February 26th, 2024

House of Commons rises after tumultuous fall sitting, begins six-week winter break

By The Canadian Press on December 15, 2023.

The House of Commons has wrapped up work for 2023, ending its fall sitting Friday afternoon. The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The House of Commons has wrapped up its work for 2023 after an intense fall sitting, with MPs returning to their ridings for a six-week holiday break.

A gun-control bill that enshrines a handgun freeze and a bill that lifts GST charges off rental developments and amends the country’s competition law both crossed the finish line in Parliament this week.

The minority Liberal government also passed a suite of bail reforms, launched a dental-care program demanded by the NDP and concluded its standoff with Google, which agreed to pay Canadian news publishers $100 million a year in compliance with the Online News Act.

Conservatives, enjoying a major boost in the polls, made their presence known in the Commons with a series of procedural tactics that culminated in a marathon 30-hour voting session last week to show their opposition to federal carbon pricing.

In September, Anthony Rota stepped down as Speaker after he lauded a man who had served in a unit created by the Nazis to fight the Soviet Union in the Second World War during a visit by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Drama over the Speaker engulfed the House in its final sitting week of the year, too, with Greg Fergus repeatedly apologizing for a tribute video he filmed that was shown at a recent Ontario Liberal Party convention.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2023.

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