Liberals back down on parliamentary changes
But closure will be the cost: Chagger
The Liberals are putting some water in their parliamentary wine, but their political rivals argue they are still forcing the opposition parties to drink it.
“It’s very clear that the Liberal arrogance and the plans that they have are not going away,” Opposition House leader Candice Bergen said Monday.
“They are taking this several notches further and making this even more of an untenable situation for us.”
The Liberal government took a big step back on its plans to change the ins and outs of parliamentary procedure, abandoning some of the more contentious reforms it had been proposing — changes that have had Conservative and NDP critics
up in arms for weeks.
They are still, however, going ahead with other changes, including having the prime minister deliver all the responses in
one question period each week.
And, since the Liberals promised these changes in their 2015 election campaign, they are going to push them through even if they cannot bring the opposition parties on side.
“We will continue to move ahead with the specific commitments from our campaign platform, all of which will make the government more accountable, not less,” government House leader Bardish Chagger said Monday.
NDP House leader Murray Rankin warned the Liberals against viewing the House of Commons this way.
“The Parliament is for the people of Canada,” said Rankin. “It is not to make the government’s work more efficient. It’s to hold the government to account.”
Rankin also pointed out the Liberals have walked away from other promises — including the one to reform the way Canadians vote in federal elections in time for the next one.
Government House Leader Bardish Chagger responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday.