MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Questioning the Government on the Senate's Failure to Pass Bill C-290

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my colleague has mentioned a couple of bills that have been in the Senate which were not passed, but they were passed in the House of Commons.

    Bill C-290, a single sports betting bill, was passed in the House of Commons unanimously on Friday. A number of members on the Conservative side chose not to speak on the bill or stand up against it, but when the bill went to the Senate, they tried to undermine it. Now we have a situation where organized crime and offshore betting sources will have support for themselves against the bill that we had to balance the system.

     I would like my hon. member's opinion on the fact that we have a bill that was passed in the House of Commons with no objection because no member stood up and voted against it, but the bill still has not passed the Senate.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question regarding Bill C-290, which is a bill that he actually supported and voted for in the House of Commons.

    The Conservatives supported Bill C-290, but it has been stalled in the Senate for more than a year and a half. The democratic will of the House of Commons passed this bill with no dissension. No Conservative spoke or voted against the bill. However, it was moved to the Senate and it has not gone forward in a year plus.

    The bill was in regard to the nefarious operations of organized crime overseas and would have ensured that we had legalized single-sport betting under the rule of government.

    Where does the member stand on that with regard to the Senate that has not passed this bill in one and a half years?

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would thank the member for the Wellington—Halton Hills who decided not to speak on Bill C-290 and did not want to vote on it. The bill was actually passed on a voice note in the House of Commons because there were not five Conservatives who wanted to stand in this place to force a vote. The vote never took place, because five Conservatives did not want to be here.

    I would like to ask my hon. colleague about that. Now that the bill is in the Senate, because it was unanimously sent from the House to the Senate, and now it languishes there. The bill would fight against organized crime and offshore betting establishments and would provide a revenue stream and jobs for provinces. It would help places like Windsor, Fort Eerie, Niagara Falls and Nova Scotia.

    Why should he support the Senate when a bill from the democratically elected people, who actually chose this bill--

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member voted in favour of Bill C-290, the sports betting bill, which has been languishing in the Senate for more than one and a half years.

    Why has the bill not been passed by the Senate when the House of Commons passed it unanimously with no dissent, no objections, and no speaking from the opposition? Why has the bill not been passed?

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question with regard to Bill C-290, the single (sports betting) bill that has been passed in the House of Commons without objection and without speeches against it to the Senate. It has been languishing there for a year.

    In Toronto, at this past Super Bowl, there was a bust on illegal gang betting for $2 million. What does the hon. member think about this bill because it works against organized crime and it works against some of the offshore betting that is taking place. It makes sure that those funds go back to the public institutions that we support.