Now that the House and Senate have adjourned for the summer, no more bills or motions will pass in Parliament until MPs and senators return to Ottawa in late September.

With politicians now back in their constituencies for a few months, analyzes what key pieces of legislation passed in the final days of the spring session, and digs into what key government bills will be left to deal with in the fall.


In addition to nine other pieces of government legislation that passed earlier in the 44th Parliament, six other bills made it to the finish line to become law in the last week of the sitting. They included:

The budget bill: The top priority to see passed this spring, Bill C-19 made it through the Senate on its last sitting day. This legislation implements any legislative changes needed in order to enact elements of the federal budget for 2022 presented in April. But, it's not just spending-related changes that are coming through the passing of this bill. The Liberals also stuck in updates to numerous other laws, including the Criminal Code, the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and the Parliament of Canada Act. Alongside this bill were a pair of appropriation bills (aka money bills) that essentially allow the departmental taps to keep flowing over the next few months.

The provincial representation bill: The bill that locks in the minimum number of seats Quebec has federally, C-14 passed on June 21. This legislation will impose a new minimum seat count for each province, ensuring that in future riding redistributions, no province will ever be allocated fewer seats than they have now. Pursuing this change to the Constitution Act was prompted by a proposal from the Chief Electoral Officer that would see Quebec lose a seat, while other provinces either increase or maintain their current seat counts, as a result of the ongoing redrawing of the federal electoral map.

The 'extreme intoxication' bill: This bill set the record for speediest passage in this Parliament, beating out the conversion therapy bill's ten days from introduction to royal assent, by three days. The bill was quickly turned around by Justice Minister David Lametti after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the law prohibiting the use of extreme intoxication as a defence for some crimes was unconstitutional. While the legislation itself was only five pages long, the move to ensure that individuals who do become extremely intoxicated in criminally negligent manner are held responsible if they harm others was given the textbook definition of a rubber-stamping. However, the government has pledged that after quickly patching the gap in the law, they'll embark on a belated study of the bill's subject matter.


Not an exhaustive list, as there are a total of 21 government bills outstanding in either the House or Senate. Here are some of the key pieces of legislation that are likely to be near the top of the government's agenda when MPs and senators return to Ottawa.

The online streaming bill: Aka Bill C-11, or the Broadcasting Act update. After the Liberals failed to pass a version of this bill in the last Parliament, when the Senate refused to fast-track it late in the sittings, there's a bit of deja-vu happening. After managing to pass the bill through the House, the legislation is at second reading in the Senate with senators signalling they want to and will take the time they think this bill needs to study. The core intent of the bill is to force streaming giants to be subject to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations meant to increase the production and promotion of Canadian content, though critics continue to caution that there will be broader knock-on effects for Canadian content creators. The Liberals caused some acrimony after the House Canadian Heritage Committee sped through more than 100 amendments and then used procedural mechanisms to curtail the last leg of debate.

The gun control bill: After the government cut off debate at second reading in order to pass the bill into the committee stage in time for the summer break, Bill C-21 could be back on MPs' radars before September. The legislation if passed as currently drafted would further restrict legal access to handguns in Canada, and create systems to flag individuals who may pose a risk to themselves or others. The bill would also increase the maximum penalties to 14 years from 10 for firearm-related offences such as smuggling, make it an offence to alter a cartridge magazine beyond its lawful capacity and prohibit certain replica firearms that closely resemble real guns. Since its introduction, advocates both for and against the firearms bill have shared mixed reactions to the proposed law, so expect the hot-button bill to be one to watch.

The Huawei-related national security bill: Currently awaiting second reading after being one of the handful of government bills tabled in the final weeks of June, Bill C-26 could very well be one of the first bills to be prioritized this fall. In announcing that Canada was banning China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE from participating in the country’s 5G wireless networks, citing national security concerns, the government signalled this legislation would be coming. It makes amendments to the Telecommunications Act aimed at shoring up Canada's telecommunication system against national security risks in the finance, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors. Bill C-26 also would build in a new mandatory reporting system for cybersecurity incidents.

The national reconciliation council bill: Tabled on the second last day of the spring sitting, Bill C-29 from Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller proposes to enact a National Council for Reconciliation. Responding to Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action 53 through 56, the legislation would put in place an independent and Indigenous-led council that would "strive to ensure that long-term progress on reconciliation is supported and sustained through commitment to reconciliation and accountability," according to the government. Once the bill passes, the council's board of directors can be named, and then work on setting up the council as a not-for-profit organization.