Legislative session ends — finally — after independent MLAs attempt filibuster
Government, Opposition NDP reached deal over budget implementation bill
Manitoba MLAs can finally go back to their constituencies after the government and opposition struck a deal to end the spring session of the Legislature, despite the efforts of two independent MLAs to keep the debate going.
The session was scheduled to end June 4, however the government was forced to call an emergency session after a deal with the NDP, that would have ended the session on time, fell apart. The NDP said they wanted to see the PC Government's budget implementation bill before ending the session.
The bill contains the majority of the government's taxation and spending details.
Under a new deal to end the session the government agreed to table its budget legislation but the details will not be made public until August.
However the end of session was further delayed on Monday when MLAs Steven Fletcher and Mohinder Saran held up procedures as the government was trying to introduce its budget implementation legislation.
"Not only did we not get a budget, which is just an absurdity. We had an emergency session, lots of time, but still no budget," Fletcher said in the Legislature.
He says it was ridiculous the government didn't have those details ready to go by early June.
Even though Fletcher's filibustering eventually failed and the session was called to a close he said he had no regrets holding MLA's in the house a little longer.
"Certainly by the end of June, it's just absurd that the government — any government — hasn't proffered a budget when they have such a huge majority. It's not like there's an election, or a national or provincial emergency," he said.
The PC government maintained it couldn't release its budget because it was still hammering out details on cannabis taxation and expenses with the federal government.
But in the end the opposition and struck a deal and Fletcher's delays fell before rules of the Legislature.
The Legislature will resume sitting Oct. 3.
With files from Sean Kavanagh