Government pushes to fast-track controversial omnibus bill through House

OTTAWA – The Conservative government is taking steps to fast-track its controversial omnibus budget bill.

The House of Commons has passed a motion to impose time allocation on Bill C-45, essentially limiting how long it can be debated by MPs.

It’s the second omnibus bill the Conservatives have introduced to implement last March’s budget.

The first mammoth bill last spring triggered an opposition filibuster that brought Parliament to a virtual standstill for several days.

The Conservatives have already agreed to an opposition proposal to let nine House of Commons committees examine different aspects of the 400-plus-page bill, which changes some 60 pieces of legislation.

New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair had pushed the government to go much further, seeking to split the behemoth bill into 12 separate legislative chunks.