“Everything’s ready to rock and roll” - Macleans.ca

“Everything’s ready to rock and roll”

Conservative campaign director threatens election over budget bill


Prominent Conservative Senator Doug Finley is warning his Liberal counterparts they could spark an election by failing to pass the Conservative government’s budget bill as-is. Opposition member on the upper chamber’s finance committee stripped four key provisions from the budget bill on Thursday, namely those to allow for the privatization of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., to end Canada Post’s monopoly on international mail, to diminish the scope of federal environmental assessments, as well as retroactive changes to some excise taxes. The Conservatives’ campaign director says the Liberals could find themselves on the hustings if the Senate doesn’t reverse the changes.”We’re ready to go to an election if we have to. The buses, the planes, the trains, the money, the boardroom — everything’s ready to rock and roll,” said Finley. “We’re in good shape for an election.”

Winnipeg Free Press

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“Everything’s ready to rock and roll”

  1. Omnibus bills are a repulsive affront to a democracy. I've always hated them, but it's even harder to stomach from a minority government.

    Oh well, if the Liberals and/or NDP can't make hay out of an election called on this flimsy basis, I guess the nation deserves another round of this crap. (I know it's likely just posturing, but on the other hand Harper's been fairly consistent at signalling his moves in advance.)

  2. "Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to make a procedural argument concerning the omnibus nature of this piece of legislation.

    This is a new Parliament which I think has been working reasonably well in spite of our recent difficulties. I really would like to call the attention of the Chair to the nature of this particular bill and to urge the Chair to re-examine a practice we have fallen into.

    The particular bill before us, Bill C-17, is of an omnibus nature. I put it to you, Mr. Speaker, that you should rule it out of order and it should not be considered by the House in the form in which it has been presented. I would hope that in making your decision on the acceptability of Bill C-17 in its present form you will refer to the famous ruling by Mr. Lamoureux of January 26, 1971 in which he said:

    However, where do we stop? Where is the point of no return? The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, and I believe the hon. member for Edmonton West, said that we might reach a point where we would have only one bill, a bill at the start of the session for the improvement of the quality of the life in Canada which would include every single proposed piece of legislation for the session. That would be an omnibus bill with a capital O and a capital B. But would it be acceptable legislation? There must be a point where we can go beyond what is acceptable from a strictly parliamentary standpoint.

    " — Mr. Stephen Harper, Calgary West, Friday, March 25, 1994

    Well.. we haven't quite reached that standard yet.. there were.. what.. 3 bills proposed this session yes? Not just the one?

    • Nice find!

    • Bookmarked.

  3. There's three things that bother me here (at least off the top of my head.) The first is the American-style omnibusing. What's next, pork & earmarks? No amount of molasses sweetening will make this Canadian.

    Secondly, political posturing in the Senate? We don't elect you guys, so don't go scaring us with an election. What are you, an extension of the PMO?

    Thirdly, are you really supposed to Rock'n'Roll in the House of Sober Second Thought?

    • I think he was wearing his campaign director hat for the High Noon posturing.

  4. The proper reply by the remaining Senators to Sen. Finley should be, "We are the Senate. We don't care about your electoral concerns, which are outside our purview of concerns. Indeed, it would be improper for that to be a primary consideration, but in any case, it doesn't effect us in the least."

    To be fair to Sen. Finley, he's new. He'll get it eventually.

  5. Election shmelection. Bring it on! And once we have yet another Harper minority we can sit back and watch the intrigue as the Tory caucus starts jostling to oust him.

  6. They're threatening to call an election? Really?? Let the games begin!

    Iggy, time to take off the training wheels…you've been making the opposition look like Lance Armstrong.

  7. The place to skim off non-budget stuff (and it looks like three of the four items above would qualify as non-budget stuff) was in the House of Commons. The House passed it. If it doesn't trample over the interests of one region of the country, if it is not so poorly drafted that it cannot be implemented as intended, if it is not obviously unconstitutional: I submit it is not for the Senate to start flexing its muscle.

    • Or in other words "No sober second thought! Just act like copy-editors, wouldja?"

      • Not quite. The Senate's discretionary powers are to be used very sparingly. The above situation hardly qualifies.

        And I say this as a total non-fan of omnibus legislation, or of sneaking one or two unrelated pieces of junk into something else. But that's what the House of Commons is for. ESPECIALLY a minority government House of Commons.

  8. Has anybody pointed out that an election in the House of Commons won't change the composition of the senate?