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Royal Assent


Definition: In Canada, Royal Assent is the symbolic final stage of the legislative process by which a bill becomes law.

In the Royal Assent ceremony, a representative of the sovereign, either the Governor General of Canada or a Supreme Court justice, enters the Senate chamber, where the senators are in their seats. The Usher of the Black Rod summons members of the House of Commons to the Senate chamber, and members of both houses of parliament witness that Canadians wish the bill to become law.

A bill comes into effect on the day of Royal Assent unless another date is specified in the legislation. The bill itself is sent to Government House to be signed. Once signed, the original bill is returned to the Senate where it is put in the archives.

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