OTTAWA, ON, November 26 – On November 26, Alexandre Boulerice, the NDP Labour Critic, tabled a motion requesting that Bill C-377 be dropped. Under the rules of Committees of the House, a speaker is entitled to speak on his motion until he is finished. M Boulerice then proceeded to speak for the entire two-hour time period allotted to the committee to deal with the clause-by-clause review and the proposed amendments. Click here for a link to an excerpt of the filibuster.
As a result of his filibustering, Bill C-377 was sent back to the House of Commons unamended. There is still a process left by which amendments may be introduced, however, M Boulerice took a stand for labour, and International Vice President Lewis sent him a letter to thank him for his efforts.
The NDP has also raised the cost of the Bill on a point of order following Question Period, on the basis that Bill C-377 will cost additional money to government. A Private Member’s Bill is not allowed to cost the government any money. The NDP will therefore be arguing that the Bill should be ruled out of order by the Speaker of the House. If the government wants to continuing supporting this bill, it will have to get an order in council to try to find the money to pay for it.
As it now stands, this discriminatory bill, which would, for example, publish the names of any member withdrawing more than $5,000 from his RRSP, is still alive. It looks as though the final vote will take place in mid-December.