Elizabeth May to Speak to Budget Omnibus Bill C-45, Table Amendments

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will table dozens of substantive policy amendments to Budget Omnibus Bill C-45 when it returns to the House of Commons for Report Stage on Thursday, November 29, 2012.

With some to be moved this Thursday and the remainder the following Tuesday during C-45’s last day of debate at Report Stage, the amendments offer comprehensive policy responses to the Bill’s most worrying changes.

“As with Bill C-38, our approach to Bill C-45 has been to offer up specific and substantive changes that we would like to see made this legislation, and our amendments have been focused on quality over quantity”, explained May. “And while there is much in the Bill with which I disagree, there are nonetheless some positive changes for which the government deserves some credit, such as closing loopholes for tax evaders and phasing out wasteful subsidies for fossil fuel exploration”.

On Thursday morning, Elizabeth May will speak to Bill C-45 and to her amendments in the House of Commons, at which point a policy backgrounder will also be made available on the Green Party website. A few key highlights of the proposed changes include:

  • Maintaining the important Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit
  • Reestablishing historical protections for all Canada’s rivers and lakes by the federal government
  • Defending our tourism industry by limiting the application of the Electronic Travel Authorization Program to specific security threats
  • Ensuring that Aboriginal treaty rights are explicitly protected in the definition of “aboriginal fisheries”
  • Standing up for small grain producers by ensuring inspections are not carried out by big agribusiness firms with conflicts of interest

“I am hopeful that the government will consider adopting some of the amendments that I’ve proposed to this Bill, including those designed to ensure Canada remains productive and our tourism industry strong amidst difficult economic conditions”, said May.

“However, Bill C-45 is yet another massive omnibus Bill and, especially considering Mr. Harper’s majority government and use of time allocation to limit debate, reflects an extremely undemocratic means of passing legislation. And since the Prime Minister appears blind to the fact that Canadians reject his cynical approach to governing, the opposition parties are prepared to hold him to account and I anticipate another long night of voting this coming Tuesday.”