By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 0 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s C-38 votes. It was expected that voting would begin around 5:30pm, but some procedural fussing about by the Liberals seems to have delayed those votes by a few hours. Stay tuned throughout the evening (and morning?) as we follow the parliamentary festivities.
4:43pm. If you’re only now tuning in, you just missed a fascinating series of points of order, during which Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux twice asked the Speaker to clarify the rules of the House (Speaker Devolin invited Mr. Lamoureux to read the standing orders) and Bob Rae objected to the Defence Minister’s earlier use of the word “mendaciousness” (Peter MacKay duly stood and withdrew the remark). The House is now at the time reserved each day for the presenting of petitions and will soon move to the final period of report stage debate on C-38.
4:51pm. The New Democrats held a photo op this afternoon to demonstrate how they were preparing for tonight’s votes. Mostly this seems to have involved Nathan Cullen removing his jacket and writing “C-38″ on a giant white pad of paper.
5:04pm. The Liberals have chosen now to discuss Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. And now there is some discussion between the Speaker, Elizabeth May and Denis Coderre about how long one can speak when responding to a question of privilege.
5:15pm. With Mr. Lamoureux still responding to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer rises on a point of order to question Mr. Lamoureux’s point of privilege. The Speaker stands and reads the rules pertaining to questions of privilege, specifically that such interventions should be “brief and concise” and that the Speaker has the right to “terminate” the discussion. Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti rises on a point of order to object to Mr. Zimmer’s point of order. Mr. Lamoureux attempts a point of order to respond to Mr. Zimmer, but the Speaker suggests he carry on with his point of privilege, but then Mr. Coderre rises on a point of order to complain about the Speaker’s desire to move things along. The Speaker asserts his impartiality and attempts to straighten this all out, but Mr. Coderre rises on another point of order to clarify his respect for the Speaker, but also to express his desire that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to give a full response to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. Mr. Pacetti rises on a point of order to add his concern that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to speak fully. The Speaker says he was merely reminding everyone of the rules and gives Mr. Lamoureux five minutes to finish and, finally, we’re now back to Mr. Lamoruex’s point of privilege.
5:30pm. The Speaker stands and calls an end to Mr. Lamoureux’s remarks and attempts to move to the last hour of report stage debate on C-38, but now Mauril Belanger is up on a separate point of privilege.
5:32pm. The Speaker cuts off Mr. Belanger to move to deferred votes on two opposition motions and one private member’s bill. MPs have 30 minutes to report to the chamber.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM - 0 Comments
On its way out of town—clause 183 of the budget bill eliminates it—the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy releases one last report.
The report shows that Canada is making significant progress toward its 2020 target but will not get there with only existing and proposed climate policy measures by all governments. More precisely, the NRT found that:
-Combining all existing and proposed federal, provincial and territorial climate policies and actions would lead to a reduction of 104 Mt CO2e in 2020, which represents almost 50% of the required emission reductions to meet Canada’s target of 607 Mt CO2e in 2020 – but an emissions gap of 117 Mt CO2e remains.
-Provincial policies are driving the largest portion of emission reductions to date – 75% of all emission reductions by 2020 – although the federal portion should rise to approximately a third by 2030.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM - 0 Comments
While the Conservatives fume about IMF assistance for Europe—three more members’ statements were devoted to lamenting for it all yesterday afternoon—the IMF also features in the budget bill. Clause 375 amends the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act so that the Minister of Finance “may provide for payment out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the International Monetary Fund in the manner and at the times provided for by the Agreement set out in Schedule I of a sum or sums of money, not exceeding in the whole an amount equivalent to the subscriptions required from or permitted to be made by Canada, namely, eleven billion, twenty-three million, nine hundred thousand Special Drawing Rights.”
What does that mean? As part of the quota reform agreed to by the G20 ministers in October 2010, Canada’s exposure to the IMF will increase by slightly more than $1 billion. Here is the finance department’s explanation.
This is a commitment made by all IMF countries at the November 2010 G20 Seoul Summit of historic quota and governance reform. This will enhance the IMF’s capacity to provide support to the global economy, increasing the voice and representation of emerging market and developing countries. This predates and is unrelated to the current debate about the adequacy of IMF resources in the context of the European crisis.
How this is accounted for is explained here.
“Funds provided to the IMF do not affect Canada’s net debt measure as they constitute financial assets of the Government. Canada earns interest on these claims at the SDR interest rate when they are drawn to fund lending programs. IMF claims are booked as a part of the official international reserves of the Government of Canada. The preferred creditor status of the IMF, in addition to other financial safeguards, permits Canada to classify claims as official international reserves.”
Yesterday, Shelly Glover specifically mocked the suggestion, from Bob Rae, that IMF funding would be booked as an asset.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM - 0 Comments
With the Conservatives’ Trojan Horse Budget Bill gutting our system of environmental assessments and reviews even further, we hope MP Tilson will stand up for his constituents and vote against bill C-38.
I asked Mr. Tilson last night if he had any response to the NDP release and he wrote as follows.
I continue to work to ensure that federal environmental assessment regulations are applicable to this project.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM - 0 Comments
The Conservatives have just moved a motion of time allocation for both report stage and third reading of C-38. Once that motion passes the House—sometime in the next hour—debate on C-38 will be restricted to 10 hours at report stage and eight hours at third reading. The New Democrats say this is the 26th time the Conservatives have limited debate since forming a majority government last year.
On that schedule, the House should start voting on the opposition’s amendments in the late afternoon or early evening tomorrow. It should take something like 24 hours for the House to get through those votes.
Debate at third reading will then begin at noon on Monday, with a final vote on C-38 coming either late Monday or early Tuesday.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM - 0 Comments
As more transcripts are posted online, an update on the finance committee’s study of C-38.
The committee reconvened on May 28 to study Division 31 (Railway Safety Act), Division 32 (Canadian International Trade Tribunal), Division 33 (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development Act), Division 34 (Health of Animals Act), Division 35 (Canada School of Public Service Act), Division 36 (Bank Act), Division 37 (Corrections and Conditional Release Act), Division 38 (Coasting Trade Act), Division 39 (Status of the Artist Act), Division 40 (National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act), Division 41 (Telecommunications Act), Division 42 (Employment Equity Act), Division 43 (Employment Insurance Act) and Division 44 (Customs Tariff Act).
On the morning of May 29, the committee heard from the Canadian Association of Public Employees, Democracy Watch, Merit Canada and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. That afternoon, the committee heard from the Canadian Labour Congress, the Conseil national des chômeurs et chômeuses, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, PPP Canada Inc. and officials from public safety, justice and the RCMP.
On May 30, the committee heard from representatives of BCE Incorporated and Bell Canada, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, Wind Mobile, professor Len Zedel, the Agriculture Union, the C.D. Howe Institute, Consumer Health Products Canada, the Canada Organic Trade Association, Nalcor Energy, professor Richard Steiner and the United Steelworkers.
On the morning of May 31, the committee heard from economist Patrick Grady, policy analyst Richard Kurland, professor Ian Lee, lawyer Lorne Waldman, the Canadian Federation of Students, Oxfam Canada, the Canadian Auto Workers, the Retail Council of Canada, professor Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Campaign 2000. That afternoon the committee heard from professor Aurel Braun, Canada Without Poverty, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Canadian Medical Association, professor Michael Jackson, professor Alain Noel, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, the Canadian Media Guild, the Canadian Museums Association and the Council of Canadians.
See previously: Studying C-38
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
Though the Conservatives rejected similar entreaties by the NDP last month, the Liberals hope the prospect of several hundred votes will now convince the government to spit the budget bill. Specifically, the Liberals want the following removed from C-38.
Changes to EI that will damage seasonal industries and tear apart communities
Changes to the qualifying age for Old Age Security, that will force millions of Canadians to take two extra ‘Harper years’ before they can retire
Changes to fisheries regulations that will destroy fish habitat and wreak havoc on coastal communities
Changes to environmental legislation that will wipe out 50 years of progress and hinder sustainable resource development
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
The Liberals have called a news conference for 10am this morning to explain their strategy. We should find out around noon, with a ruling of the Speaker, how many votes C-38 will face.
I’ve seen it suggested that all of those votes, however many there are, will be considered confidence votes. As I tried to explain in the comment thread under this post, that’s not necessarily true. It is essentially up to the government to decide whether the loss of a vote means defeat. Were the opposition to successfully delete a clause or amend the budget, it would be for Stephen Harper to decide whether he wanted to ask the Governor General for an election as a result.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM - 0 Comments
A statement released this afternoon by Government House leader Peter Van Loan.
“The Harper Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Our Government’s economic policies have made Canada an island of stability in a troubled global economy. Our Economic Action Plan has helped create nearly 760,000 net new jobs since July 2009.
The global economy is fragile and challenges remain – as witnessed by ongoing events in Europe. Canada is not immune to these global challenges. The NDP and Liberals want to send billions of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars to bail out European banks. The NDP and Liberals’ dangerous economic incompetence is a threat to Canada’s economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the NDP and Liberals are putting their narrow partisan interests ahead of Canadian families and jobs. The NDP and Liberals are continuing their efforts to delay and obstruct the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act. This important legislation supports job creation, responsible resource development, small businesses and vital sectors of the economy. The bill has already received the longest House debate and Committee consideration of any budget bill in over two decades.
Our Government has been moving forward with this important economic initiative in Parliament in an orderly, productive and hard-working way. The NDP and Liberals’ obstruction and delay is a threat to Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.
As the global recovery remains fragile – especially in Europe – Canadians want their government to focus on what matters: jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We are doing exactly that by implementing Economic Action Plan 2012.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM - 0 Comments
I’m told that Elizabeth May’s amendments to the budget bill now number more than 300. Peter Van Loan’s office says of the thousand clause deletions proposed by the New Democrats and Liberals, there are 571 that don’t overlap and the Bloc MPs apparently have 22 amendments.
C-38 will return to the House on Monday at noon. At that time, the Speaker is expected to announce which of the amendments and clause deletions will be voted on and how (some could be grouped together for a single vote). The House will then debate the budget bill. How long that debate lasts depends on how many people wish to speak to it and whether the government moves to limit debate. Eventually the House will proceed to the votes and a marathon of some length will ensue.
For all of our continuing and comprehensive coverage of the budget implementation act, click here.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM - 0 Comments
Earlier today, NDP House leader Nathan Cullen stood in the House to respond to Elizabeth May’s point of order. Marc Garneau, for the Liberals, and Peter Van Loan, for the Conservatives, responded yesterday. The Speaker says he will get back to the House in “due course.”
Below, the text of Mr. Cullen’s remarks. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:41 PM - 0 Comments
Shortly after 4:30pm this afternoon, Government House leader Peter Van Loan rose in the House to respond to Elizabeth May’s point of order. Ms. May then rose and suggested that Mr. Van Loan had missed her point.
Below, the transcript of their exchange. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM - 0 Comments
Earlier today, the Liberals tabled 503 clause deletions for C-38. The New Democrats have now tabled 506 clause deletions (the similar numbers are said to be coincidence). In effect, there are now more proposed clause deletions than there are clauses, but presumably there is some crossover.
Apparently the Liberals had some interns camp out for 30 hours to be sure their clause deletions were tabled first.
In other news, Marc Garneau stood after QP to respond offer the Liberal response to Elizabeth May’s point of order. I’ll post the text of his remarks once it is available.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM - 0 Comments
More news of weekend protests in Truro, Oakville, St. John’s, Nanaimo, Owen Sound, Swift Current, Kenora, Ladner, Coquitlam and Cobourg. The United Steelworkers, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and the legal director of the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic register their concerns. And Conservative MP Dan Albas tries to explain C-38 to his constituents.
Meanwhile, the Liberals say they have now tabled 503 clause deletions in the House.
The Liberal Party was the first to submit its amendments to Bill C-38 this morning, tabling the required documentation to delete 503 clauses. This means Liberal amendments will be considered first in the House of Commons, and supersede similar amendments from other parties.
“This government’s ‘kitchen sink’ budget bill goes too far on everything from changes to EI and OAS and makes sweeping, transformative changes to environmental regulations in this country,” said Liberal House Leader Marc Garneau. “As Parliamentarians we cannot sit idly by while the Conservatives try to run roughshod over due process. Unless the government has a change of heart and agrees to make changes, including removing environmental measures from the budget bill, these deletion amendments, combined with amendments from independent members and other parties, have the potential to delay the House of Commons for a very long time, perhaps days. The ball is in the government’s court. If they want to avoid a standoff, they must put water in their wine.”
Mr. Garneau also saluted the dedication of Liberal interns who showed True Grit in ensuring our amendments were tabled before those of other parties.
Those 503 clause deletions do not necessarily require 503 votes. The Speaker could bundle some of them together.
For all of our continuing coverage of C-38, click here.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM - 0 Comments
With C-38 set to soon return to the House for a final showdown, we thought it might be necessary to explain the story so far. Herein, a rough guide to the controversial budget bill.
What is C-38?
Bill C-38 is officially “an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget.” After the government presents its annual budget, it must pass legislation that carries out the promised changes or initiatives. In theory, C-38 is that legislation.
So what’s the problem?
C-38 numbers more than 400 pages and amends dozens of pieces of legislation. Among other things, it changes environmental regulations, amends the Fisheries Act, allows for new rules to be imposed on Employment Insurance, repeals the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act and eliminates the CSIS inspector general. Over the last 20 years—see here—the budget implementation act has gone from a relatively short piece of legislation to a regularly massive bill that attempts to do dozens of things all at once. Between 1994 and 2005, budget implementation acts averaged 73.6 pages. Since the Conservatives came to power, the acts have averaged 308.9 pages. Bills in which many different changes are packaged together are generally referred to as omnibus bills. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 5:24 PM - 0 Comments
The Government’s omnibus Budget Implementation Act, C-38, has caused shockwaves of concern across the country. The bill contains hundreds of harmful measures, and the process to ram them through under cover of the Budget Implementation Act undermines effective parliamentary scrutiny and democratic debate. Canada`s New Democrats proposed that the massive 425 page bill be split into separate sections to permit proper study of its substantive measures, but the Conservatives refused.
In response, the NDP caucus organized alternate public hearings in Ottawa and in cities across the country in May 2012 to ensure Canadians’ views were heard on this Trojan Horse Bill. (A full list of MPs and witnesses for each hearing is included in the appendix). The NDP caucus has also invited Canadians to submit views directly to http://budget2012.npd.ca. The response has been overwhelming. Canadians are outraged at the undermining of democratic process and deeply concerned by the range of measures being proposed – including proposals to gut environmental protection, cut pensions, reduce government accountability, and undermine the health of Canadians. This report provides an overview of key concerns raised by citizens and experts about Bill C-38 in the hearings across Canada and via the NDP`s Budget 2012 website.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM - 0 Comments
From QP this afternoon, the Conservatives push back against the opposition’s talk of opposing the budget bill with amendments and procedural delays.
Dave Van Kesteren: Mr. Speaker, despite the budget bill having the longest amount of debate in the House and the longest amount of committee stage consideration of any budget bill in over two decades, the NDP and its partners want to delay it and the implementation of the economic action plan 2012. At a time when the global recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe, Canadians want the government to focus on promoting jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Can the Minister of Finance explain why the implementation of Canada’s economic action plan is so important to ensure that Canada’s economy remains strong?
Jim Flaherty: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Chatham-Kent—Essex for that very important and insightful question. It is the best question of the day so far. It is about the economy and it is about jobs. The economic recovery, particularly in Europe as I know from my discussions today, is fragile. We must protect our own country. The economic action plan is vitally important for this country. It has been working. We have created over 750,000 net new jobs in Canada. We have the bill before Parliament now to continue with Canada’s economic action plan. It is important that we get this bill passed to protect Canada and protect—
Alas, the Finance Minister ran out of time at that point.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM - 0 Comments
While she took a short break from the House this morning, the Green MP and I spoke about C-38 and her point of order. In the process, as you will see, she corrected my own mistaken impression of what yesterday’s intervention sought.
Q: When did you first start to think about moving this point of order?
A: To tell you the truth, last year. If you want to go back to Hansard, my very first question in Question Period, last June, was to Jim Flaherty to ask whether he planned to put forward an omnibus bill with many measures. And the response was no. And I was very relieved and I went to him afterwards and I said, so really, it’s not going to be one of these big ones? Because I hadn’t been in the House obviously—I wrote extensively on it, I read the bills, I blogged about them, in 2009 and 2010, that these were outrageous. So it’s been on my radar for a long time, that under Stephen Harper, obviously omnibus bills have come up before, that’s why there’s a lot of precedent for me to go through in Hansard, but really nothing like this, nothing like the last few years. I actually anticipated that Peter Van Loan might say, as he did yesterday, we’ve had much longer bills. Yeah. But only yours. And not ever challenged. There are no Speaker’s rulings on the omnibus budget bills of 2009, 2010. So the first piece of research that I asked the parliamentary library to do for me last year was on the procedural rules around omnibus budget bills. Because if there had been one last summer and I was so sure there would be one. And then I actually voted for the budget implementation bill last year because it was very clever, it was a series of measures that nobody could be against. It was removing the GST and HST on the sale of poppies to the Canadian Legion and reducing the licensing and fees required to operate a canoe or kayak. I mean, I’m not kidding, it was a bundling together of friendly moves. And it wasn’t unanimously passed, but I did vote for it. This time around, I didn’t expect this, I have to say. Having read the budget, the budget was quite bad enough that I wasn’t thinking, oh, I bet they’ll do worse in the budget implementation bill. Somehow it had receded in my mind. But the research had been done by the parliamentary library. Now, of course, I did substantially more research than the summary I got from the parliamentary library, but at least I had a grounding in the topic. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM - 0 Comments
Nathan Cullen has just finished speaking about what the NDP might be preparing to do next in regards to C-38.
The New Democrats have apparently tabled more than 50 amendments to the budget bill at the finance committee. If those amendments are defeated by Conservative MPs on the committee, the bill will return to the House unchanged. At that point, Elizabeth May, as an independent MP who does not sit on the committee, will be allowed to propose substantive amendments. She says she will have approximately 200 such amendments. The Liberals and NDP, as participants in the committee study, will not be allowed to propose substantive amendments, but they will be able to move that individual clauses be deleted. And there are more than 700 clauses in the budget bill.
Mr. Cullen raised the possibility of doubling the number of votes—conceivably from 200 amendments to 400 total amendments and clause deletions. There is some question as to whether the Speaker could group some of those deletions together for a single vote, but, in theory, there remains the possibility of hundreds of votes.
Of course, in the meantime, there is Ms. May’s point of order that will have to be dealt with. More on that later today.
For our complete coverage of the budget implementation act see here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
The New Democrats have called a news conference for this morning to explain the “next steps” in their fight against C-38. Elizabeth May and the Liberals have already vowed to table 200 amendments when the bill returns to the House from committee.
The standard in this regard might be the 471 amendments to the Nisa’ga Treaty that the Reform Party proposed in 1999. From December 7 to December 9 of that year, the amendments resulted in nearly 43 consecutive hours of voting. When it was over, Reform MP Gurmant Grewal celebrated his accomplishment as the only MP to record a vote on each of those amendments.
The delay failed to win a concession from the government, but opposition leader Preston Manning was apparently satisfied nonetheless. “Thanks partly to the coverage you people gave to this issue, you’ve got millions of Canadians asking what is this Nisga’a treaty thing all about anyway,” he told reporters afterwards. Mr. Manning said the Reform party had “chalked up a win for Canadians by holding the government to account.” “Two years down the road, five years down the road, 10 years down the road somebody is going to say how on Earth did we get committed to a treaty like this,” he said. “I want to be able to say we did everything conceivable within the rules of Parliament to try to change it and to try to stop it.” Continue…
‘To allow C-38 to masquerade as a legitimate omnibus bill will bring our institutions into greater disrepute’
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM - 0 Comments
Elizabeth May has just risen in the House on a point of order to argue that C-38 is an “imperfect” bill—see Standing Order 68(3)—and should be ruled out of order by the Speaker.
Below, the prepared text of Ms. May’s point of order. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM - 0 Comments
As suggested last week, Elizabeth May, the Liberals and the Bloc MPs are apparently preparing to move approximately 200 amendments to the budget bill when it returns to the House—creating a series of votes that should take 50 to 60 hours to complete.
“There’s nothing I won’t do to stop it,” she told The Hill Times …“If you respect Westminster Parliamentary democracy, you approach bills according to a theme that is coherent and has integrity; one idea at a time. Even an omnibus bill is, under our rules, one theme, one principle, one policy area at a time. This is not appropriate. This is an abuse of power,” she said. “And what tools does a responsible opposition have to protect the country? I’ll use every tool that’s legal and within the Parliamentary toolkit. I have to use every tool we have and the Liberals are of the same mind.”
Nathan Cullen said last week that the NDP will have its own changes to propose at third reading, likely adding to the votes. The hope, according to Ms. May, is to convince the government side to split the bill.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Open File Vancouver notes the FCM passed a motion this weekend calling on the Harper government to remove changes to the Fisheries Act from the budget bill.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Budget bill protests were organized this weekend in Victoria, Owen Sound, Waterloo, Penticton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Mississauga, Port Moody, North Bay, Prince George, Beamsville and Calgary. And dozens of websites will go dark today to protest C-38.
Seemingly in response, the Conservatives are dispatching 10 ministers across the country to “detail the benefits of the Government’s Plan for Responsible Resource Development.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM - 0 Comments
Environment Minister Peter Kent suggests criticism of the budget bill from four former ministers is based on misunderstanding.
Kent told reporters that the four ministers “seem to be” responding to criticism of the changes levelled by environmental groups, rather than to the actual text of the legislation. ”We’ll listen to those concerns, we’ll respond to those concerns, but I think some of the reaction has come before full consumption of what the act says and what the act will actually do.” Asked if he was suggesting the four hadn’t read Bill C-38′s habitat provisions, Kent replied: “I’m saying by their remarks they seem not to be familiar with the specifics of the act, yes, and the way the act will be applied.”
Tom Siddon tells Peter O’Neil that he’s read the portions related to fisheries “two or three times” and Peter notes that Mr. Siddon, in his testimony before committee, cited specific clauses of the bill.
The four former ministers—Mr. Siddon, David Anderson, John Fraser and Herb Dhaliwal—have written an open letter to the Prime Minister in this morning’s Globe.