OTTAWA – The Harper government has made another concession to allow greater scrutiny of its massive, omnibus budget implementation bill.
It has agreed to a Liberal proposal to allow nine Commons committees — not just the finance committee — to examine different aspects of the 400-plus-page bill, which changes about 60 pieces of legislation.
But Liberal finance critic Scott Brison says the concession is minor and should not be interpreted as respect for parliamentary democracy.
Last week, the government agreed to split off a portion of the bill dealing with reform of MPs’ gold-plated pension plans.
Opposition parties complain that such huge omnibus bills allow parliamentarians little time to properly study legislation and gives them a single vote on a diverse collection of measures, some of which they oppose, others of which they support.
They brought Parliament to a standstill in the spring as they fought the government’s first omnibus budget implementation bill.
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