Amalgamation Bill Passes the Senate

Senator Bernadette Clement
Amalgamation Bill Passes the Senate
Bernadette Clement.

A bill to amalgamate the Archdiocese of Ottawa with the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall has passed in the Senate and is now headed to the House of Commons.

Bill S-1001, sponsored by former Cornwall mayor, Senator Bernadette Clement, passed third reading in the Senate on February 6.

“I’m pleased to see this bill, which is so important to Catholics in Eastern Ontario, move ahead,” said Senator Clement. “I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Senate.”

The Catholic Church began the merger several years ago, with the Pope announcing a canonical amalgamation in 2020 after community consultations. A civil merger in Parliament is the final step of the process.

“Private bills are rather rare and unique. They don’t set public policy, but deal with a specific individual or corporation,” explained Senator Clement. “In this case, we’re bringing together a provincially incorporated entity, the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, with a federally incorporated entity, the Archdiocese of Ottawa.”

The Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy studied Bill S-1001 in November 2023 and passed minor amendments to correct wording in the bill.

In her third reading speech on December 12, the senator spoke about her personal connections to the project.

“I’m a parishioner of this archdiocese, and I’m a member of this community. I’ve been tasked with helping these corporations complete the process they started many years ago,” said Clement.

The House of Commons will now continue the study of Bill S-1001, where Vaughan-Woodbridge MP Francesco Sorbara is the sponsor.

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