Government Parliament

Change the House of Commons Standing Orders to end practice of using inappropriate omnibus bills to reduce scrutiny of legislative measures.

Liberal Platform Page 30 October 5, 2015
Broken
Nov 2018

Speaker rebukes Morneau over ‘massive’ budget bill

The Globe and Mail November 06, 2018

For the second year in a row, the Speaker of the House of Commons has chastised Finance Minister Bill Morneau for stuffing measures into a bill that were never mentioned in his budget.

Speaker Geoff Regan ruled Tuesday that measures in Mr. Morneau’s 854-page budget bill – which Mr. Regan called “massive” – related to new federal labour laws were not mentioned in the 2018 budget and will therefore be voted on separately by MPs.

[NDP finance critic] Mr. Julian raised the Speaker’s ruling directly with Mr. Morneau on Tuesday afternoon during a meeting of the House of Commons finance committee. He said the ruling shows there is “far too much dumped in this one piece of legislation for proper scrutiny,” adding that the Speaker’s finding “flies in the face” of the Liberal Party’s commitment to end the use of undemocratic omnibus bills.

Apr 2017

Budget bill would allow departments, agencies to avoid using Shared Services Canada

CBC News April 12, 2017

The Liberals have introduced an omnibus budget bill that includes a measure that would allow government departments and agencies the option of not using Shared Services Canada for some IT equipment and services.

The 307-page omnibus bill introduced Tuesday proposes changes to a host of existing laws and programs.

This promise was made because omnibus bills were deemed "undemocratic" by the Liberals while the Conservatives were in power. Although the promise is about changing the House of Commons Standing Orders to prevent omnibus bills from being created, it has in essence been broken by the introduction of Bill C-44 (covering the 2017 Budget Implementation) - the Liberals have argued that all measures in that bill are budget-related, yet most news organizations (and even the leader of the Senate Liberals, the Hon. Joseph A. Day - read his speech here) agree that it is an omnibus bill, since it clearly encompasses non-budgetary measures.