisan advertising.||4. Terror trial. Chiheb Esseghaier, one of the accused in the alleged plot to derail a Via train, told court that he’s having trouble finding a lawyer willing to use the Qur’an in his defence.|