NDP Asks to Reconsider Modifications to Budget Bill

Three NDP MPs collaboratively gave a statement today, criticizing the government’s aversion of considering their point of view, and warned that such consequences will ultimately lead to bad laws that need to be fixed later. A massive budget implementation bill is due for a final vote in the House of Commons this week, most probably Tuesday, which is designed to amend a total of 60 laws.

The three leaders, NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen, whip Nycole Turmel and finance critic Peggy Nash alleged that the committees have barely even studied the bill and did not give proper attention towards considering it. The omnibus bill is written on more than 440 pages and one of the bill’s most controversial measures is to have a series of changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. This act currently applies to 40,000 lakes and 2.5 million rivers, whereas this upcoming government’s budget implementation bill is going to bound that to 97 lakes and 62 rivers.

The government is alleging that Canadian waterways will still be amply sheltered under other laws. But Cullen claims that his party is making a final attempt to protect the lakes and rivers in Canada by putting up a motion to protect them as currently described in the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Nash claims that there was “no time to call witnesses, no time or resources to study this bill in-depth and this is not the kind of oversight that Canadians have a right to expect.” He added that “the only changes that the Conservatives seem to adopt are changes that they make to their own legislation.”

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