Budget bill debate cut short by Conservatives
Conservative MPs are limiting debate on 642 pages of legislation to implement the budget, pushing a motion through the House of Commons to keep one stage of debate to only four days.
Because debate started on Wednesday, the motion by Government House Leader Peter Van Loan left MPs with just three sitting days to discuss the bill before it will go to committee for study.
The bill is likely to be discussed Friday, which is usually a short day on the Parliament Hill calendar, and Oct. 17, the first day Parliamentarians are back following a week back in their ridings for Thanksgiving.
It will then go to committee, then back to the House for debate at third reading.
The budget itself has already passed, but this bill, C-13, contains the legislation to implement the budget.
The bill is flawed and needs to be examined, Liberal MP Marc Garneau said in a statement.
"It is an insult to Canadians to spend their hard-earned tax dollars without any oversight or debate," he said.
"This has become a disturbing pattern ever since the Conservatives received their majority. They have excluded the public and media from committees and rammed through problematic legislation to avoid oversight. Mr. Harper should explain why he believes his government is above accountability."
Van Loan says the budget was presented before the election, then was the main issue discussed during the election.
"We've had the budget then re-introduced and approved by this Parliament, and now we're dealing with the implementing legislation," he said.
"I don't think any budget implementation bill and its content has been debated as thoroughly, in public, and in Parliament, as much as this one."
A Conservative official says four days of debate is more than the average for a budget implementation bill over the past 20 years.