Richard Levangie reports on the defeat of the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311), just weeks before Canada attends international climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.
In a move that is unprecedented in Canada’s parliamentary system, the unelected Senate has subverted the will of the House of Commons by killing legislation that would have set medium- and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets that have been vetted by climate scientists as not only attainable, but necessary.
A private members bill — the Climate Change Accountability Act (C-311) — had passed the House of Commons in the spring, despite every effort by the minority government to derail it. As required, it was then sent to the upper chamber for study and final approval. The Senate occasionally delays legislation, but for the first time in Canadian history, a Conservative majority killed the bill outright with a little procedural sleight-of-hand. While experts believe that the methods deployed are not illegal, they do fly in the face of 143 years of parliamentary tradition.
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