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May 23rd, 2018

Liberals shut down debate on Election bill

OTTAWA – On Wednesday, the Liberal government enacted a Harper-era tactic to shut down debate on a piece of legislation, C-76, which amends Canada's election rules. The move, known as 'time allocation,' comes hours after the NDP proposed working with the government to ensure the legislation could pass quickly while still hearing from experts and Canadians.

“This is the height of hypocrisy from the Liberals," said Nathan Cullen, NDP Critic on Democratic Reform. "Stephen Harper’s Conservatives forced unilateral changes to our election laws and at the time the Liberals swore up and down that would never happen on their watch."

Earlier on Wednesday, the NDP proposed a solution to get Bill C-76 to the Senate by the summer which would give Elections Canada enough time to implement the changes before the next election. Instead of shutting down debate on C-76, the NDP's proposal included measures to have a robust committee consultation, including travel from coast to coast to hear testimony from Canadians across the country.

“Our plan would have allowed Canadians to be heard, as well as ensure proper study and improvement of this omnibus bill,” added Cullen. “Previously, governments wouldn't dare touch the rules of our democracy without broad support from parties and Canadians. This is a terrible tradition they've chosen to continue.”