Dr. Dawg

Conservatives to send blank bill to Committee

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Omnibus Bill.jpg

(Ottawa, February 18) DawgNews has learned that new omnibus legislation, provisionally entitled “The No More Hidden Agenda Act” is being sent directly to Committee before second reading. C-1A consists of some 1050 pages, all of them blank.

“I obviously can’t discuss this bill in any detail,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “But I can assure you that I know what’s in it,” he quipped, making a clear reference to disgraced Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Members of the Committee, dominated by Conservative MPs, are expected to propose numerous amendments before third reading, Senate approval and Royal Assent, all expected by late next week. Deliberations will likely take place in camera.

“Let your imaginations run free,” Harper reportedly told his caucus yesterday. “We have a majority, they don’t, and we can put anything we damned well like in there. Get the job done and let them howl.”

Once amended, the omnibus bill is expected to contain provisions dealing with abortion, capital punishment, torture and what some Conservatives are referring to as “the abominable crime.” Several departments are likely to be dissolved, with Environment, Health, and Statistics Canada high on the list, and Criminal Code provisions restricting hate speech and handguns will be repealed. Other possible amendments may include a flat tax and a military draft.

Asked why the government has decided to proceed in this fashion, Harper said: “It just makes more sense to put our entire vision for Canada into one bill instead of dribbling it out piece by piece. Why keep Canadians in suspense? Why make them wait?”

On the issue of Charter restrictions, Harper made it clear that the notwithstanding clause would be invoked as necessary. “Take torture,” he said. “Obviously it shouldn’t be used except in extreme circumstances, but we’re presently tying the hands of law enforcement in those cases.”

Closure will likely be declared once the bill is introduced on Monday. Opposition parties have stated that they’re prepared to fight the bill tooth and nail, but admit that they are hampered at this point by what Green leader Elizabeth May has called “a signal lack of legislative detail.”

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on February 18, 2012 2:32 PM.

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