Daily briefing (February 2017)

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, February 21st

[Updated Sunday, February 19th, 8:00am]

The House will reconvene at 12:01am on Tuesday.

After the daily routine, including Question Period, the House will begin the fifth and final stage of the law-making process for Bill 75. The fifth stage is called third reading.

Third reading is for final speeches. No amendments are made at third reading, except by unanimous consent. If the government wants to propose an amendment, it would refer Bill 75 back to Committee of the Whole House. The bill would be amended in CWH and then sent back for third reading. In all my years around Province House, I vaguely remember that happening only once, and it was a long time ago.

As in second reading, each member of the House may speak for up to one hour on third reading. Normally, there is one short speech by a representative of each caucus. Third reading is normally very quick.

Third reading of Bill 75 may be slower than usual, although there’s no particular point for the opposition to delay proceedings unduly. It’s possible that the opposition will put up a number of speakers. It wouldn’t surprise me if third reading wrapped up by mid-morning on Tuesday.

After Bill 75 receives approval on third reading, it will go immediately to the lieutenant governor for Royal Assent. At the moment it receives Royal Assent, Bill 75 becomes the law of Nova Scotia.

About this Guide

You can browse this Citizens’ Guide from top to bottom simply by scrolling down. If you’re looking for something specific, I recommend using the Search function. If you’re looking for something more general, the Categories list is likely the best starting point. You might find the Advice for Citizens category especially useful, because it includes tips on communicating with your MLAmaking a presentation to the Law Amendments Committee, and having an impact on the annual budget. The posts on the law-making process and the budget-making process are also good starting points. They will lead you deeper into this Citizens’ Guide via the links. There’s also a post on all the vocabulary, because the legislature uses a lot of jargon, acronyms and slang.

I’m going to keep building this Citizens’ Guide in response to events and your questions. If you send me your questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. Factual questions only, please. I won’t answer questions that are partisan, or that are about specific individuals, or that require speculation or opinion. To keep this Citizens’ Guide manageable, I’ll answer questions only about how the legislature works, and not about politics or government in general.

Every question about the legislature is a good question. If you’ve been wondering something about the legislature, then chances are that lots of other people are wondering the same thing.

Author: Graham Steele

A former MLA in Nova Scotia, currently Professor of Business Law in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University