Stand for Democracy - Abolish Omnibus bills!
- by: Gail Gammon
- target: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and all Federal Party leaders
An Omnibus bill is a draft law before a legislature which contains many related but separate Parliamentary proposals. The combination of many proposals into one bill is intended for the sake of efficiency and convenience.
But now, Omnibus bills are being used to ram through draconian amendments that would never stand on their own merit unless attached to other unrelated bills.
This occurred with the passage of PM Stephen Harper’s Omnibus Budget Bill C-38, which guts Canada’s environmental and fair wage laws, among others. The size of Bill C-38 (452 pages) precluded adequate time for proper study, reasoned debate or public consultation on contentious amendments, effectively trampling Canada’s democratic principles.
The use of Omnibus bills denies citizens the right to full disclosure and consultation on matters that affect them. Tell PM Harper that their use as an “all or nothing” tactic to ram through unpopular amendments is undemocratic and unconstitutional.
I am writing to express my displeasure at the continued use of Omnibus Bills in Parliament.
In theory, Omnibus Bills should be used to further efficiency on the Parliamentary floor. But continuing to use them to "ram through" unpopular legislation -- like you did with Bill C-38 -- is both unethical and underhanded.
It is unreasonable to expect Canadian legislators to properly study bills that are 452 pages in length. I demand that you stop using Omnibus Bills immediately.