top of page

Marathon vote included MA & Fiona funds

Liberal MP Gudie Hutchings (Long Range Mountains) is the Minister of Rural & Economic Development and Minister for ACOA. — File photo

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter OTTAWA — In Ottawa, a marathon voting session revolving around the contentious carbon tax issue commenced at 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 7. By 11:30 p.m. that evening, only a fraction of the votes had been tallied. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre firmly stated, “we will move forward with delaying the government’s agenda over the opposition to the carbon tax.” As reported by CTV News, the Conservatives initiated numerous votes related to the Liberal government’s spending plans. The extensive list of items up for vote could exceed 100, potentially leading to over 27 hours of voting. The Conservatives offered to hasten the process if the government repealed a Senate amendment that significantly altered legislation on farm fuel carbon tax exemptions. Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer emphasized the party’s stance: “If not, in order to ensure Canadians understand the devastating impact the carbon tax will have on them, we will be voting around the clock until this government gets it through their minds, that the carbon tax is causing all this misery on Canadians.” MP Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister for ACOA, criticized the Conservatives for their tactics, referring to them as “all kinds of games.” She detailed the extensive voting, particularly highlighting the opposition to critical funding, including over $21 million for Marine Atlantic. Hutchings expressed her disappointment: “So at some point you can be political, but by God, you got to keep the country going, and then, you know, they voted against ACOA — and we all know the great work ACOA in community, small businesses and growing our economy — and then, as if that’s not bad enough, they also voted against the ACOA funding to help rebuild from Hurricane Fiona.” Hutchings also criticized Clifford Small, the only Conservative MP from Newfoundland and Labrador, for not defending provincial interests. “Clifford Small, the only Conservative MP from Newfoundland and Labrador, he didn’t stand up for our ferry service, and he voted against the funding for Hurricane Fiona, and he voted against the funding for ACOA. And look, if they truly believed in Atlantic Canada, they would have done what their colleague from Caribou, Prince George, did. There was a bill that he did not stand with his government. He abstained and didn’t vote.” Despite the opposition from Conservative MPs, the measures still passed, thanks to support from other parties. Hutchings noted, “Even though they voted against it, it passed because, matter of fact, the Bloc and the NDP voted with us.” She criticized the Conservatives for voting against initiatives vital to Atlantic Canada and broader national concerns. Addressing Poilievre’s absence during much of the voting session, Hutchings remarked, “It’s interesting, because I was just chatting to a colleague, a friend in the NDP party, and he’s retiring, he had an interviewer say to him, ‘oh, have you seen democracy and the House of Commons erode?’ And he said, ‘no, I haven’t seen that’. He said ‘what I’ve seen is the leader of the conservative party erode this incredible democracy that we have here, and I thought, ‘wow’.” Hutchings concluded by expressing concern over the financial and logistical costs of the prolonged session, particularly highlighting the impact on parliamentary pages who are university students in the midst of exams.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page