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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NDP threaten 30 hours of votes on budget bill


The NDP say they will move to delete 200 provisions in the bill to implement the budget, forcing hours of votes in the House of Commons, in an attempt to force the government to break up the massive bill into smaller pieces.
NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen says the party can move to amend the bill when it returns to the House from the finance committee. He says Green Party Leader Elizabeth May could have up to 200 changes to propose, which together would mean 30 hours of voting.
Cullen says the Conservatives have to be careful because they don't have many more MPs than the opposition parties combined.
"We believe these measures to be confidence. If the votes go on for hours and hours, perhaps days, the government has to get every single vote right. They can't screw one up. They can't have members falling asleep, going home and not coming back for votes, missing votes," he said.
"This is why this whole process is wrong. This is why these bills should have been standalone items. Because if a change to the Employment Insurance Act failed, the government obviously doesn't fail. If a Fisheries Act change fails, the government doesn't fail. But making it all into a budget implementation act, the government's put themselves at risk and painted themselves into a corner."
Votes on budget issues are considered confidence matters, which could bring down the government and force an election.
The budget implementation bill is more than 400 pages and it seeks to repeal several laws, amend dozens of them and implement a new environmental assessment regime.

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