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House rises for the summer, gov't vows to return 'ruthlessly' focused on improving Canadians' lives

The Peace Tower is pictured through security fencing on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick The Peace Tower is pictured through security fencing on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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The House of Commons has adjourned a few days early for its summer break, after members of Parliament agreed to pause their legislative business until mid-September.

On Wednesday, all MPs approved a motion to expedite a few small measures and wrap after completing a few votes, including seeing the key Budget Implementation Act Bill C-69 clear the Commons.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon about the "important accomplishments" achieved during the spring sitting, Government House Leader Steven MacKinnon said that the minority Liberal government has passed 15 bills in 14 weeks

Asked what the Liberals plan to focus on come the fall, MacKinnon said the government "will be pretty ruthlessly focused on making lives better for Canadians in their daily life."

"That was our focus in every day of this session. Dental care, child care, housing… We are going to continue very much with that philosophy," MacKinnon said.

This week, the Conservatives tried to push for House of Commons committees to sit over the summer, but Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs rebuked those efforts.

"Conservatives proposed a reasonable work plan... But the lazy Liberal-NDP coalition preferred to go on vacation," said the party in a statement.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer made one last unsuccessful attempt to see the House agree to this push, before thanking – later echoed by other party representatives – all of the House support staff, the parliamentary pages, protective services, interpreters and others who help keep the Commons running.

"I hope everyone in this House has a wonderful summer with their family and loved ones in their ridings, listening to their constituents," New Democrat Party Whip Heather McPherson said.

All party approval was required to adjourn the House ahead of Friday's scheduled end of the spring sitting. The House will resume sitting on Monday, Sept. 16.

The Senate will continue to sit, potentially into next week, giving it time to oversee the royal assent of a final few bills before it also wraps up its work.

In addition to passing the budget, the fall economic update implementation legislation, and a pair of related spending bills, the Senate is expected to finalize the parliamentary process on Bill C-70, the Countering Foreign Interference Act, before calling it a season.

Among the bills that are being left to languish, until MPs return, are Bill C-63, the Online Harms Act, which has been years delayed; Bill C-64, the Pharmacare Act, which is before the Senate but isn't set to clear all stages until the fall; and Bill C-65, the Electoral Participation Act, which is poised for amendment at committee.

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