Before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament in August, it was not set to resume regular sittings until Sept. 21
Once the PM broke his promise not to use prorogation, he did to shut down the parliamentary committees investigating the WE scheme.
Parliament was again further delayed until Sept. 23.
Last Wednesday was Sept. 23 and became the date of the Throne Speech that I covered in last week’s report.
This week, the government tabled Bill C-4, the latest COVID relief response bill.
It was disappointing that the Trudeau Liberal government only allowed just over four hours to debate a bill that will exceed $50 billion worth of deficit spending.
Why did the Trudeau Liberal government do this?
Because there was not enough time after existing programs all ran out.
By proroguing Parliament, and delaying the return of the House, the time that should have been spent properly debating and reviewing this bill at committee stage was lost.
In other words, the Prime Minister created this situation solely to cover for the WE scandal and that has now come at the expense of legitimate democratic debate on a critically important bill.
Why does debate and committee stage review matter?
During this pandemic response, a significant number of gaps and unintended barriers have prevented those in need from getting the help a response program was intended to provide.
As a result, during these past months, the government has been playing catch up, typically after these gaps and barriers were pointed out by the Opposition.
Some people still have not received help because of this approach.
In this instance, Parliament finally had an opportunity to be proactive and study and debate a critically important bill prior to it coming into effect.
Instead, the Prime Minister was more concerned with shutting down Parliament so the parliamentary committees that were uncovering uncomfortable and alarming evidence about the WE scheme.
So this opportunity for proactive debate and study was squandered.
This is a massive failure by the Prime Minister, putting the need for political cover over the importance of properly debating and studying the COVID bill.
The bill was ultimately passed unanimously, however, it was not studied and committee nor was it extensively debated.
As a result there are many unknown details.
For example, how smoothly will the CERB benefit transition into the new EI version of this benefit?
Likewise, Canadians still don't know the status is of the EI account (which is paid for, through premiums, by employees and employers) and if these proposed new programs are sustainable.
These are all very serious questions and there is no answer to date.
My question this week:
- Are you satisfied with the current direction of this Liberal government?
I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.