Your Question: Bill C-32 – Has it Passed?

We’ve provided some extensive coverage of Bill C-32 including a detailed analysis that allows readers to decipher our interpretations for themselves. Since our detailed review, a number of you have asked us in our comments and via e-mail if the bill is passed or not. We are more than happy to answer this question.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The basic question of whether this bill is passed or not is very easy to answer – it has not passed and no, it is not law.

So, what’s the status of the bill? One can take a look at the bill on the Canadian governments website which shows not only what the status of the bill is, but also how far along it is. All government bills including the status are available on this site (for the status, just click on the bill you want to know about and click on “Status of the Bill” and you can get the progress report).

For Bill C-32, it was tabled and is in its first reading. From the site, that’s pretty much the very first step and it hasn’t progressed any further then that. In order for it to pass, these are the steps the bill can take according to the government website:

1. Passage through the first House (sometimes the Senate, usually the House of Commons)

The process in each Chamber is similar:
* First reading (the bill proposing a law is received, printed and circulated)
* Second reading (the principle of the bill is debated: is the bill good policy?)
* Committee stage
Step one: members of the public appear as witnesses before a committee*
Step two: committee members study the bill, clause by clause
Step three: the committee adopts a report on the bill, recommending that it be accepted as is, or with amendments, or that it not be proceeded with further
* Report stage (motions to amend specific clauses of the bill are considered by the whole House)
* Third reading (final approval of the bill)

2. Passage through the second House

3. Royal Assent by the Governor General makes the bill law

So, what are the chances of the bill being passed? Well, the government can squish all the readings in to one session to speed up the progress of the bill. Considering how divisive this bill is in the government (namely on the anti-circumvention provisions in the bill with scant exceptions), that doesn’t appear to be likely to happen.

That just leaves the question of whether the bill will make it through. Remember, if an election is called at any time, that kills all the bills (dying on the order paper) and the whole process has to start all over again. So far, in 2010, a grand total of 11 bills received royal assent out of the 45 that was tabled. When a bill is controversial (like Bill C-32), that can definitely slow things down for the bills progress.

In my opinion, it would be extremely hard to get this bill passed. Whether good or bad, the ultimate enemy to the bill, like it’s predecessors, remains to be calls for an election.

We should note that we are not professionally trained as political scientist professionals nor are we professionally trained in Canadian law. We are merely acting as a concerned Canadian citizen and researching the issues. Regardless, we hope that the above information helps to answer some of your questions.

If you have a question, you can always post it up on our forums or comment on a related news story in the comments section. Alternatively, you can always contact me via e-mail at [email protected] or you can contact my fellow ZeroPaid writer Jared Moya at [email protected]. He is also a great wealth of knowledge. We can’t promise to get to everyone’s e-mail, but we certainly do try. Who knows? It could be an another news story topic.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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