Update: Bill C-45 lives for another day with a 44-29 victory, according to Global News

Today, the Cannabis Act faces a crucial vote in the Senate, and it could come down to the wire.

The Upper House currently has 93 seats filled, and with only 33 Conservative senators, you’d think that getting the bill through the second reading would be a walk in the park for the Liberals, right?

Not so fast!

The Liberals and Independents together have 54 seats, but due to reasons such as illness and the fact that two Senate committees aren’t in Ottawa at the moment, up to 20 senators might be absent for this vote. If none of those senators are able to make it back to Ottawa in time, that would leave the Liberals and Independents with a razor-thin margin of only 34 seats compared to the Conservatives’ 33.

There’s also no guarantee that the Senate’s 11 Liberals and 43 Independents will all vote yes, while the Conservative senators do tend to vote as one.

That’s why liaisons for the Liberals and Independents have been on a calling spree for the last few days to try and get more senators out for the vote.

“As soon as we heard that there was a possibility of a blocked vote on the part of the Conservatives and that there was the possibility that they, the Conservatives, might run the risk of defeating a bill at second reading — which would be extraordinary — we wanted to communicate that with our members so they could make their own decision about coming back and be part of this historic decision.”, said Sen. Yuen Pau Woo, the leader of the Independent Senators Group, according to CBC.

If the bill gets voted down today, that could delay legalization indefinitely, and some could not be happier with that prospect, as Conservative Sen. Betty Unger told CBC, “I believe that, at a minimum, an intensive four-year education blitz should begin now before any government contemplates legislation”.

With the next federal election set for October 2019, it makes sense that the Conservatives would want to force Trudeau to break one of his biggest campaign promises while scoring some major political points with their supporters that would also foster disillusionment among those who supported legalization and voted Trudeau in.

Conservative says 5 grams is about 4 tokes in Senate debate

In lighter news, check out Conservative Sen. Nicole Eaton during the Senate debate yesterday, as reported by Lift News.

Featured image courtesy of The Canada Guide.

Sources

CBC: Government scrambles to bring senators back to Ottawa to avoid pot bill defeat.

CBC: Government’s cannabis bill faces live-or-die vote in Senate today.