By The Canadian Press on December 15, 2023.
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.