Updated: Conservatives filibuster budget for Justice Committee shutdown
The Conservative Party had announced its intention to have MPs filibuster this week’s budget if former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould is not allowed to return to testify before the Justice Committee.
The Liberals countered by moving opposition day to Wednesday, meaning that the filibuster could not happen until after the budget was to be tabled.
The opposition did end up going forward with the vote marathon, but not before giving the Liberals another chance to allow Wilson-Raybould to complete her testimony on the SNC-Lavalin affair.
This would not have been the first time that the Conservatives have used this tactic to protest a Liberal coverup. When it happened last, it was in protest of the Liberals’ refusal to let a senior government official testify before a committee about the “Atwal affair”.
That scandal concerned Trudeau’s much-ridiculed India trip, during which a convicted attempted murderer and terrorist was invited to a government event and was photographed with the prime minister’s wife.
The Conservatives planned to challenge 196 government initiatives in parliament. Each challenge requires a confidence vote in parliament, which means that the government would fall if they lost any one of those votes.
If you have never seen parliament vote on a motion, you might not know what a gruelling process it is. It involves each MP standing up and then sitting back down as two different people say and record each MP’s name.
Here is the video where parliament voted on whether to join the air campaign against ISIS.
Now imagine doing this 196 times. By doing this, the Conservatives could have significantly delayed the government’s tabling of the budget.
Although the filibuster avoided the public attention that it may have gotten if it delayed the budget, it sent the message that the Liberals ought not to simply be allowed to go on like everything is business as usual. At least not while they continue in their coverup efforts by preventing former Minister Wilson-Raybould from returning to a committee, which has become quite familiar to many Canadians in recent weeks.
An effort like this would have been physically taxing for everyone involved, making it a very costly form of punishment. But there is hardly anything less that would have adequately expressed the sentiment around the country—that this issue is here to stay until all questions are answered, and all answers are accounted for.
Those votes ought to have shaken the conscience of every Liberal MP who is still deluded into thinking that smart voters will not see through their facade about “9000 jobs”. Informed observers know that the claim has been called into question, and such questions have not been answered.
A quick, clean, and broad caucus revolt might have made the Liberal Party look a little more like the “sunny ways” that their tainted leader had promised. Now, the damage is ongoing and their task is to control that damage.