When it comes to politics, Canadians are generally an apathetic bunch. Often, a controversy will brew and within a week or two we forget about it and move on. It appears Bill C-38 is one issue we’re not willing to let go.
Saturday is the one month anniversary of the introduction of the so-called omnibus budget bill, a 425-page bill that amends 60 different acts, repeals a half dozen others and adds three more.
In addition to the changes to employment insurance, Bill C-38 includes controversial changes to old age security, more than 100 pages of new provisions to environmental regulations, an important alteration to the oversight of CSIS and significant amendments in laws related to fisheries, food safety, national parks and natural resource projects.
Opposition parties have repeatedly said that the bill is too big and includes changes that ought to be broken off and presented as separate legislation. But the Conservatives are forging ahead with it as-is.
While Canadians haven’t hit the streets en masse yet, they are showing their dislike for the bill even one month later. On June 4, 13,000 website owners across Canada, including the NDP, PSAC and even Margaret Atwood, will be darkening their websites in protest of Bill C-38 as part of the ‘Black Out Speak Out‘ campaign.
And political analysts also continue to speak-out against the bill.
This week, the National Post‘s Matt Gurney, who could never be accused of being a left-wing radical, said the bill was “sneaky” and “undemocratic.”
Last week, Dennis Drainville, the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec wrote a scathing pieceabout the bill and how the Stephen Harper government is minimizing the role of Parliament.
“In the last 12 months I have seen clearly the rise of tyrannical policies and the application of such mind and state control that the people of Canada , unless they soon react, will find themselves not only slaves to a corporate and political domination they never chose but they will experience the extinguishing of any of the hopes and dreams that they once had for a nation firmly based upon the foundations of compassion, justice and peace,” he wrote.