Manitoba

Manitoba Opposition stalling tactics threaten to delay key government legislation

Proceedings have ground to a halt for a second straight day at the Manitoba legislature.

Any bills not introduced by Monday night might have to wait until the fall

Independent MLA Steven Fletcher was blocked from talking by Speaker Myrna Driedger, who demanded an apology after he criticized her rulings. (CBC )

Proceedings have ground to a halt for a second straight day at the Manitoba legislature.

Opposition parties and Independent member Steven Fletcher have been raising complaints with the legislature speaker and putting up procedural roadblocks.

That has prevented the government from introducing several bills, including one to centralize teacher collective agreements and another to lay out new conflict of interest rules for politicians.

Speaker Myrna Driedger at one point told Fletcher he would not be allowed to talk in the chamber until at least Monday and demanded he apologize for saying her recent rulings have been wrong.

Fletcher says he will apologize when he is allowed to speak again.

Any bills that are not introduced in the legislature by Monday night run the risk of being delayed beyond the summer break and as late as November.

The stalling has also delayed debate of the provincial budget and passage of a bill that would cut the provincial sales tax to seven per cent on July 1.

Premier Brian Pallister says the tax cut will take effect on Canada Day, even if the bill is not passed by then.

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