Lib­er­als back down on par­lia­men­tary changes

But clo­sure will be the cost: Chag­ger

Cape Breton Post - - News | Canada - BY JOANNA SMITH

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.

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Gov­ern­ment House Leader Bardish Chag­ger re­sponds to a ques­tion dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod in the House of Com­mons on Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa on Mon­day.

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