Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is Bill C-12 About To Die of Old Age?

While the house is still on vacation, it is not, for once, prorogued. That means there are still bills waiting for them when they get back. One of those bills is Bill C-12 which the Tories are calling the Democratic Representation Act. This is the one that would give increased representation in the house to large provinces like Ontario, Alberta and BC which have seen large population increases. Interestingly, the language of the bill if not amended could make the bill completely ineffective for 10 years if not passed soon.

The readjustment of the seats in the House of Commons happens after each decennial census (the ones ending in 1). That's not new. However, the Democratic Representation Act is only to take effect following the first decennial census completed AFTER its passage. In other words, if parliament doesn't pass the bill soon, it would only be effective after 2021 census. Of course, the Tories could amend the bill to fix this problem, but don't bet on it. More likely, they'll use the excuse to shelve the bill and come back with an even less effective plan that appease Qu├ębec more.

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