Canadian Democracy Index 2012*
*prepared by Patricia Steenberg from parliamentary website
Bill C-38, AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET TABLED IN PARLIAMENT ON MARCH 29, 2012 AND OTHER MEASURES
(90 per cent of the budget bill is other measures)
Bill C-38 is an omnibus bill; dealing with 70 different pieces of legislation.
An omnibus bill is intended to bundle together in a single bill all the legislation resulting from a single government policy decision in order to facilitate parliamentary debate. It was never intended to be used as a tool to enact a government’s entire policy agenda with the least possible consideration and debate.
Time allocation was imposed by the Government on the second day of debate, at the earliest occasion possible under the Standing Orders (rules of the House).
Bill C-38 received a total of 31 hours of debate over 8 sitting days. There are 308 Members in the House. Average debate per Member (31/308): 6 minutes.
Average debate per Member per Act (6/70): 5.2 seconds.
Not a democratic process. Not a democratic Government. Not a democracy.
Some of the Changes Included in Bill C-38
More tax penalties for NGO advocacy (aimed at muzzling environmental organizations involved in the pipeline protest)
Repealing the Environmental Assessment Act and replacing it with a whole new Act.
Restricting the length of pipeline environmental assessments.
Repealing Canada’s Kyoto commitment.
Extending the age at which Canadians will be eligible for old age pensions.
Removing the Office of the Inspector General, responsible for CSIS oversight.
Empowering the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to issue persons with licenses to control seeds and seed crops.
Eliminating the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.
Eliminating the National Round Table on the Environment and the Econo
Reducing budgets of Elections Canada, National Library, Statistics Canada
Changing foreign ownership requirement for common telecommunications carriers ( to enable China’s purchase of Telus)
Eliminating the First Nations Statistical Institute.
Eliminating the National Council on Welfare.