Liberals warn of midnight sittings to pass Ontario...
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Jul 15, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Liberals warn of midnight sittings to pass Ontario budget

Government house leader Yasir Naqvi hopes the Liberals regain control of legislative committees for budgetary process


The majority Liberals have made a midnight move.

Government house leader Yasir Naqvi warned the Progressive Conservatives and NDP the legislature will sit daily until midnight in order to pass the budget.

Naqvi also said Tuesday the Liberals expect — and will get — a “simple majority” on legislative committees despite Conservative objections.

In a bit of post-election brinksmanship, the Grits are using the threat of July night sittings to push through Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s budget — tabled Monday — and get the opposition parties to agree the governing party dominates all committees.

“We have received a very clear mandate from the people of Ontario. They want this budget to be passed,” Naqvi told reporters.

The Liberals, who won 58 of the legislature’s 107 seats in the June 12 election, again want to control legislative committees the way they did from 2003 until 2011.

“What we’re asking for is what’s based on precedent,” said the government house leader, who seeks six Liberal MPPs to two Tory MPPs and one NDP MPP on committees chaired by a Grit.

On those helmed by opposition members, there would be five Liberals, two Tories and two New Democrats.

While the NDP agrees with the Liberal stance on committee composition, PC house leader Steve Clark said it’s not fair.

Clark said there should be five Liberals, including the chair, and two Tories and two NDP MPPs.

Still, he stressed the Conservatives have no plans to filibuster, suggesting a resolution is looming.

“It’s not our members’ intention to unduly hold up the budget.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it was “quite astonishing” that Naqvi would use the hammer of night sittings to expedite proceedings.

“Liberals used to talk about a family-friendly workplace and all of a sudden I guess (Premier) Kathleen Wynne thinks it’s OK to keep parents here till midnight to ram through a budget in the dark of night,” said Horwath.

Toronto Star

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