Inside Politics

UPDATED - Omnibudget II Watch: Cancel that filibuster ... maybe.

According to the latest dispatch from Colleague Payton, Operation See, We're Being Totally Reasonable is already in motion, as evidenced by the government's preemptive move to propose divvying up the bill amongst nine -- 9! -- separate standing committees: 

          • Aboriginal Affairs
          • Agriculture
          • Environment
          • Fisheries and Oceans
          • Justice
          • Human Resources.
          • Immigration
          • Public safety
          • Transport

Readers may recall that during the opening round of omnibudget debate last spring, it took several days of concerted opposition pressure to force the Conservatives to grudgingly agree to split the bill off to a hastily struck subcommittee of the finance committee, which was tasked with studying the section on "Responsible Resource Development." 

So: new spirit of parliamentary cooperation, or divide-and-conquer strategy? We'll soon find out -- depending on how procedurally pugilistic it gets on the other side of the House get during second reading debate, scheduled to kick off this afternoon, it could be off to committee -- or, in this case, committees -- next week. 

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: The Liberals lost little time taking credit for what the party's finance critic, Scott Brison, nonetheless described as "a thimbleful of respect for Parliament in a sea of contempt".

Here's the statement that House Leader Marc Garneau sent out a few minutes ago:

"We are pleased that the Conservatives have once again seen the error in their ways and accepted the Liberal proposal to allow their 414-page omnibus budget bill to be studied by several House of Commons committees.

There was simply no way that the Standing Committee on Finance would have been able to thoroughly examine this bill on its own. That is why Liberal MPs gave notice of motion yesterday in 11 separate committees asking them to study the various aspects of the bill that pertain directly to their own mandates.

Unfortunately, this is still just a drop in the bucket when it comes to giving Canadians the transparency they expect and deserve, given that there will still be only one vote on a massive bill covering more than 60 pieces of legislation. As such, we are again calling on the Conservative government to split this bill."

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