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NEWS: Final vote on C-38 expected on June 18

Postmedia reports, “The federal Conservatives have set a time limit for debate on their wide-ranging budget implementation bill – the record-setting 26th time it has capped debate, according to the opposition. The Harper government voted Tuesday to limit debate on Bill C-38 to 10 hours at report stage – before MPs begin to vote on opposition amendments for what could be 24 hours straight – and an additional eight hours before third reading and the final vote on the budget implementation legislation. …The 10 hours of debate at report stage, before MPs proceed to the votes, began Tuesday afternoon and is expected to finish Wednesday. The series of consecutive votes on amendments is expected to begin late Wednesday afternoon or early evening, following the debate, and continue straight through to late Thursday. The maximum eight hours of debate before third reading is expected to begin Monday at noon, with the final vote on the bill possibly taking place late that evening or Tuesday morning.”

The Council of Canadians opposes C-38 because, as noted in the Toronto Star, it:

  • empowers the federal cabinet to give the go-ahead to pipelines and other major energy projects regardless of the conclusions of regulatory hearings on the feasibility of the projects;
  • shortens timelines for environmental hearings on pipelines and will block participation in the hearings by those not directly affected by the project;
  • permits Ottawa to bow out of the environmental approval process in cases where a provincial government could hold the needed regulatory hearings;
  • alters the process for issuing permits under the Species at Risk Act (allowing the National Energy Board to permit activities that kill or harm endangered species);
  • guts the Fisheries Act … so only major bodies of water used for commercial, recreational or aboriginal fisheries will be protected;
  • scraps the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, putting an official end to Canada’s commitment to the international agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions;
  • changes Employment Insurance benefits;
  • cracks down on charities engaging in political activity;
  • axes Ottawa’s spy watchdog;
  • introduces changes that beginning in 2023, will gradually increase the age of eligibility for Old Age Security payments to 67 from 65.

To express our opposition:

More soon.