Budget bill absurdity had to be opposed

Last week in Ottawa saw the marathon voting on the massive Conservative budget bill begin and the Nova Scotia NDP government of Darrell Dexter receive some positive reviews from two credit rating agencies.
Earlier in the week, New Democrats decided to table hundreds of amendments to the 425-page Conservative “budget” bill to prove a point. The Tories planned to amend more than 70 pieces of legislation on everything from Employment Insurance to the environment and fisheries while reducing the budget of the Auditor General and eliminating the position of the Inspector General of CSIS, which has kept tabs on our spy agency since 1984.
In short, this one “budget” bill is, in reality, about 70 pieces of legislation packed into one—and a deliberate attempt to limit parliamentary debate and oversight.
Since this so-called “budget” was nothing more than an attempt to limit debate, New Democrats decided to table normal amendments to the various clauses that we disagree with, as we would have if the bill had been split into the appropriate number of parts and debated properly.
The result was the tabling of 159 amendments by the Opposition and more than 24 hours of continuous voting.
It really is a shame it had to come to this, but the absurdity of putting forth a bill of this size and magnitude had to be put on display and opposed with full force.
Despite our best efforts, the bill likely will pass into law sometime this week.
Meanwhile, there was some welcome news for the people of Nova Scotia and the NDP government of Darrell Dexter last week when two separate credit rating agencies said they held a positive outlook on the financial operations of the Dexter government and on the Nova Scotia economy.
The Dominion Bond Rating Service upgraded the province’s outlook from “stable” to “positive,” while maintaining its ‘A’ rating, and Standard and Poor’s reaffirmed its ‘A+’ rating and outlook for the province.
Dominion said their upgrade was the result of the Dexter government restraining spending growth and meeting its fiscal targets.
Dexter and the NDP took over from the Conservative government of Rodney MacDonald in 2009 and inherited a massive budget deficit, but have since got the finances of the province under control and could balance the budget as early as next year.
The Dexter government again is showing that fiscally- and socially-responsible government is not only possible, but are more often than not found together in prosperous economies.

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