October 18, 2012
OMNIBUS BUDGET BILL II, THE SEQUEL:
CONSERVATIVES HAVEN’T LEARNED
Another 400 plus page Omnibus bill undermines parliamentary democracy
LONDON – “My job as a Member of Parliament is to thoroughly study legislation, consider the impact and consequences of that legislation, engage in debate and discussion with my constituents and fellow MPs, and then vote based on what is best for our community and country,” says Irene Mathyssen (MP, London-Fanshawe). “By presenting omnibus budget bills, Conservatives are preventing Parliament and MPs from doing their job. The Government is preventing MPs from making informed, responsible votes”.
In the spring, Conservatives attacked Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and health care transfers hurting those Canadians who can least afford it, while continuing with billions in corporate tax welfare and making it easier for polluters to destroy our environment.
Today’s Bill further weakens environmental protection by removing pipeline projects from the Navigable Waters Protection Act. It places even more power into the hands of the minister –all without consultation. They are also hurting research and development funding as well as continuing to attack the retirement security of Canadians, by making the Public Service pension plans their latest target.
“Conservatives are proving, once again, that they do not listen to Canadians. They are ignoring Canadians outrage over last spring’s Budget Implementation Act, the same way they ignored the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Chief Actuary’s fact based reports which showed OAS benefits are sustainable in the long term without any change in eligibility,” says Mathyssen. “Yet again, Conservatives are showing Canadians where their priorities lie, with corporate interests and not the working families struggling to make ends meet”.
The New Democrats believe that a bill like this, with so many changes to different acts, should have been presented in separate bills so that not only MPs, but the Canadian people, could have a clear understanding of the changes being proposed and express support or opposition to the changes issue by issue.
“By tabling another 400+ page bill, Conservatives are trying to keep Canadians in the dark. New Democrats will be studying this bill very carefully to ensure that every aspect of this bill is brought to light,” says Mathyssen.