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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2019-06-03 13:32 [p.28398]
Madam Speaker, the short answer is no, I do not. However, I thank the member for bringing up the fact that this is couched in an omnibus budget bill.
Whatever anyone thinks of this, whether they think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread or that this is a horrible end to Canadian democracy, and more likely it is somewhere in between, what people should be able to agree on is that it is significant to have this amount of government funding available to media organizations. It is the kind of thing that deserves a real debate.
However, the government said, for instance, that it was going to put the practice of omnibus budget bills in the past. It criticized the previous government for making unilateral changes to the Elections Act, which the current government subsequently did. It said it would not move forward with unilateral changes to the rules of Parliament, but then tried to do exactly that.
This is another industry that touches on the very fundamentals of Canadian democracy. We should have had more of an effort by the government to bringing people on all sides of the political spectrum onboard, that this would be done in a way that people expect. Instead, the government has taken the same ham-fisted approach it has taken to changes to Parliament, changes to the Elections Act and to implementing its budget bills.
I would note that in that same budget bill, the government is adopting the Conservatives' misguided approach to immigration. That in itself deserves real and sustained debate. Instead the government is tucking it into the back of a budget bill. There certainly is not time to debate both of these significant changes that are under the auspices of a single bill, let alone the other content of the bill that we have not touched on in today's debate.
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