14 bills to keep MPs burning the candle at both ends

The House of Commons plans to sit until midnight every night for the next two weeks, except on Friday, in order to make progress on 14 bills the government has identified as priorities.
Members of Parliament are sitting in the House of Commons until midnight for the next two weeks to debate and vote on pieces of legislation before they leave for the summer break. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Members of Parliament are in for two weeks of late nights thanks to the government's motion to extend their sitting hours in the House of Commons until midnight.

Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan says the long days and nights are necessary to deal with important pieces of legislation – other than the budget implementation bill – before MPs take off for the summer.

MPs are already preparing to pull all-nighters to vote on amendments to the budget bill and Van Loan said they should also  be prepared to "put in a little bit of overtime" to debate and vote on other bills. Bill C-31, a bill to reform the refugee and immigration system, passed a final vote on Monday night and it now goes to the Senate.

Tuesday afternoon MPs voted to pass the pooled pension bill, and the government is also keen to pass the copyright bill and the Jordan free trade bill before the House of Commons finishes on June 22.

The government also wants more debate on other bills so they can keep making their way through the legislative process. Here's a summary of the bills the Conservatives want votes and debate on in the coming days and what Van Loan had to say about them.

  • Bill C-11 An Act to Amend the Copyright Act

The bill has passed the committee stage and it hasn't made it to third (and final) reading yet. "It's important for us to get on and pass this bill for the sake of those sectors of our economy to ensure that Canada remains competitive in a very dynamic, changing, high-tech sector in the world so that we can have Canadian jobs and Canadian leadership in that sector."

  • Bills C-23 and C-24 Free trade deals with Panama and Jordan

The Panama bill is still being debated at the second reading stage and the Jordan deal is in the Senate.

  • Bill C-25 Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act

"It's a much needed piece of legislation that will give Canadians in small businesses and who are self-employed yet another option to help support them in saving for retirement."

  • Bill C-12 Safeguarding Canadians' Personal Information Act

Nothing has been done on this bill since it was introduced in September.

  • Bill C-15 Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act

The bill has had a few hours of debate since it was introduced last fall, most recently in early April. "It is a fairly small and discreet bill, certainly the fact that it is taking so long to pass this House is not a testament to our productivity and efficiency here."

  • Bill C-27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act

The bill was introduced in November and not one hour of debate has taken place.

  • Bill C-28 Financial Literacy Leader Act

There was a tiny bit of debate on it in March. "At a time when we're concerned about people's financial circumstances, not just countries, but individuals, this is a positive step forward to help people improve their financial literacy so that all Canadians can face more secure financial futures."

  • Bill C-36 Protecting Canada's Seniors Act

The bill to prevent elder abuse hasn't seen much action since it was introduced in March. "Doesn’t it make sense that we move forward on that?"

  • Bill C-37 Increasing Offenders' Accountability for Victims Act

"This again is a major step forward for re-adjusting our justice system."

  • Senate bills

The following bills have been dealt with in the Senate and are in the hands of the House of Commons: S-2, S-6, S-7, S-8. Three of them are related to First Nations and one to combating terrorism.