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Bill C-6, Messages between the HoC and the Senate, FACTS ONLY

spyfy

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Hello there. So as you might have read in the other threads, bill C-6 finally passed the Senate. However, it was amended. So that leaves the question on what will happen next.

Service announcement: Like the old one, I want to keep this thread as a FACTS ONLY thread. I like a good discussion and guessing game just like everyone else (I post a lot in the other threads, too), but as a service to those who don't want to talk and guess but just want to stay updated, please keep this one to the facts. Thanks!

Also, please don't quote this whole post or it'll make the follow-up questions hard to read. If you have a particular question, only quote the part you want to ask something about.

OK, so here we go. Some of the stuff is a copy paste from the old thread because it is still relevant.

What would the original version of the bill have done (and what does it still do)?
- It reduces the residency requirement from 4/6 years to 3/5 years, this is still the case.
- Every day of residence before PR counts as half a day of residence (for up to 730 half days = 365 full days), this is still the case.
- The "intend to reside" is not a requirement for citizenship. This applies even to people who already applied for or received citizenship in the past, this is still the case.
- The age range for the language requirement it rolled back to 18-54, this part was amended to 18-60, see below.
- The minister cannot revoke anymore the citizenship of someone who committed crimes like terrorism if this occurred after that person became a citizen. Those whose citizenships has been revoked because of that clause get it back, this is still the case.

Through what stages did this bill go in the House of Commons?
- It was read a first time in the House of Commons (= "We have received the bill")
- It was debated and read a second time in the House of Commons (= "Generally this seems OK, let's get to the details")
- It was dealt with in Committee. This is where experts are invited to talk about the bill (e.g. what do immigration lawyers think about this bill? What about immigrant lobby organizations? ...) An amendment (see below) was suggested but then ruled "out of scope" so it wasn't added to the bill.
- The Committee presented its report to the House of Commons
- It was debated and read a third time in the House of Commons (= "We approve this bill and want it to become law")

Through what stages did this bill go in the Senate?
- It was read a first time in the Senate (= "We have received the bill")
- It was debated and read a second time in the Senate (= "Generally this seems OK, let's get to the details")
- It was dealt with in Committee, with experts' advice (see above). No amendment was formally proposed but someone announced that there will be an amendment once the bill goes back to the whole Senate.
- The Committee presented its report to the Senate as a whole.
- Several amendments where suggested. Some of them were accepted, some of them were voted down.
- The amended bill was the read a third time in the Senate. (= "We approve this bill in the amended version and want it to become law")

Why did this take so long?
- Because the eternal rule of debates is "Everything has been said but not by me."
- Them Senators looooove to talk.
- Sorry, back to facts. :)

What are the amendments about?
- There are three amendments which were accepted. I won't talk about the ones that were voted down because, well, they don't matter anymore :)
- The first amendment allows people who get their citizenship taken away because of alleged fraud in the application to appeal to a court before their citizenship is actually revoked.
- The second amendment changes the age for language requirement to 18-60.
- The third amendment allows minors to apply for citizenship even if their parents are not Canadian citizens and even if they don't apply at the same time as their children (a typical case would be a refugee child whose parents aren't with them anymore)

What will happen now?
- The bill was amended, but since the House of Commons only accepted the original version, the bill is now sent back to the HoC in a so called "message". The HoC now has to decide if it accepts these amendments or not.

Do we know how the HoC stands on these amendments?
- Generally, the majority MPs in the HoC listen to their government so it mostly matters what the government thinks about these amendments.
- The Minister so far always was careful to say that he will "consider the amendments" which means he so far has given no indication whatsoever if the government will oppose or support any of these amendments. We will learn rather soon.

What will happen now?
There are basically four scenarios.

What is Scenario 1?
- The House of Commons debates and votes to accept all three amendments by the Senate.
- This means now both Houses have agreed on the same version of the bill.
- The bill then goes to the Governor-General who gives what is called "royal assent". This is a formal procedure, it is basically always given.

What is Scenario 2?
- The House of Commons debates and votes to accept only some (or none) of the amendments by the Senate.
- The bill then goes back to the Senate with a "message"
- The Senate then debates and votes to not insist on the amendments that were defeated in the HoC.
- This means now both Houses have agreed on the same version of the bill.
- The bill then goes to the Governor-General who gives what is called "royal assent". This is a formal procedure, it is basically always given.

What is Scenario 3?
- The House of Commons debates and votes to accept only some (or none) of the amendments by the Senate.
- The bill then goes back to the Senate with a "message"
- The Senate then debates and votes that they insist on some (or all) of the amendments that were defeated in the HoC.
- This means the bill goes back to HoC again with a message.
- This so called "legislative ping-pong" could go on forever.
- However, this scenario is very very rare in recent Canadian history. Usually, through lobbying and generally through restraint by the Senate (who "bows" to the will of the people in the directly elected House of Commons) it doesn't go that far. "Rare" doesn't mean that it isn't still possible though, it's just rare.

What is Scenario 4?
- During one of the Scenarios above, one House gives up and just doesn't debate the bill anymore and the bill ends up in "legislative limbo" and dies at the next election (or when parliament is prorogued).
- This is again very rare and would be particularly surprising in this case because the bill includes several election campaign promises by the Liberal government.

How fast does this process go?
- Of course the less conflict between the two houses about the amendments, the faster it'll go.
- Under the perfectest of circumstances, the HoC agrees with the amendments in the next days and it is over.
- But this might also be a matter of weeks or even months if things don't go smoothly.

In any of these scenarios, could they still remove things like the change in residency days?
- No, the bill has passed third reading in both houses. That means only the amendments that have already been proposed and voted on are still debatable. Only these amendments could be accepted or refused.
- Neither the HoC nor the Senate is allowed to introduce any new amendments. At most, they can slightly adjust the current amendments to a compromise, but even that is very rare.
- So the only way the residency days and other things won't become law is if the bill fails as a whole (Scenario 4) which is, again, an unlikely yet possible scenario.

How can I follow the proceedings of the House of Commons?
- Here is the calendar of their sitting days: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HouseChamberBusiness/ChamberCalendar.aspx?Language=E
- Here is the Order paper, however you should not use this as the source to see when the bill will be debated (see below): http://www.parl.gc.ca/HouseChamberBusiness/ChamberSittings.aspx?View=N&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1

Why is the Order Paper not the right place to look?
- Luckily, unlike in the Senate, the HoC has a way more reliable schedule. While in the Senate there was always uncertainty if something will be debated today or not, no such uncertainty exists for the House of Commons
- The problem is that the Order Paper just includes every single document before the HoC with no prioritization (this was the same for the senate. But then bills are skipped and skipped again).
- But, and that's the good news, there is also a "Projected Order of Business" (no such thing exists for the Senate) where you can see what is debated when: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=projected&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1
- This will tell you what really is going to be talked about in the HoC today
- Also, conveniently, the HoC debates are televised on parlvu which is nicer that just listening to an audio stream. Here you go: http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en

OK so once this bill becomes law under one of the scenarios above, all the new rules apply immediately, right?
- Unfortunately not.
- Like many bills, C-6 has some "coming into force" clauses.
- That means after the bill becomes law, some parts take effect immediately. The rules you care about aren't coming into effect immediately. Unless you are a terrorist. :)
- The other parts (including all the parts that you most likely care about) take effect at a date that the Government decides (formally called - in this case - the "Governor-in-council").
- The idea behind this is that the administration has to adjust the process to the new rules (new forms, new IT,...)
- Under the perfectest of circumstances the administration has prepared for the new rules while the bill was discussed in Parliament. In that case it will take weeks after the bill became law for the new rules to take effect.
- Under the worst circumstances the administration hasn't prepared for the new rules at all so far. In that case it will take up to a year for the new rules to take effect.

That's it. If there are any questions, just ask! :)
 

Mr. Preppy

Star Member
Aug 21, 2012
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Dear Spyfy,
I'm following your posts for a long time, I would like to thank you for all your efforts!

I have a question:
once this bill becomes law WHEN, WHERE AND HOW GOV. WILL ANNOUNCE DATE OF STARTING NEW RULES(3/5, prePR days etc)?
 

elie72

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Many thanks spyfy!!!
 

spyfy

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Mr. Preppy said:
Dear Spyfy,
I'm following your posts for a long time, I would like to thank you for all your efforts!

I have a question:
once this bill becomes law WHEN, WHERE AND HOW GOV. WILL ANNOUNCE DATE OF STARTING NEW RULES(3/5, prePR days etc)?
Thanks! Appreciated.

Once this becomes law, the order by the "Governor-in-Council" specifying the actual date of the implementation will be published in the Canada Gazette
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/gazette/home-accueil-eng.php

Note that the government might not announce the date immediately but instead take a while before announcing it.

It is, however, reasonable to assume that once this bill actually passes, the Minister would give a press statement rather soon which at least informally announces when he thinks this will come into force.
 

Canada 1

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Sir you just nailed it. I was going through numerous forums and Wikipedia links to understand how Bill becomes a Law. It could not have been explained better. Thank you !!!

Now timeline can be very much calculated based on given scenarios.
 

JGPG

Member
May 3, 2017
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Excellent and crystal clear explanation Spyfy. Thanks for taking the time to write it
 

Hamid khan

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Very very happy to see C6 will become law soon and we all are waiting can apply

Question: do you think it will effect on Canada day 1 July 2017
 

kwtangerine

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Oct 14, 2016
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Thanks for all your efforts, Spyfy! Congrats everyone, we are closer than ever to see this Bill finally becoming law. :D
 

spyfy

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Hamid khan said:
Very very happy to see C6 will become law soon and we all are waiting can apply

Question: do you think it will effect on Canada day 1 July 2017
We don't know and as usual I want to stick to facts here. Sorry that I can't answer that.
 

Kamran2015

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Feb 9, 2015
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Spyfy, I really appreciate your efforts to clearly sum up everything in one place. Let's all hope the Government HAD a plan for the implementation day.
 

salkhan

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Dear Spyfy,

+1 for you and a I'll buy you a coffee if you reside in Vancouver or visit in future ;)
Very well explained. All doubts are cleared.

Thanks and God bless you.

Cheers.
 
May 3, 2017
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Thank you very much. This was the best info anyone could find.
Is it decided that when HoC will start discussing on it ?
Can we know before a day or something ? How will we know when they will be discussing about c6 ?