We are in the last scheduled week of sitting for Canada's 42nd Parliament. Normal procedures would be the House rises for Summer Recess, they return for one day in early September for a Motion of Dissolution, after which the Prime Minister asks the Governor-General to dissolve the House and drop the Election Writ. However...this may not be a normal recess. The rush is on to pass legislation for Royal Assent before that election campaign can begin and both the House and Senate have extremely packed Order Papers.
The Senate is scheduled to sit an extra week compared to the House, which depending on how things go down, could force a longer than one day return and more than one motion in the House. Negotiations on Amendments and shuffling of papers from West Block to the Senate Building and back is at a hectic pace. How do topics from the last election campaign end up being rushed in the last week after four years? Politics.
But let it be said, the 42nd Parliament sat for the entire mandate in ONE session. No proroguements. No contempt of Parliament. No obvious subterfuge of proceedings for political leverage. So, there's that. A refreshing return to normalcy. But then, no idiot Speaker in either chamber this term either. What a coincidence.
Environment, Natural Resources, Public Safety, Justice and Indigenous Relations have the large majority of logjams with progress. Considering the disarray those portfolios were left in by the previous Government, to a degree it stands to reason they are the big holdups four years later. Or does it? Has the new "freedom" of the Senate made our system better or worse? The only remaining partisan caucus there, the Conservatives, have gone from compliant lapdogs to opposition yapdogs. But their majority is a distant memory. The Independents now rule the roost.
What will make it to Royal Assent? What will die on the Order Paper with the dropping of the Writ? We will take a look.