Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration
Senate relocation update: Internal Economy Committee recommends a February 2019 return to Senate sittings
December 13, 2018
Ottawa – The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA) has recommended that the Senate resume sitting on Feb. 19, 2019 at its interim location at the Senate of Canada Building, while the Centre Block undergoes extensive renovations.
A motion to authorize the February start date is still awaiting approval in the Senate, which is expected to occur before the Senate rises in December. Senate committees may nonetheless resume their meetings as soon as Jan. 28, 2019.
During testing of the interim Senate Chamber, it became apparent that disruptive noise levels caused by a design deficiency inside the Chamber, which resulted in a ceiling gap, would have a significant impact on the operations of the Chamber and would have to be addressed prior to the Senate’s return. Measures are being taken to have it sealed.
Given that additional time is required for the construction and to perform further testing in the Senate Chamber, the committee recommended that the Senate resume sitting later than originally planned. Supplementary sittings are expected to be added to ensure this has no impact on legislative operations.
The committee also recommended that video broadcasting of the Chamber go live no later than March 1, 2019, to allow for testing and rehearsal after the noise levels have been addressed. Senate audio broadcasts will remain available as usual at senparlvu.parl.gc.ca.
The relocation of the Senate Chamber, the Speaker, the Senate Leadership and Senate Administration offices from the Centre Block to the Senate of Canada Building will proceed, as planned, over the holiday adjournment.
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Senate of Canada
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