Stage to be set today for marathon vote in the Commons over Tory budget bill | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Stage to be set today for marathon vote in the Commons over Tory budget bill

Then Reform MP Jason Kenny reclines on an airplane neck pillow during the Nisga'a treaty overnight debates in Ottawa, on December 8, 1999. MPs from all parties are steeling themselves for potential back-to-back all-nighters this week in the House of Commons as the Conservative government forces through its massive budget bill against the determined efforts of the minority opposition.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA - Members of Parliament will spend today getting their affairs in order before they hunker down for a voting marathon on the government's budget implementation bill.

They're preparing for what's expected to be more than 24 hours of consecutive voting on more than 800 proposed amendments to Bill C-38.

It could have been longer — the Opposition introduced more than 1,000 amendments to the controversial budget bill.

But the Speaker of the House of Commons ruled Monday that not all of the amendments would be allowed and he also grouped many of them together.

It means MPs will vote at least 67 times and no more than 159 — a process that will take a least a entire day.

The votes will follow the end of the current debate on the budget bill in the Commons, which will conclude today.

Many amendments seek to outright delete elements of the bill that the Opposition feels require more scrutiny, such as major changes to environmental assessment, employment insurance and old age security.

But a meeting of the parties' House leaders is expected this morning and the Liberals are hopeful for a last-minute compromise.

They want four sections of the bill removed and turned into separate legislation so they can be properly studied.

But the Conservatives have shown no willingness to split the bill, arguing that no matter how they carve it up the Opposition will still vote all of it down.

"We are firmly committed to getting this bill through and we will have it passed before we rise for the summer," said Tory House Leader Peter Van Loan.

Van Loan also accused the Opposition of playing political games and delaying laws needed to stimulate the economy.

The New Democrats say they're doing their job standing up against a government running roughshod over the democratic process.

"How do you stop a bully for bullying? You've got to push back," said NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen.

"And we're going to push back."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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