Multiple Parliamentary Committees have now passed the Conservative motion to shut down the rights of individual Members of Parliament. For Members falling outside of the Conservative, NDP, or Liberal caucuses, the motion shuts down their rights to amend legislation at Report Stage.
The motion has so far been tabled in at least the Standing Committees on Ethics, Justice, International Trade, Aboriginal Affairs, Public Safety, Finance, Procedure and House Affairs, and Industry, and has been voted on and passed in all but Ethics.
“This coordinated effort proves that these motions are coming directly from the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada. “Despite holding the majority of votes in the House, and therefore the ability to pass any Bill he chooses, Prime Minister Harper appears so allergic to Parliamentary debate that he is attempting to eliminate the opportunities for MPs from smaller parties and independents to table and speak to their amendments. This isn’t just contempt for the rights of MPs, it is contempt of Parliament, and we will not let this matter lie.”
“These motions are aimed directly at Independent MPs Bruce Hyer, Brent Rathgeber, and Maria Mourani, in addition to the four Members of the Bloc Quebecois, and me, as a Green Party MP,” said May. “And while I am grateful to the NDP for attempting to stick up for our collective rights, I am disappointed that the Liberal Party voted with the Conservatives this time to shut us out of the legislative process. Though this is a sad week for democracy in Canada, we will continue to defend our rights and take this up again in next Tuesday’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics.”