Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member could speak to the fact that we now have what appears to be a new practice that did not exist under previous administrations, being two omnibus budget bills a year.

That is what happened in 2012, with Bill C-38 and Bill C-45, and that is what is happening this year with Bill C-60 and Bill C-4. It means that every single budget is followed by a omnibus bill, which in the last two years has comprised 800 to 900 pages each time, of multiple separate acts. The Canadian Bar Association made the point on Bill C-4 that this reduces the ability to have proper hearings and scrutiny on each of the component parts of the legislation, and it violates parliamentary practice.

I wonder if my colleague from Winnipeg North would agree.


Kevin Lamoureux:  Mr. Speaker, I would concur with the member’s comment and maybe add to it.

We need to recognize that had this been a stand-alone bill, it would have come into the House, there would have been a second reading for good debate, there would have been a standing committee to allow stakeholders and Canadians to contribute, there would have been a third reading debate and then there would have been votes wrapped all over that.

We are talking well over 100 pieces of legislation combined.That is a four year legislative agenda in many ways that has been lost because of the government using these budget omnibus bills.