Yes! We! Almost! Sort of! Are! - Macleans.ca

Yes! We! Almost! Sort of! Are!

by

Glen Pearson, bless his heart, foresees a new post-partisan era dawning in Ottawa.

It’s early yet, but already there are brilliant glimmers of hope on the horizon. Take, for instance, this evening’s work to end the capital’s transit strike, as breathtakingly detailed in this dispatch from the Citizen.

“I’m prepared to act at this time, I’m prepared to introduce back-to-work legislation. However, I do need the support of the opposition. So I have approached the Liberal party and asked them for that support,” Ambrose told reporters after acknowledging the two sides are at an impasse.

Any back-to-work legislation would require the unanimous consent of all four parties to pass quickly. But Ottawa-Vanier Liberal MP Mauril Belanger declined to say Wednesday if his party would support such legislation. He said the Conservative government announced its decision without consulting the opposition parties and warned that if the government decides to go it alone, it would get nowhere.

“I asked the Speaker for an emergency debate on the strike and once the Speaker said ‘yes,’ the government then decided to act,” Belanger said. “If they want to have any legislation to have a hope of being passed quickly, they have to talk to the opposition. If they don’t talk to us, they don’t have a hope of any legislation being passed.”

Belanger said the only inkling MPs had of what the government was up to was when Ambrose walked across the aisle in the House on Wednesday, and asked the Liberal labour critic Maria Minna if the party would support back-to-work legislation.

Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar was also non-committal, saying he will not comment on legislation he hasn’t been consulted on.

Change continues to stumble in the general direction of Canada.