Bill C-71 Senator André Pratte Comments on Timing, Communication — Senator André Pratte, the sponsor of the Canadian government’s Bill C-71 in the upper house of parliament, didn’t exclude passage of the planned law this year, but didn’t indicate any specific timing, he told today in a short Q&A. He also advised sending personal e-mails instead of form letters when contacting senators.

Pratte told the Senate earlier this week that Bill C-71 wouldn’t be amended to include the new gun bans being examined by the government.

What Is Bill C-71

  • The government proposed Bill C-71 to seize more guns from federally licensed hunters and sport shooters after they die. If passed, the law would also make it harder for them to buy, sell, own and transport firearms while they are alive.
  • Go here for more info and to get The Bill C-71 Book as a free PDF. Go here to buy a paperback copy from Amazon. (We get a small commission if you use that link, so please use it.)
  • The Canadian Shooting Sports Association delivered hard copies of The Bill C-71 Book to every senator. Gun stores encouraged their customers to read it.

Who Is André Pratte

Senator Andre Pratte

  • Sponsor of Bill C-71 in the Senate
  • Member of Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
  • Named senator from Quebec by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016
  • Member of the Independent Senators Group
  • Former journalist, editor-in-chief of La Presse 2001-2015

Bill C-71 in the Senate

  • Sept. 25: Introduced
  • Sept. 27: Speech by Pratte for second reading. Take 20 minutes to read the speech and the Q&A.

Next Steps

  • Oct. 04: Government briefing
  • After Oct. 08: “After Thanksgiving break, my office will organize briefings on gun violence, gun control, and the main components of this bill,” Pratte told the Senate in this week’s speech.
  • Review by Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (LCJC)
  • Specific timing isn’t public. Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer suggested Sept. 19 it could be passed this fall.

Q&A With André Pratte

Pratte spoke today by e-mail in response to questions from, which translated his comments. The original French replies are below. (Réponses originales en français ci-dessous.) How do you see the timing, procedures, committees … Is there a chance the Senate review could be completed this year, perhaps even adoption this year and Royal Assent on Dec. 5?

Pratte: The bill is currently in second reading. Once this stage is over, it will be studied in committee, then in third reading. It’s impossible to predict the duration of this work. Everything will depend on the time that senators from different parliamentary groups want to devote to each step. In committee, given the importance of the bill, senators will probably want to hear a good number of witnesses, which will require a certain amount of time.

That said, if everybody collaborates, it is certainly feasible to pass the bill within a reasonable deadline.

Would you have any recommendations or do’s and dont’s for people contacting senators?

Pratte: I notice that on this bill as with others, we receive the same e-mail several times from different people. In my opinion, these form e-mails are not very effective. In my view at least, I far prefer when a citizen writes their own text to express their ideas, rather than circulating a text prepared in advance.

I am very interested in reading what people, for or against the bill, have to say. I try to answer everyone, but the number of emails received sometimes makes this task impossible. Certainly, I read everything carefully.

Bill C-71 Won’t Be Amended to Include New Bans

After his speech this week to the Senate, Pratte answered a question on whether Bill C-71 would be amended to include the new bans being examined by the government. Here is an excerpt:

“The idea is that Bill C-71 is one thing, a significant but modest change in our gun-control regime. The idea of banning handguns or even assault weapons is another possibility that the government is looking at, and the government will take its time before making a decision after consulting Canadians.”

Related Information


Version Originale Que pouvez-vous dire du calendrier, du processus, des comités … Est-il envisageable que le Sénat finisse ses travaux en 2018, ou que la loi soit adoptée en 2018 … voir même Sanction Royale le 5 décembre?

Le projet de loi est présentement en 2e lecture. Une fois cette étape terminée, il sera étudié en comité, puis en 3e lecture. La durée de ces travaux est impossible à prévoir. Tout dépendra du temps que les sénateurs des différents groupes parlementaires veulent consacrer à chaque étape. En comité, compte tenu de I’importance du projet de loi, les sénateurs voudront sans doute entendre bon nombre de témoins, ce qui exigera un certain temps.

Cela dit, avec la collaboration de tous, il est certainement faisable que le projet de loi soit adopté dans des délais raisonnables.

Auriez-vous des conseils pour les citoyens souhaitant s’exprimer aux senateurs?

Je remarque que sur ce projet de loi comme pour d’autres, nous recevons plusieurs fois le même courriel, venant de personnes différentes. À mon avis, ces courriels envoyés à la chaîne sont peu efficace. Pour ma part en tout cas, je préfère de loin qu’un citoyen écrive son propre texte pour exprimer ses idées, plutôt que de faire circuler un texte préparé d’avance.

Je suis très intéressé à lire ce que les gens, pour ou contre le projet de loi, ont à dire. J’essaie de répondre à chacun, mais le nombre de courriels reçus rend parfois cette tâche impossible. Chose certaine, je lis tout attentivement.

© 2018