Some Senators express disappointment over changes made to Bill C-234

Bill C-234 is no longer in the hands of the senate. It’s now heading back to the house of commons with amendments tacked on that will have to be reviewed. There were the two amendments brought forward at committee to not include barn heating as part of the exemption and also to reduce the sunset clause from 8 years to 3.

This is a private members bill introduced by the Tories that was opposed by all but a handful of liberal MP’s and as a result will be far down on the list of bills the government will want to deal with in the new year.

There were some final comments by senators on both sides of the issue earlier this week. Senator Robert Black, a staunch supporter of the bill from the very start, expressed his disappointment. Black said he received over 25-hundred letters and more than 2-thousand emails from farmers and ranchers, expressing their support of Bill 234 in its original form, since it moved to the upper chamber. Since last week, Black has received messages of disappointment of the amendments made.

He says people commented things like “The Senate is being obstructionist”, “The Senate lacks the understanding of our issues”, “Senators are truly, truly misinformed”, “The Senate has a disdain for farmers, doesn’t it?” and “It’s time to get rid of the Senate”.

“These comments bother me greatly,” Black told his colleagues. “We have failed a very important segment of our Canadian population and I remain concerned that I have not done my job well enough in the Chamber.”

While Black hopes the bill would return to the Senate in its original form, he admitted “it could be a long and difficult road ahead for this amended bill” in the House of Commons.

It’s unknown as to when this bill might see the light of day again. According to the schedule on the Senate website, there is another session tomorrow (Fri) and next week before Senators take a break for the Christmas season.

(With files from Dean Thorpe, CFCW)

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