Local Liberal, Green Party and NDP officials have joined forces to call on Conservative MP Larry Miller to speak out against his own government’s omnibus budget implementation bill.
Kimberley Love of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound federal Liberal association, Scott Maxted of the local Greens and Karen Gventer of the local NDP have co-authored a letter to Miller that refers to the 400-page Bill C-45 as an “abuse of power” and a tactic to prevent “the democratic scrutiny” of multiple changes to non-budgetary rules and regulations.
“This is a way of pressing through with a single bill, a whole bunch of things that really have nothing to do with the budget. I think that in principle is wrong,” Love said in an interview.
“I think that you are steamrolling democracy when you conduct yourself in this way.”
Bill C-45 has already cleared third reading and is en route to the Senate. Opposition parties tried to make amendments to the bill, but none were successful.
Miller said Wednesday the bill implements provisions set out in the federal government’s March 29 budget.
Changes in the bill, which he said are each related to the economy, were promised by the Conservative party at election time, he said.
“This is about them disagreeing with what we said we were going to do. And that’s OK, I respect that. They don’t like it. When we were in opposition, governments were able to do things that we didn’t like too. But they got elected to do it and the people will be the judge in three years,” Miller said.
In the one-page letter to Miller, the local politicians say Bill C-45 furthers the “negative impacts” of omnibus budget Bill C-38 by “deregulating key environmental laws.”
But most of the criticism in the letter is aimed at the government’s “omnibus-bill strategy” — the use of a single bill to make multiple changes to federal legislation.
“By incorporating so many changes into a single bill, the government makes it impossible for Parliament to effectively examine and review the proposed legislation. That, of course, is the intent,” the letter says.
Originally posted Thursday, December 13, 2012