Filibuster day 3: Opposition continues stall tactics to delay Liberal budget measures
The marathon, round-the-clock filibuster launched by the opposition this week continues Wednesday in the House of Assembly as MHAs stall implementation of controversial Liberal budget measures.
The delay tactic forced the cancellation of Question Period.
- Premier Ball chooses silence as opposition lectures, filibusters budget bills
- MHAs pull all-nighter, take afternoon break in filibuster over deficit reduction levy
The Progressive Conservatives, along with NDP and Independent MHAs, put questions to the Liberal government about their latest budget.
And the PCs seemed to have public support for their actions.
Former Tory MHA Sandy Collins tweeted photos of food — including pizza and Tim Hortons donuts — delivered to the PCs after midnight.
Just had two deliveries from random generous folks. Pizza & donuts for our MHAs participating in filibuster <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/lFsNpYjxAs">pic.twitter.com/lFsNpYjxAs</a>—@SandyRCollins
Just got a filibuster coffee delivery! The chocolate milk is for <a href="https://twitter.com/davidbrazil10">@davidbrazil10</a>. Going to be a good night! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/ujR0BcEwgK">pic.twitter.com/ujR0BcEwgK</a>—@SandyRCollins
The focus of the filibuster Monday was on Bill 14, which creates the deficit reduction levy, but by Tuesday night had shifted to Bill 19, which raises the tax on insurance premiums.
Those bills must pass through committee before they can become law and be implemented.
Reading emails and tweets from members of the general public, the opposition members questioned the Liberal's choice to create a levy — and whether they realized the impact on people.
"These Liberals are mocking us," read Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune Progressive Conservative MHA Tracey Perry in one email sent in by a member of the public.
"Another person says the premier outright lied."
The one bright side to the ongoing debate, Perry said, is the proof that the public is becoming more engaged in politics and are becoming more aware.
Perry added the Liberals have disappointed the people of the province, who feel they've been betrayed by their government.
Still going... Second all-nighter in a row in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HoA?src=hash">#HoA</a> for MHAs as continuing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/filibuster16?src=hash">#filibuster16</a>. Entering hour 39. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/MYOpjcBwVm">pic.twitter.com/MYOpjcBwVm</a>—@McCabeMeg
The filibuster of the levy started around 8 p.m. Monday, and went straight through until Tuesday around 1 p.m. It only stopped at that point when Government House Leader Andrew Parsons stopped debate to report progress.
By 6 a.m. Wednesday, opposition members were still seen on the House of Assembly live feed reading aloud feedback they received from their constituents.
I am your direct open line to floor of NL House of Assembly Send me your questions concerns firstname.lastname@example.org <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/filibuster16?src=hash">#filibuster16</a>—@GerryRogersMHA
On Tuesday, the opposition tried to grill Premier Dwight Ball, who remained mostly silent in the House of Assembly.
PC Leader Paul Davis said Ball's media silence is in turn a silence directed at the people of the province, and he must answer to the public.
Filibuster going strong at 3:10am! It's been hours since any <a href="https://twitter.com/nlliberals">@nlliberals</a> MHAs have been engagement in the debate. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AsleepAtTheWheel?src=hash">#AsleepAtTheWheel</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a>—@SandyRCollins
I've gone to bed and slept twice since the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a> opposition parties have been filibustering. Pretty amazing stuff.—@DanJMeades