Hundreds in B.C. protest Tory omnibus bill
Published Sunday, June 3, 2012 4:29PM PDT
Hundreds of British Columbians spent their weekend rallying to pressure Conservative MPs to vote against their own government's omnibus budget bill.
Bill C-38 is expected to be passed before the summer break and will alter dozens of laws far beyond the reach of the economy.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the office of North Vancouver MP Andre Saxton to voice their anger against the budget bill, while demonstrators plastered MP Wai Young's office in Vancouver South. These were just two of more than 70 rallies held across the country.
Protestors say changes will be made without adequate debate.
"It's a travesty for Canada. We're embarrassed internationally by the policies of the present administration," Keith Stein said.
Demonstrators hope their pressure tactics will reveal cracks in the Conservative Party line.
Last month, a video surfaced of Tory MP David Wilks telling constituents the bill was problematic.
"A barrage of Conservatives do hold your concerns, and I am one of them," he said in the video.
He has since retracted his comment and come out in full support of the omnibus legislation.
Organizers say they will continue to target Tory MPs elected with fewer than 50 per cent of the popular vote. In total, they need 13 onside to defeat Bill C-38.
"This has been a real moment where I think some people, including some Conservatives, believe that the government has gone too far," Jamie Biggar of Leadnow.ca said.
But Conservatives insist they are united.
"I'll be supporting the budget as a member of parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, and I'm certain all of my colleagues will be supporting the budget as well," Conservative MP Peter Braid said.
On Monday, environmental groups, charities and bloggers will protest changes under the budget bill by redirecting their websites to the Black Out Speak Out site.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan