Perhaps you had to be there. Perhaps you’re glad you weren’t.
The Trudeau Liberal government’s fourth budget was delivered in the House of Commons Tuesday, but nobody could hear it. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau was drowned out by a cacophony of heckling by opposition MPs over what Tory Leader Andrew Scheer characterized as the Liberals’ “assault on democracy” in shutting down the SNC-Lavalin investigation.
It’s the last federal budget before this fall’s general election.
Conservative MP’s yelled “Let her speak,” and “Cover up.”
Scheer led his caucus out of the House, leaving Ontario MP Pierre Poilievre behind to take notes.
“With budget 2019, Justin Trudeau is covering up his corruption under $41 billion of brand new spending paid for by tax hikes if he’s re-elected,” Scheer charged. “It is the most expensive cover-up in the history of cover ups.“
“Mr. Trudeau’s plan is obvious,” Scheer said Tuesday. “Massive deficits to distract Canadians from his corruption before the election. Massive tax hikes to pay for them after the election. Canadians will not be distracted by Mr. Trudeau’s cover-up deficits. They demand answers on the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal and Conservatives will do everything we can to get them. In the days ahead, we will continue to oppose Mr. Trudeau’s cover-up agenda. Tomorrow, MPs will debate a Conservative motion calling on him to waive privilege and allow Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak.”
Ken Hardie, Liberal MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said the opposition has drowned out the government before, “but they’ve never done it before on a budget.”
“The opposition’s interest is trying to keep the SNC-Lavalin affair as long as they can; they were upset that the justice committee, after five weeks of hearings, said, ‘Y’know what, we’ve heard everything we need to hear on the issue so let’s move on,’” Hardie said. “The justice committee had a motion to now go on to deal with hate, white supremacy, that sort of thing. In any event, the Conservatives particularly didn’t like that so that was the tactic they used to be disruptive.
“They were starting to wear themselves out,” he chuckled.
Hardie said the Conservatives were “rising on continual points of order, anything they could do to basically frustrate the schedule.
“As we speak, I’m getting ready to vote all night,” he said Wednesday. “They’re going to bring up 256 individual budgetary item votes, and they’re going to vote against just about everything that the public needs from government. Line by line, line by line. It’ll be an all-nighter, at $50,000 an hour to keep the lights on in the House of Commons, and the staff and everything else, to what end? Only to show their pique at an issue that’s been thoroughly canvassed, keep it going, because it’s really the only thing they’ve got these days it seems.”
As for the budget – promises of which are contingent on a Liberal government re-election on Oct. 21 – seniors got a “tremendous lift,” Hardie said.
“We’ve changed some of the rules around clawing back the GIS, the guaranteed income supplement. Seniors will be able to go out, find themselves a part-time job because want to keep working to earn a few extra dollars and just to keep busy. We’ve increased the limit to the amount they can earn without losing any of their GIS, so that’s going to be a measurable improvement to a lot of seniors.”