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Reform Act, 2014 Passes Senate, 38-14

Reform Act, 2014 will come into force seven days after the next general election

OTTAWA – Earlier tonight, the Senate of Canada passed the Reform Act, 2014 38 to 14. The Reform Act will come into force seven days after the next general election.

“The passage of the Reform Act is a victory for democracy. Canadians spoke up by the tens of thousands and MPs responded by voting for the bill. The Reform Act demonstrates that Parliament is capable of reform and renewal,” Chong said.

The Reform Act was first introduced in December 2013 and was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Commons, 260 to 17, on February 25th, 2015.

The Reform Act makes amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act and the Canada Elections Act. The Reform Act will remove the statutory requirement, in place since 1970, which mandates that leaders approve party candidates. It will allow MPs to decide whether the leader or caucus can expel MPs from caucus and how the caucus chair is selected. It will allow MPs to choose an interim leader, in the event of the leader’s sudden resignation, incapacity or death. Finally, it will allow MPs to formalize the rules to review and remove party leaders, creating a more orderly process than the chaos that can ensue when a caucus loses confidence in its leader.

“The Reform Act addresses a long-standing problem in Ottawa: the concentration of power in party leaders, including the Prime Minister. It will give individual Members of Parliament more power to represent their constituents and Canadians,” Chong said.

“I would like to thank my colleagues in the House of Commons and in the Senate who supported this bill. In particular, I would like to thank MP James Rajotte, who seconded the bill in the Commons, and Senator Scott Tannas, who sponsored the bill in the Senate,” Chong said. “Most of all, I would like to thank the tens of thousands of Canadians who contacted their local MP and Senators to voice their support for these reforms. Without their support, this bill would never have become law.”

The Reform Act is set to receive Royal Assent in the coming days.

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