All you need to know about the bloated omnibus budget bill
All you need to know about the bloated omnibus budget bill This article is more than 8 years old

All you need to know about the bloated omnibus budget bill

The massive budget implementation bill is a step closer to becoming law. The latest move to ram through C-4? Cutting off debate on the floor of the House of Commons this week to get to a final vote on Friday.   Key numbers about the bloated bill Laws to be amended: 50 Pages in the […]

The massive budget implementation bill is a step closer to becoming law.

The latest move to ram through C-4? Cutting off debate on the floor of the House of Commons this week to get to a final vote on Friday.

 

Key numbers about the bloated bill

  • Laws to be amended: 50
  • Pages in the bill: 322
  • Days permitted by the Conservatives for Second Reading debate in the House of Commons: 5
  • Hours of debate at the House of Commons Finance Committee: 10.5
  • Number of amendments after the bill was studied at Finance Committee, where Conservative MPs hold a majority of seats: 0

 

Three examples of measures in the legislation that have nothing to do with budget implementation

  1. An amendment to the Supreme Court Act to clarify appointment rules for judges from Quebec.
  2. Sixty amendments to the Canada Labour Code, including a watered down definition of danger to make it harder for workers to refuse dangerous work, and new rules to appeal the definition.
  3. Twenty-three amendments to the Public Service Labour Relations Act, including deleting the existing definition of “essential” and replace it with one described as anything that the government in its “exclusive right” determines is or will be necessary for the safety or security of the public.

 

The bottom line: in the PM’s own words

I would argue that the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles…. First, there is a lack of relevancy of these issues. The omnibus bills we have before us attempt to amend several different existing laws. Second, in the interest of democracy I ask: How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

That’s Stephen Harper in 1994, speaking on a point of order in the House of Commons. Harper, a Reform MP at the time, was objecting the Liberal government’s omnibus budget implementation bill. It was 21 pages. Non-budgetary measures included: public sector compensation freezes; a freeze in Canada assistance plan payments and Public Utilities Income Tax Transfer Act transfers; an extension of transportation subsidies; an authorization for the CBC to borrow money; and changes to unemployment insurance.

Photo: sbc9. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

westjet

Top Doug Ford Adviser Sent Premier’s Office Backchannel Message About Meeting With Russian Government

Related Stories

WestJet asked non-union staff to provide scab labour in case of Calgary, Vancouver strike

View the post
News

This Right-Wing Québec Media Website Has Mysterious Ties With Alberta’s Oil Lobby

View the post
video

‘It Feels So Good’: Conservative MP Arnold Viersen Celebrates Overturning of Roe v. Wade

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.