Massive federal bill would repeal lots of earlier legislation

Dear editor,
I am deeply concerned about Bill C-38.

Dear editor,I am deeply concerned about Bill C-38.Unlike previous budget bills, which were on average 30 pages long and covered only money matters, this massive 425-page document contains over 700 clauses and is full of technical language. It includes items that would eliminate or drastically change over 70 Canadian laws and regulations.It is an “omnibus” bill, meaning that the government intends to pass it in its entirety. They are refusing to break it up so that its different parts can be discussed and considered by separate committees.Deceptively named the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, Bill C-38 was introduced as a budget bill on April 26 and it immediately passed first reading. It passed second reading on May 14 and was referred to the finance committee, even though all Members of Parliament in the four opposition parties voted against it.The government wants to have it passed into law by mid-June. This is an incredibly short period of time for there to be proper discussion and debate.And it’s ludicrous that the only parliamentary committee to scrutinize this bill is the finance committee, since a great many of its clauses have nothing to do with finance, but have a great deal to do with gutting environmental and labour protections.Bill C-38 would completely repeal the Fair Wages and Hours Labour Act, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act, the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.It would alter core provisions of the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act, National Energy Board Act, Species at Risk Act, Parks Canada Agency Act, Canadian Oil and Gas Operations Act, Canada Seeds Act, and the Nuclear Safety Control Act.Major alternations would be made to many other acts and regulations for which Canadians of all political persuasions fought long and hard, including Old Age Security and unemployment Insurance.In most democratic societies, every item in a bill this far-reaching would be carefully considered and debated before passage, and there would be time for citizens and other political parties to have their concerns addressed.But this government, even though it was elected by fewer than 40 per cent of the voters, seems to believe that it can ram through its legislation without proper debate and without any attempt to inform all Canadians how this bill is going to affect our country and their lives.You have a right to know exactly what is in Bill C-38 and how it is going to affect you and the things you care about. You have a right to have your voice heard.Please, I urge you, write to Prime Minister Harper, write to John Duncan, our Member of Parliament, attend any public meetings that will explain what is in this bill, and speak out about your concerns. Demand that the necessary time be taken for Canadians to understand the drastic changes that are being proposed. Be part of the democratic process, or we will no longer have a democracy, we will have a dictatorship.Ellen Rainwalker,Cumberland

Comox Valley Record