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 - 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…
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM - 45 Comments
The Transport Minister and the Conservative backbencher will also refrain from seeking reelection. Both were members of the Reform party’s class of 1993.
Since the last election, Jay Hill has resigned, while Jim Abbott and Keith Martin have announced they will not seek reelection. Assuming that all those who remain decide to stand for reelection and are subsequently relected, that class is poised to be reduced to six after the next vote: Diane Ablonczy, Leon Benoit, Garry Breitkreuz, John Duncan, Stephen Harper and Dick Harris.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM - 26 Comments
Federal budget 2008. Replacing remaining provincial retail sales taxes (RSTs) with value-added taxes harmonized with the GST is another area where provinces can contribute to strengthening Canada’s Tax Advantage … The Government recognizes the significant economic benefits to Canada from sales tax harmonization and is willing to work with the five provinces that still have RSTs to help facilitate the transition to provincial value-added sales taxes harmonized with the GST.
Federal budget 2009. Modernizing these harmful taxes by implementing a value-added tax structure harmonized with the GST is the single most important step that provinces with RSTs could take to stimulate new business investment, create jobs and improve Canada’s overall tax competitiveness.
Jim Flaherty, March 30. Last week, Ontario’s Liberal government, after objecting to the combined tax for years, decided to switch. Ottawa agreed to help Canada’s most populous province with that move by giving Ontario one-time compensation of $4.3 billion. ”I think this is very good economic policy,” Flaherty told reporters in Ottawa Monday. “This is a massive tax cut, a $5 billion tax cut for businesses in the province of Ontario and that means job creation and investment in the province of Ontario. So, this is very good economic policy over time.”
Jim Flaherty, August 4. Ottawa is prepared to cut a cheque to three holdout provinces if they agree to merge their sales taxes with the federal GST, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Tuesday. ”We’ll see what their governments decide to do,” he said. ”But the same proposal – in terms of transition funding – that we made with the province of Ontario followed by the province of British Columbia is available to those provinces as well. The same formula.”
Dick Harris, August 10. Bringing a harmonized sales tax to B.C. isn’t the federal Conservatives idea, Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris is emphasizing … Reached Monday for comment on the issue, Harris said the Conservatives are merely adhering to federal legislation passed by the old Chretien Liberal government that includes a formula to determine how much funding a provincial government should get for making the move … ”The legislation is still there, of course, and even if we wanted to change it, the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc would not vote to change it and we’re a minority government,” Harris contended. Asked what the Conservatives’ position is on harmonizing the provincial sales taxes with the federal goods and services tax, Harris said the party hasn’t really taken one saying it’s strictly a provincial government decision.
Larry Miller, August 11. “First, I want to make it clear that this was a change initiated by the province of Ontario and was not a decision made by the federal government in any way.”
James Lunney, August 20. As this was a decision of the BC provincial government, I encourage you to contact your MLA Ron Cantelon (firstname.lastname@example.org) to relay any concerns you may have.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM - 3 Comments
Glen McGregor looks into the Conservative MP’s involvement in a dispute between the Canadian Revenue Agency and a constituent.
“One cud (sic) almost compare Revenue (Canada) to the Hizbolla.. terrorists both of them,” he wrote. “Hang in there, I am on your side and will keep fighting these bastards.”