Governor General Julie Payette grants royal assent to 21 bills during a ceremony in the Senate chamber. The government’s two contentious environmental bills, C-69 and C-48, are among the pieces of legislation that will come into law. Bill C-69 overhauls the environmental assessment process for major resource projects including pipelines. Bill C-48 prohibits large oil tanker traffic off British Columbia’s north coast. Critics warn that the two bills will harm Canada’s oil and gas industry.
Other bills receiving royal assent include C-71, the firearms reform legislation; C-101, which implements safeguards to protect the Canadian market against a potential increase of foreign steel dumping; S-203, the so-called “Free Willy” bill to end the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada; C-59, which modernizes security and intelligence laws; C-91, an Act to support and promote Indigenous languages; C-92, which addresses the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care; C-77, which will create a victims’ bill of rights in the military justice system; and C-93, which allows individuals previously convicted of simple cannabis possession to apply for a no-fee pardon without a wait period.
This is the first royal assent ceremony to take place in the Senate of Canada Building since the temporary closing of Centre Block.