OTTAWA – “We are a very short few steps away from a dictatorship in this country,” that is the word from Bruce Hyer the MP for Thunder Bay Superior North. “This monster omnibus budget bill is the largest single re-write of Canadian law ever seen. Much of it was completely out of right field; they didn’t mention cutting pensions, gutting environmental protections, or restricting the Auditor-General’s powers at all during last year’s election. Yet the repercussions to workers, to pensions, to the environment, to science –to almost all aspects of Canadian life – will be absolutely huge. And with such little oversight, it calls into question the basic function of Parliament”.
Hyer stated, “Yesterday, I found it hard to be proud of being a Parliamentarian.”
“The government’s controversial 452-page omnibus budget implementation act, Bill C-38, has emerged from a barrage of opposition amendments in the House of Commons without a single change, as Conservatives vote down all 871 improvements”.
“A political party that got only 39% of the vote seems to think they have 100% of the wisdom,” added Hyer after a gruelling 22-hour vote marathon”, continued the MP.
“Last night, Harper’s abuse of power and of our democracy was made abundantly clear. In an abuse of confidence, they threw everything including the kitchen sink into the most bloated budget bill in history. By refusing to split it up, they crippled the due diligence Parliament is tasked to perform. They then severely limited debate on one of the biggest and more impactful bills to ever go through the House of Commons. And in a incredible display of hubris, they rejected every single improvement proposed by Liberals, New Democrats, and Elizabeth May – many of which would have improved the legislation in a very substantial way.
Bill C-38 amends or repeals 70 statutes on the books, including the Species at Risk Act, the Auditor General Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, amongst others. After surviving the Report Stage amendments, the bill heads for a final Third Reading vote in the House of Commons, likely Tuesday evening.