Senate preparing for rare weekend sitting to pass Canada Post back-to-work bill

Federal government tables legislation to end Canada Post strike
WATCH: Employment Minister Patty Hajdu introduced back-to-work legislation to force an end to rotating strikes by Canada Post employees.

Parliamentarians are making arrangements for extended sitting hours to quickly pass legislation to end the rotating Canada Post strikes.

Senate sources confirmed to Global News that the Red Chamber has passed a rare motion to sit on both Saturday and Sunday in order to deal with back-to-work legislation tabled by the Liberals on Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Liberals move to end Canada Post strike, table back-to-work bill

The expectation of those sources is that if the Liberals are able to pass the back-to-work legislation through second reading by Friday night, senators are preparing for a weekend sitting of the Senate’s Committee of the Whole in order to pass the bill by Sunday.

That could potentially see the back-to-work legislation receive royal assent and become law by Monday or Tuesday next week.

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Senate sources also suggested the House of Commons may extend sitting hours on Friday and pass the back-to-work legislation to the Senate by that evening.

Normally, the House of Commons only sits for a half-day on Fridays.

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Postal workers have been on rotating strikes for one month, causing significant backlogs in parcel and letter delivery.

That comes ahead of the busiest shopping weekend of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as the holiday season.

On Thursday, the government began laying the framework for a speedy passage of back-to-work legislation through a motion that would create a much speedier timeline for passage of the bill than would normally be the case.

If no deal is reached between Canada Post and the union representing postal workers by Friday morning, a government source said the motion approving a tighter time frame for the bill would be voted on and a decision made at that time whether to push the back-to-work legislation further.

While that decision has not yet been made, things are expected to happen quickly in such an event.

— With files from Mike Le Couteur.

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