Here Comes the Budget Bus!
Well, an omnibus. It’s practically the same thing.
The Conservative Government recently released Bill C-38, also known as the budget implementation bill. At a whopping 430 pages, the bill contains measures to allow the implementation of such changes like the one to the retirement age. You know, stuff that we were all told about back in March. Can’t be that bad, can it?
Actually yeah, it’s bad.
Because you see, the bill has done something a little sneaky. Although the bill is focused on finance, the bill contains many changes to environmental policies that are completely irrelevant to the budget. The Opposition (and a rather vocal Elizabeth May) is, for lack of a better word, displeased. Representatives from the NDP and Green party are slamming the Conservatives for their decision. Here are some choice quotes on the issue;
“Why is the minister hiding such significant changes in a 400-page budget bill? Is it because he knows that Canadians oppose this reckless attack on our environmental protection?” - Peggy Nash, NDP finance critic
“[The] most devastating changes to environment law in Canada in 40 years,” - Elizabeth May, Green Party leader
“This government is trying to avoid public scrutiny by cramming major environmental changes into a sweeping kitchen sink budget bill and circumventing necessary parliamentary oversight,” - Kristy Duncan, Liberal MP
“It is an affront to democracy to bury such far-reaching changes to laws Canadians depend upon to help protect our environment in the budget implementation bill in order to avoid public scrutiny,” - Keith Stewart, Greenpeace spokesman
The Cabinet’s defense?
“Our government is the first government in a long time that has actually cared about the environment,” - Michelle Rempel, Conservative MP
Oh, well, that changes everything. So long as you smash down forty years of environmental protocol with affection in your hearts, who am I to argue?