NEWS

Michael Chong's Reform Act to live or die at the hands of the Senate

06/22/2015 05:10 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
Conservative MP Michael Chong is calling on senators to vote against an amendment that would kill his Reform Act, a private member's bill that would shift some power away from party leaders toward members of Parliament and their party caucuses.

Senators will vote on the Reform Act and at least two other bills Monday starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Two Conservative senators, David Wells backed by Denise Batters, introduced an amendment shortly after the House of Commons adjourned last Friday. 

With the Commons adjourned for the summer, a vote in favour of the amendment would kill the Reform Act.

So, too, would the failure to pass the bill before the Senate adjourns for the summer.

In a telephone interview with CBC News, Chong said that killing the bill in the Senate would send "a very troubling message" ahead of the next federal election.

"It would tell people, that no matter who they vote for, their vote doesn't count."

"I think that would be an outrage," he said.

One of the key parts of the bill would give MPs in a party caucus the power to trigger a leadership review and to subsequently vote to oust their leader.

In a sharply worded speech, Wells pointed out that Chong had unsuccessfully tried to get rank and file Conservative party members to support his ideas at policy conventions.

"Mr. Chong's workaround was to bring it to Parliament as a private member's bill, divide the caucus … and then bully the Senate into bending to his wishes," Wells said.

But Chong argues that an unelected Senate has no right to block a bill that was passed with the support of all parties in the House of Commons.

Chong called on all senators not only to defeat the amendment, but to also call a vote on the bill before the Senate adjourns for the summer.

"It should be put to a vote right after the amendment," Chong said.

MORE:cbcNews