C-38: Protest and procedure

by Aaron Wherry

More news of weekend protests in Truro, Oakville, St. John’s, Nanaimo, Owen Sound, Swift Current, Kenora, Ladner,  Coquitlam and Cobourg. The United Steelworkers, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and the legal director of the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic register their concerns. And Conservative MP Dan Albas tries to explain C-38 to his constituents.

Meanwhile, the Liberals say they have now tabled 503 clause deletions in the House.

The Liberal Party was the first to submit its amendments to Bill C-38 this morning, tabling the required documentation to delete 503 clauses. This means Liberal amendments will be considered first in the House of Commons, and supersede similar amendments from other parties.

“This government’s ‘kitchen sink’ budget bill goes too far on everything from changes to EI and OAS and makes sweeping, transformative changes to environmental regulations in this country,” said Liberal House Leader Marc Garneau. “As Parliamentarians we cannot sit idly by while the Conservatives try to run roughshod over due process. Unless the government has a change of heart and agrees to make changes, including removing environmental measures from the budget bill, these deletion amendments, combined with amendments from independent members and other parties, have the potential to delay the House of Commons for a very long time, perhaps days. The ball is in the government’s court. If they want to avoid a standoff, they must put water in their wine.”

Mr. Garneau also saluted the dedication of Liberal interns who showed True Grit in ensuring our amendments were tabled before those of other parties.

Those 503 clause deletions do not necessarily require 503 votes. The Speaker could bundle some of them together.

For all of our continuing coverage of C-38, click here.




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