OTTAWA– The Conservatives are again silencing debate on their massive omnibus budget bill, this time by changing committee rules to prevent opposition amendments from being considered, said Liberal Finance and National Revenue critic Scott Brison today.
“The Conservatives continue to abuse Parliament by putting forward omnibus budget bills, and then severely limiting debate,” said Mr. Brison. “Now, with the help of the NDP, they have gone even further by changing the rules after the process has started.”
Last night, Conservative MPs on the Finance Committee voted to shut down debate on their omnibus budget bill. Despite pushing through a time allocation motion at committee to deal with Bill C-45, the Conservatives decided to ignore the rules they had established for its clause-by-clause consideration. They challenged and overturned Committee Chair James Rajotte’s interpretation of the rules in order to prevent opposition parties from moving any amendments.
“With the support of the NDP, the Conservatives threw their own Chair under the bus by voting non-confidence in his ruling. We now have a situation where the agreed-upon rules have been tossed, and the committee will not be permitted to consider most of the amendments that the opposition has proposed,” said Mr. Brison. “While the NDP has consistently supported the Conservatives’ move to limit debate on their omnibus budget bill in committee, Liberals remain the only party fighting against this government’s attempt to steamroll democracy and ram through wrong-headed legislation.”