According to O’Brien and Bosc, the authority on parliamentary rules and procedure, the purpose of supply days is so that the opposition has a chance to demonstrate why supply should be refused. After all, it’s the role of the opposition to oppose the government, and they hold said government to account by controlling supply – the public purse. They are allotted so many days with which to demonstrate why the government should be refused supply.
This is the supply day motion that the NDP have proposed, and which will be debated in the Commons on Thursday:
“That this House acknowledge that the Canadian economy is facing unprecedented risk and uncertainty; recognize that many regions and industries across Canada have already suffered significant job losses in recent years; urge all levels of government to work together to build a balanced, 21st century Canadian economy; and insist that Canada’s Prime Minister meet with his counterparts in Halifax this November at the National Economic Summit being held by the Council of the Federation.”
Could somebody please tell me where in this is an ability to demonstrate why the government should be denied supply? Anyone? Helpful suggestions and attempts to legislate – or even “insist” – from the opposition benches are not the job of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.