With Bill 16 moving through committee hearings the pressure and anticipation are mounting.
Here in Ontario, for those who may not understand the sequence of events, for a bill to become law it must pass 3rd reading. Bill 16 a tri party private members bill to repeal the breed ban, introduced by PC MPP Randy Hillier and supported by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and Liberal MPP Kim Craitor passed second reading with a vote 51 to 26 on February 23. We had 3 Liberal MPP's vote in favour of bill 16! That is quite ground breaking considering it was the Liberals that added the breed ban as an amendment to the Dog Owners Liability Act in the first place.
The bill was then sent to public committee hearings which began Wednesday April 18th. There is another date next week Wednesday April 25th for the last day of hearings.
To read through the Hansard for April 18th click on this link.
Or you may view and hear the audio of the morning's speakers.
Once committee hearings are finished the committee will deliberate then the bill will be ready to be brought up for third reading.
There are a couple possible roadblocks between now and 3rd reading.
- The budget needs to be passed on Tuesday April 24th. If the budget does not pass the government will fall and an election will be called. Because it is a minority government, the Liberals need 2 members of the opposition to vote in favour of the budget in order for it to pass. The PC's came out of the starting gate opposing the budget so it is unlikely there will be any support from the PC members. That leaves things squarely in the lap of the NDP which the leader Andrea Horwath was so far backed off on the demand to remove the HST off heating bills but is still adamant that people earning over $500,000/yr have a tax increase.
- McGuinty has the power to veto any private members bill. Dwight Duncan is the House Leader therefore it is up to him to call the bill to the floor for third. Polite phone calls to MPP's, Duncan's office and McGuinty's constituency office would be a good idea to add some pressure for the Liberals to call Bill 16 to the floor for third once committee hearings are finished.
With any luck, things will progress and hopefully this could be wrapped up by the end of this session.
Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned for next week's round of committee hearings. For more information on the hearings click on this link.