OTTAWA - After weeks of preparation, Saanich-Gulf Islands Member of Parliament Elizabeth May today reported that more than 300 of the amendments the Green Party’s parliamentary office submitted Friday have been ruled in order. Unless the Speaker rules C-38 out of order, these will now be voted on this week in the House.
“Our amendments are a direct result of the historic unfairness and fraudulence of the 420-page omnibus budget bill. Parliament has a duty to review and amend a bill which changes, repeals, and overhauls 70 different laws, going far beyond the original 2012 budget,” said May. May is still waiting for the Speaker to rule on her Point of Order relating to the illegitimacy of the bill.
“Our goal is to lessen the damage the Harper Conservatives are determined to inflict on everything from the environment to our pensions. We propose very valid and necessary amendments to Bill C-38 which reflect most Canadians’ concerns.”
The 320 amendments include changes to the new Canadian Environment Assessment Act; undoing damage to habitat protection provisions in the Fisheries Act, and removing certain clauses in the National Energy Board Act.
Other amendments deal with charity laws, oversight of CSIS, and allowing US law enforcement officers onto Canadian territory to make arrests.
May noted that the coming week would be of historic significance which could likely be marked by hours, perhaps days, of voting now that the Harper Conservatives have refused to negotiate with the Opposition.
“The Harper Conservatives have no mandate for their anti-nature, anti-social programmes, anti-sovereignty agenda. The Opposition is simply trying to uphold the values of Canadians, as evidenced by the overwhelming outcry from citizens,” said May
As well as the 320 substantive amendments, the Green Party has submitted 28 deletion amendments, which overlap with other Opposition submissions and will probably be grouped together for voting purposes. Currently, there are a total of 871 amendments on the order paper for Report Stage of Bill C-38.
“The extent of the amendments to this ‘ominous’ budget bill reveal the concern of Parliament with Harper’s ruthless and undemocratic tactics. He rolled the dice that democracy could be ignored. He was wrong.”