Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday June 6, 2012
Opposition to stall budget bill
The federal NDP is warning it’s prepared to force potentially hundreds of confidence votes – taking dozens of hours – on amendments to the Conservatives’ sweeping budget bill that will keep the Tories on their toes in the House of Commons.
The NDP, Liberals and Green party leader Elizabeth May are informally teaming up to delay passage of bill C-38 and highlight to Canadians what they say is undemocratic tactics by the government to stuff so many “reckless changes” into one piece of legislation that will overhaul environmental protection and the country’s social programs.
While the government views the opposition’s tactics as procedural stunts, the proposed reforms in the 425-page budget implementation bill would have profound impacts on Canadians of all ages for decades to come. Bill C-38 proposes major reforms to Canadian environmental and fisheries laws, natural resource project approvals, employment insurance benefits, Old Age Security eligibility and food safety, among the hundreds of measures included in the legislation.
To combat the looming changes, opposition parties have been introducing dozens of substantial amendments at the Tory-dominated House of Commons finance committee, which is reviewing the bill, and a subcommittee that already examined the proposed reforms to environmental protection and resource development.
The finance committee is expected to send the legislation back to the Commons as early as today, where the Green party leader (who doesn’t have a seat on the committee) plans on introducing somewhere between 100 and 200 major amendments of her own. (Source: Saskatoon Star Phoenix)