Cullen says no choice but to move amendments
NDP has tried all other reasonable options to stand up to reckless bill
June 5th, 2012 - 3:23pm
OTTAWA – Opposition House Leader Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) alongside Finance Critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) and Deputy Finance Critic Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques) said the government has left them no choice but to move hundreds of amendments to fight the omnibus budget bill.
“We were always open to working with the government to negotiate, but they are refusing to use the common sense approach to split the bill and allow a real study of all sections,” said Cullen.
The omnibus budget bill proposes huge changes to more than 70 pieces of legislation and those changes will come down to one vote.
“Our decision comes after consultations with Canadians across this country,” Cullen said. “Over and over again we’re hearing about how Canadians are worried about their pensions, the gutting of environmental protections and the loss of government accountability.”
In the region Cullen represents, changes that will make it harder for seasonal workers to get Employment Insurance are also a key area of concern.
“People in my region who have followed the rules and paid into EI are going to have a harder time accessing it,” said Cullen. “And this is after many who work in the forestry and fishery industry have already struggled through tough economic times.”
Another huge concern to the region is the gutting of environmental protections while the government is trying to push through the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
“It’s offensive that while a project that could destroy some of the most pristine land in this country is under review, this government is slipping massive changes to the process into a 420 page bill, and not allowing those changes to be studied directly,” argued Cullen.
Critics of the pipeline and tanker project are concerned that a spill would destroy British Columbia’s coastline and the Great Bear Rainforest.
“Our hope is to express the will of Canadians,” said Cullen. “And if the only way to do that is to put forward amendments that will force many days of non-stop votes, then so be it.