Omnibus or ominous?

Posted on June 14, 2012 in Governance Debates

Source: — Authors: , , – commentary/Letters to the Editor
Published Tuesday, Jun. 12 2012.   Kevin Flynn, Martin Hyde & Stanley Greenspoon

Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer owes Canadians an explanation of his reasoning in allowing the Harper government’s omnibus bill to go forward as a single entity (The Tale Of The Budget Omnibus – June 12).

The government claims that its myriad provisions are intended to move the Canadian economy forward. How does, for example, allowing U.S. federal law enforcement agents to arrest Canadians on Canadian soil relate to the economy? How is the elimination of the office of the Inspector General of CSIS just a budget matter?

Still more urgent and unanswered is Elizabeth May’s concern that a government could simply move a single bill at the beginning of its term, claiming that all of its provisions were intended to advance their agenda. Why bother with parliamentary debate at all when the needs of the economy are “urgent”?

John Ibbitson (Even This Bill Is A Product Of Democracy – June 12) may be content that the omnibus bill is still democracy, but many of us are concerned that is more about trying to still democracy.

Kevin Flynn, Ottawa


With more than 60 per cent of Canadians who voted having cast their ballots against this government, there is a more important concern than whether the omnibus bill is legal, and that is: Is it just?

Martin Hyde, Ottawa


Arguments about expediency and efficiency hardly justify pushing through the omnibus bill without proper debate. Our parliamentary system is not intended to provide efficiency, of which the best examples can be found in one-party dictatorships, but rather to provide the opportunity for proper consideration of issues affecting us, and protecting us from autocratic governance.

Stanley Greenspoon, North Vancouver

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