On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (Bill C-6) received third reading in the Senate. It was passed, but with amendments to the text as passed by the House of Commons. This means that Bill C-6 must now return to the House of Commons for consideration of the Senate amendments and a vote on whether (or not) those amendments will be accepted or whether further amendments will be proposed. Ultimately, both the House of Commons and the Senate must agree on the legislative text before Bill C-6 will become law.
The Senate amendments, purportedly received with "outrage" by some regulators, were limited in scope and designed to address some of the issues that had been raised concerning the breadth and constitutionality of the enforcement powers granted under the legislation. Most significantly, the proposed amendments are designed to limit warrantless entry by inspectors, ensure that the focus of inspection activities remains on commercial consumer products (i.e. those that are for sale as opposed to merely present in a consumer's home) and allow for a due diligence defence to a notice of violation (a defence that had explicitly not been available in the prior version of the draft legislation).
The House of Commons, now in recess until January 25, 2010, is expected to consider the amendments upon its return. There is also speculation that the Canadian Parliament may be prorogued early in the new year. If that happens, the legislation would "die" and have to be reintroduced in the House of Commons.