I wish to inform the House of an administrative error that occurred with regard to Bill C-479, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (fairness for victims).
Members may recall that the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security made a series of amendments to the bill, which were presented to the House in the committee's second report on March 5, 2014. The committee also ordered that the bill, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.
On May 7, 2014, the House concurred in the bill as amended at report stage with a further amendment, and later adopted the bill at third reading.
As is the usual practice following passage at third reading, House officials prepared a parchment version of the bill and transmitted this parchment to the Senate. Due to an administrative error, the version of the bill that was transmitted to the other place did not reflect the amendment adopted by the House at report stage, but was instead a reflection of the bill as it had been reported back from committee. Unfortunately, this error was not detected until after both houses had adjourned for the summer.
I wish to reassure the House that this error was strictly administrative in nature and occurred after third reading was given to Bill C-479. The proceedings which took place in this House and the decisions made by the House with respect to Bill C-479 remain entirely valid. The records of the House relating to this bill are clear and complete.
However, the documents relating to Bill C-479 that were sent to the other place were not an accurate reflection of the House’s decisions.
My predecessor, Speaker Milliken, addressed a similar situation in a ruling given on November 22, 2001, and found on page 7455 of Debates. Guided by this precedent, similar steps have been undertaken in this case. First, once this discrepancy was detected, House officials immediately communicated with their counterparts in the Senate to set about resolving it. Next, I have instructed the Acting Clerk and his officials to take the necessary steps to rectify this error and to ensure that the other place has a corrected copy of Bill C-479 which reflects the proceedings which occurred in this House. Thus, a revised version of the bill will be transmitted to the other place through the usual administrative procedures of Parliament. Finally, I have asked that the “as passed at third reading” version of the bill be reprinted.
The Senate will of course make its own determination as to how it proceeds with Bill C-479 in light of this situation.
I wish to reassure members that steps have been taken to ensure that similar errors, rare though they may be, do not reoccur.
I thank hon. members for their attention.
It being 11:05, the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.