Bloated budget bill isn’t in the public’s interest

When in opposition, Stephen Harper voiced objections to omnibus legislation

Between 1994 and 2005, budget acts averaged 74 pages. Since the Conservatives came to power, the acts have averaged 309 pages. Omnibus bills. This is OK if the changes are interrelated, which is not the case with Bill C-38.

What’s wrong with Bill C-38? This was explained very eloquently by none other than Stephen Harper in 1994, and I quote: “First, there is a lack of relevancy of these issues. The omnibus bills we have before us attempt to amend several different existing laws. Second, in the interest of democracy I ask: How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and such concerns? We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse? Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components of the bill.”

Well said, Mr. Harper. Truly a democratic process which would allow for proper scrutiny and debate.

What changed? It appears that Mr. Harper, when seeking support, can sure “talk the talk”, but once that support is gained (with an omnipotent majority) he doesn’t “walk the walk”. In light of Mr. Harper’s foregoing 1994 opinion, one must ask oneself: Was he deceiving us then, or is he deceiving us now? Your call. But you can’t have it both ways.

How does one trust such a party? A party which absorbed a huge ($52 billion) surplus from EI funds and is sure to absorb any future CPP surplus — all at the expense of the middle class and working poor.

Patrick MacDonald

 

Penticton