Battle of the Budget — the sequel — takes shape Monday when a bitterly divided Parliament resumes after its summer break.
Opposition MPs, who staged a 23-hour voting marathon in a vain attempt to derail the Harper government’s agenda last spring, will be readying for another showdown when the Conservatives table a second massive budget implementation bill.
As well, there will be fierce debate over environmental protection and the government’s much-disputed plan to expand Internet surveillance. And the New Democrats — with an eye on the next election — will for the first time be consciously auditioning for prime time
Canadians still reeling from the wide-ranging impact of the 425-page budget legislation brought in by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government earlier this year should brace for more shocks when the second bill is tabled in a month or so.
The first bill to implement the March 29 budget contained a wide array of what opposition MPs considered nasty surprises. The next piece of so-called omnibus legislation is expected to be in the 400-page range as well. Opposition MPs aren’t sure what it will contain and the government is keeping the details under wraps.
“The last experience with one of these omnibus bills was not just terrible for Parliament, it was bad for the country,” NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen said in an interview.