Opposition to the Canadian Omnibus Budget Bill (Bill C-38) continues to grow. The 425 page Bill C-38 amends, repeals, or in some cases completely replaces nearly 70 Canadian laws.
Four former federal fisheries ministers, two former Conservative fisheries ministers and two former Liberal fisheries Minister, have spoken against the changes Bill C-38 will make to the Canada Fisheries Act.
"They are totally watering down and emasculating the Fisheries Act," said Tom Siddon, who was fisheries minister for former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney from 1985 to 1990. "They are really taking the guts out of the Fisheries Act in devious little ways... they are making Swiss cheese out of it."
"How many people in the Finance Committee know anything about steelhead salmon on the West Coast of British Columbia? Where is Canadian industry being ground to a halt today if we take a few weeks to properly look at these amendments?" questioned former Conservative Fisheries Minister John Fraser, who represented Vancouver South, B.C. as Member of Parliament (MP) from 1972 until 1993.
"I'm not some left-wing loony. I'm a Conservative. I'm a real Conservative and nobody can pretend to be a Conservative if they are not a conservationist," said Fraser, adding that there will be a "political price" to pay if the government does not listen to Canadians.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May and the federal Liberals have jointly concocted a plan to delay the passage of Bill C-38 if the government does not agree to make substantial changes.
The Greens do not have official party status in the House of Commons, so Ms. May is not on parliamentary committees. As a tradeoff, she is permitted to propose an unlimited number of amendments to bills that have come back to the House from committees.
"The aim is to create such a substantial logjam that the government will have to negotiate removing the environmental and other non-budgetary matters from Bill C-38." said May.
View Bill C-38 An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures
View May 31, 2012 Sierra Club of Canada, Submission to the Senate Committee on Energy (Re: C-38)
View May 29, 2012 CBC News coverage
View May 28, 2012 Globe and Mail coverage
View May 28, 2012 RT coverage
View Black Out, Speak Out website
Hill Times, Globe and Mail