Roundup: The budget omnibus bill lands

The government tabled their first budget implementation bill yesterday – a 431-page omnibus bill that amends over 50 Acts, and a huge chunk of that being environmental legislation, like major changes to the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and repealing the Kyoto implementation law. Oh, and they’ve indicated that they want to put the rush on this one too. Because there’s nothing like actual scrutiny for bills that this government wants passed.

Stephen Woodworth’s motion to have a debate saw its first hour of debate, and was smacked down from all sides – even his own, when Conservative whip Gordon O’Connor savaged it and encouraged his own party to vote against it. (Niki Ashton then followed up by accusing the government of “Trojan Horse legislation,” obviously tone-deaf and unable to think on her feet considering the speech that immediately preceded hers). The chance that this non-binding motion will go anywhere are increasingly remote.

Bev Oda has repaid the cost of her limousine rides. Now we can sleep again at night. (Incidentally, Paul Wells looks at the two incidents together and sees the signs of Harper’s loosening discipline, and what it all means).

The Auditor General appeared at the Public Accounts committee yesterday, and lo and behold, there is a reason why he focused on the 36-year lifecycle costs of the F-35s, and that the department and government tried to sell 20-year costs is a problem. Meanwhile back in the House, Bob Rae continued to argue his point of privilege that the government not telling the truth with regards to these costs – in the face of all evidence – is a contempt of parliament. And he’s got a very good point.

And here is part two of the Huffington Post Canada’s excellent series on redrawing the electoral boundaries in this country, with the challenges faced by the “rurban” ridings in Saskatchewan, where in the previous exercise the commissions were told there was no such thing as an “urban interest” in the province (though the distortionary effect is also quite pronounced in Alberta as well), and the battles that went on in New Brunswick during the last redistribution.