Trudeau Government Attempt To Force Through C-10 Backfires As Speaker Strikes Down Amendments, Giving Canadians More Time To Push Back

Will Canadians be granted a reprieve from the anti-free speech legislation being pushed by the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc?

Attempts by the Trudeau government to force through Bill C-10 without debate have backfired.

Rather than getting the Bill passed more quickly, things have been slowed down, after a ruling from the Speaker of the House of Commons:

“.@HoCSpeaker delivered a ruling on the point of order raised by @BlakeRichardsMP indicating that the committee had exceeded its authority by putting the question on certain amendments and ordering that they be struck from the Bill as reported.”

How did this all come about?

In a series of Tweets, Michael Geist lays out what happened:

“So…what just happened with Bill C-10? A short tweet stream:
It starts with the Liberal gag order that limited committee debate to 5 hours and then move directly to voting on any remaining amendments. Details here: 1/7″

“Once the five hours was up, committee chair @Scott_Simms ruled that the only amendments that could be voted on were Green Party amendments since they had already been “moved.” All other amendments from all other parties could not be voted on. 2/7″

“The Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs voted to overrule the chair and allow for dozens of amendments to be voted on without publicly disclosing the text, engaging in debate, or having experts available. The committee proceeded to pass many amendments the public had never seen. 3/7”

“As an aside, last night NDP MP @HMcPhersonMP told the House of Commons she was forced to vote on the amendments without even discussing them. In fact, she voted to overrule the chair to allow just that to occur. 4/7”

Here’s what McPherson had said:

“I proposed to extend the deadline so more work could be done. I voted against closing debate and I even put forward a motion asking the committee to debate the bill through the summer months so we could get this work done. All the parties voted against that. In the end, the Liberals closed the committee debate and we were forced to vote on amendments without even discussing them. It is not my idea of good government,”

“Bill C-10 was then reported back from committee to the House and the government moved for a second gag order to limit debate and get the bill passed. Conservative MP @BlakeRichardsMP challenged the committee’s decision to vote on amendments that had not been “moved.” 5/7”

“The Speaker of the House of Commons just ruled that the committee exceeded its authority and that those amendments were null and void. They are now struck from the bill. 6/7”

“What next? The government will presumably try to have the full House vote on the amendments to get Bill C-10 back on track. But their plans for a rapid vote with limited debate seemingly won’t happen with no shortage of Parliamentary procedure questions on the way. 7/7”

Silencing debate

This is all quite ironic.

In their attempt to silence debate in order to push C-10 through faster than normal legislation, the Trudeau government has now inadvertently slowed things down.

Further, C-10 will get even more attention, something the Liberals were clearly desperate to avoid.

Bypassing democracy

The entire approach to C-10 has been in keeping with a government that has something to hide.

Usually, governments are glad to promote legislation and use it to get votes.

As we’ve often seen over the years, the Liberals often prefer to talk about legislation than actually bring it forth, especially since the media regularly gives the Liberals credit for simply ‘planning’ to do something, rather than actual results.

Yet, with Bill C-10 the Liberals have been noticeably reticent about promoting the legislation (outside Quebec of course), and seem to want it to be rammed through ASAP without discussion or debate.

They invoked a gag order to shut down Opposition criticism and pushback against C-10, a move that is almost never used, and a clear sign of how worried the Liberals are about what Canadians would think.

It is obvious now that the Trudeau government realizes Bill C-10 is indefensible in the eyes of many Canadians, but rather than listen to what people are saying, the Liberals – along with the NDP and Bloc – are trying to push it through regardless.

However, it should be noted that the speaker of the House of Commons is a Liberals, as is the Committee Chair – Scott Simms – who ruled that the new amendments shouldn’t be voted on. So, there is clearly some dissension within Liberal ranks, as well as an overall concern with the anti-democratic process being used to try and ram through C-10.

Contempt for Canadians

It may sound like a broken record, but it has to again be said that the way the Trudeau government has gone about trying to pass C-10 is about as far from the idea of ‘public service’ as you can get.

True ‘servants’ would respect the right of all elected members to discuss and debate the legislation.

Further, leaders who respect the public don’t try to hide amendments behind secret processes.

If you believe in what you’re doing, and if you think it’s good for the country, why try to hide it?

The Trudeau government has acted with a very guilty conscience all throughout the process of pushing Bill C-10, and this latest setback for the legislation should be seen as karma.

Another chance to push back

The ruling of the speaker gives Canadians the chance to continue pushing back against Bill C-10, especially because the Liberals will likely have to put forward amendments through the regular process, subject to more scrutiny and debate.

MPs need to continue hearing from Canadians who oppose the legislation, and pressure must continue to be applied.

There are likely some Liberal and NDP MPs who are wavering on the legislation, and if they hear from more outraged Canadians they can perhaps be flipped to opposing the legislation.

Failing that, wavering MPs will at least be less likely to try and ram it through again, meaning it may not pass before the session ends.

The fight against C-10 is far from over.

Spencer Fernando


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