Speaking of constitutional crises

Canadian Press sums up the struggle over crime legislation in the Senate thusly.

Conservatives rejected a bid Thursday to expedite a key piece of their tough-on-crime agenda, even as they continued to bash Liberal senators for holding up the legislation…

At issue are amendments to the bill proposed by Liberal senators on the legal and constitutional affairs committee. They want offenders to be given 1.5 days credit for each day spent in pre-trial custody, which Nicholson maintains would gut the bill. Senator Joan Fraser, the Liberal committee chair, twice sought unanimous consent Thursday for the upper chamber to deal with the amendments by the end of the day. That would have cleared the way for the final debate and vote on the bill on Friday.

The Tories’ deputy leader in the Senate, Gerald Comeau, refused. He said Conservatives would agree to expedite the bill only if Liberals would agree, in effect, to drop the amendments. Moreover, Comeau then moved to adjourn the Senate until Oct. 20. The bill will now languish until then… Ironically, Liberal insiders believe the amendments are likely to be defeated and the bill passed, as is.

Dale Smith rants against various parties to this dispute, including the Globe and Mail.

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