Second reading for Bill C-81 is just around the corner. On Wednesday, September 19th at 4 pm in the House of Commons, second reading of the proposed Accessible Canada Act will take place and debates will begin.
So what exactly is "Second Reading"?
A Minister, probably in this case the Honourable Minister Qualtrough, moves a motion to give the bill second reading, and to send it to a committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) so that it can be studied in more detail. This motion allows MPs to discuss the principle of the bill (i.e. whether it is a good idea), but not to amend it. At the end of this discussion, MPs vote on the motion. If a majority of MPs votes in favour of the motion, the bill receives second reading and is sent to committee or committees.
What happens at the "Committee Stage"?
A committee of MPs hears from the Minister, experts and individuals (speaking for themselves or an organization) through presentation to the committee about the bill. The presenter also may be asked questions by MPs and will have the opportunity to answer. After the committee members have heard enough presentations, they discuss and vote on each section of the bill. During this time they can amend the bill. At the end of this stage, the committee decides whether to adopt the bill (with or without amendments). The committee reports its decision to the House. If a bill is amended in committee it is reprinted. It is prepared for third reading.
What's the latest with FALA?
On October 1st and 2nd, the FALA Leadership Team is meeting in Ottawa. Together, we will finalize our recommendations for improving Bill C-81. These recommendations are developed based on many different sources, including:
- recommendations that were developed to inform the first draft of the legislation
- FALA's lawyer team's recommendations
- the Leadership Team's recommendations
- and our 50+ partner organizations' recommendation
After this meeting, and once the Leadership Team is in agreement, we will post our recommendation on our website.
We will also meet with Minister Qualtrough to present our recommendations to her. After we will be on Parliament Hill meeting with MPs and senators to talk about our recommendations. We will be especially interested in meeting with those who may be on important committees discussing Bill C-81. Afterwards, the Leadership Team will be attending a reception held by Minister Qualtrough to further discuss the importance of Bill C-81.
What can you do?
If you are not familiar with Bill C-81, take the time to read our plain language version at: https://bit.ly/2MyiYde
Share your ideas about recommendations through our social media: Facebook: @includemeca Twitter: @includemeca
And if you haven't done so already, sign up on our website for our updates to stay informed.