Elizabeth May – unlikely (?) heroine

First, let me point out who Elizabeth May is not.

She is not Stephen Harper. She is not the source of bill C-38.

She is in the difficult position of being the point person in trying to delay this bill.

I think the Harper Tories should be ashamed of themselves. They have been found in contempt of parliament, see links here and here. If you do your own search you will find many strange missteps by this government, including stonewalling on the costs of the F-35, breaking their own fixed-date election law, proroguing parliament for convenience, apparently using robocalls to win the last election, and in general treating the House of Commons and Canadians-not-in-the-oil-business, with contempt.

Now these same Tories are trying to rewrite a large number (reportedly more than 70) of federal laws, covering environmental assessment, food inspection, retirement funding, and goodness knows what else. I don’t have the full picture as the 450 page bill is not available on my computer. I doubt many of the representatives voting on this have had time to read all of it, but by splitting the workload they have discovered the depths of subtlety and craft that it represents.

By saying that it is a budget bill, they claim we need it for the economy. Much that is included in the bill does not really fit that last sentence. The bill is a Machiavellian manoeuvre.

What to do? The Tories refuse to break the bill into smaller pieces. The Speaker conveniently helps limit debate.

Enter Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party (in case you did not know this). With the help of the other opposition parties, she is leading the charge, bringing in amendment after amendment and keeping the debate going as long as is physically possible.That she is a heroine is certain. From her past actions, this doesn’t seem out of character or unlikely.

In the United States this combined cross-opposition-party action would be called a filibuster. It is designed to hold up the passage of a bill. In some cases it can succeed in getting significant alterations to the offending legislation.

What happens next depends on you.

Call your MP. eMail your MP. eMail Stephen Harper. eMail your newspaper. Give all of them the same basic message:

Omnibus bills should not be used. Significant items should be voted on separately, and debated separately. Bill C-38 should be scrapped and the pieces voted on in a logical and open manner, with debate on every single issue of importance.

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