Once debate time ran out, the committee continued voting on amendments, but referred to them only by number, with no information available to the public
The House of Commons heritage committee has been accused of “secret law-making” as it rushes to pass the controversial C-10 broadcasting bill.
The bill, which critics say impacts free speech, was subject to additional amendments at the committee on Thursday and Friday — but those changes to the legislation won’t be released to the public until at least next week.
“I find it shocking and deeply troubling that the committee is proceeding with clause-by-clause by voting on amendments that have not been made public, are not subject to debate, and there are no experts available to answer questions,” said University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist. Geist, a vocal critic of the bill, said that process amounts to secret law-making.
A list of amendments proposed by the various parties is provided to MPs on the committee before they vote on them, but the text of the amendments isn’t available to the public until after the vote due to Parliamentary privilege rules. However, because the Liberals and Bloc Québécois voted last week to impose time allocation on the committee in an effort to push the bill through the House of Commons quickly, the committee was limited to an additional five hours of debate.
Anja Karadeglija – National Post – June 11, 2021.