Elizabeth May has moved a Point of Order in the Commons to have the omnibus budget bill declared out of order because it doesn’t fit the proper criteria for such bills. Not surprisingly the government disputes this, but we’ll see more in the next couple of days as other parties get to weigh in before the Speaker makes any kind of ruling.
Meanwhile, May and the Liberals are planning a marathon series of amendments to the omnibus budget bill for when it returns to the Commons, and the 200 or so amendments they plan to move could mean upwards of 50 of 60 straight hours off votes. They’re already planning the logistics of food and bathroom breaks, but this is looking like it’s set to go ahead. They got a taste of it with some three-plus hours of amendment votes on C-31 last night. Expect much more in for the omnibudget.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer is calling bullshit on the government’s excuses as to why they can’t turn over their numbers relating to the cuts. If some departments can, all of them can, and the unions don’t have problems with the figures released so long as it doesn’t include personal information. And yet the government continues to insist that they can’t give the information, and that everything will come out in quarterly reports and public accounts statements.
There was lots of activity on the defence file yesterday. The Canada First Defence Strategy is going to need an overhaul, seeing as we can’t afford the whole laundry list of new procurement. In fact, they’ve known for some time that they can’t afford the list, but the government kept that under wraps until now. And you never know – future procurement may include unmanned naval vessels, kind of like unmanned aerial drones but on the water. Meanwhile, it looks like Peter MacKay’s staff is unimpressed that Canadian Forces staff didn’t defend MacKay vigorously enough when he was under fire for things like that helicopter lift. Aww, poor MacKay can’t fight he own battles.
The Department of National Defence won’t say what two other fighters it considered before the decision to go with the F-35s was made, but it seems that the Super Hornet wasn’t one of them – even though it meets all of the requirements that have so far been released.
It looks like the government has softened its stance on an international arms control treaty, and are now less likely to derail the process.
Lisa Raitt talks about her experience with post-partum depression as a new initiative to address the stigma of mental health launched in Ottawa yesterday.
And not to be outdone, but Wildrose leader Danielle Smith also plans to be at Edmonton’s gay pride festival. My how things are changing in Alberta.