Among Michael Chong’s objections to C-290, Joe Comartin’s sports betting bill, is the manner in which it passed the House. Via email, I asked him how the bill ended up passing unanimously. Here is his explanation.
I did not know it was going to be passed unanimously.
I made my intention to request a standing vote (and my opposition to the bill) known. Normally, that happens at end of the second hour of debate at third reading when members “stand five” to request a standing vote.
Report stage and first hour of debate at third reading took place on Friday, March 2nd. The second hour of debate was to have taken place several weeks later. That never happened because, that Friday, debate was forced to collapse, the question put and adopted unanimously.
As to why the members lined up to speak were told not to get up and speak thereby collapsing debate, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the House leaders.
Instead of two hours of debate at third reading, C-290 seems to have received 20 minutes of debate.
I asked the NDP if the party’s House leader or whip told any NDP MP not to speak to the bill. The NDP says no.
I asked Peter Van Loan’s office if Conservative members were told not to speak to C-290. The Government House leader’s office responded that “no one who opposed the bill sought an opportunity to speak on the day of debate in the House.”
(I’ve also asked the Liberals if any of their MPs were told to refrain from speaking and will post whatever I receive in response.)
Update 12:36pm. Liberal House leader Marc Garneau responds to my query.
As you know, Kevin Lamoureux did in fact speak from the Liberal side. No one else chose to speak. No MP was instructed not to speak and no direction to that effect came from either the Whip or House Leader.