It's Tuesday, May 25th.
Some senators are critical of the 904 page budget bill. They say too many amendments have been added that deserve their own, separate bills and debates.
Currently, besides, they're kinda bored.
This is the Current.
Omnibus Bill - Stakeholders
It has 22-hundred clauses and more than 900 pages. There's a lot of ground covered in Bill C-9, a so-called omnibus budget bill, heading for a final vote in the House of Commons in the coming days. Critics say that the danger with these sorts of bills is that they propose such a wide swath of legislation the changes don't get enough scrutiny.
So to get an idea of the range of issues rolled into this package of legislation, we started with Part 15:
CANADA POST CORPORATION ACT
The exclusive privilege referred to in subsection 14(1) does not apply to letters intended for delivery to an addressee outside Canada.
In a nutshell, that passage of Bill C-9 would eliminate Canada Post's monopoly on the delivery of letters out of Canada to other countries. And George Floresco has a problem with that. He is a National Vice-President of the Canadian Postal Workers Union in Ottawa.
Now on to Part 20 of Bill C-9:
CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT ACT
An environmental assessment is not required under section 5 or sections 8 to 10.1 for the projects and classes of projects that are set out in the schedule and that are to be carried out in places other than a national park, park reserve, national historic site or historic canal
In case you didn't quite catch that, Part 20 says that the government may decide that some federal building projects don't need environmental assessments before they proceed. And for Cindy Chiasson, this proposal needs further inspection. Ms. Chiasson is the executive director of the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton.
ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED
The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council and on any terms that the Governor in Council considers appropriate, despite section 11 of the Nuclear Energy Act, sell or otherwise dispose of some or all of the securities of AECL;
This section of the bill says the Minister responsible for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited may do whatever he or she wishes with some or all of Canada's nuclear assets - and that includes selling it.
That's a tough sell for Michael Ivanco. He is Vice President of The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates, an independent union that represents engineers, scientists and technologists who work for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. He was in Toronto.
Though the critics argue many of these amendments need their own stand-alone bills, not all of the proposed changes are under fire. Section 17 of the bill deals with Federal Credit Unions, and includes proposals to change they way they're regulated. David Phillips is CEO of the Credit Union of Canada.
Omnibus Bill - Senator Pierrette Ringuette
Well, Liberal Senator Pierrette Ringuette has complaints about the sweeping nature of Bill C-9. But she is also concerned that her own Liberal Opposition party won't want to rock the minority government boat over these issues. Senator Ringuette was in Ottawa.
Omnibus Bill - Bob Rae
So along with the critics of the bill itself ... as we just heard .. comes the criticism that the official opposition is so afraid of an election it will let these changes go forward. Bob Rae is the Liberal Party's foreign affairs critic. He was in Ottawa this morning.