In a last ditch effort to see some changes to the most controversial elements of the Federal Government’s large omnibus budget bill; Opposition parties tabled some 800 amendments to the bill last week. This week, MPs buckled in for the 22-hours plus marathon voting session that saw the parliamentarians voting 159 times on the grouped amendments.
It was a vote of attrition – had too many Conservatives been absent or in the bathroom at the same time, some of the amendments might have passed. Unfortunately for the OAS, this did not happen – Bill C-38 made it through unscathed and will now go to final reading the House of Commons on Monday June 18th 2012.
This means that despite promising not to cut pensions during the last election, the Conservatives voted down motion No. 625. Despite CARP and Opposition protests, they voted to raise the age eligibility from 65 to 67.
The filibuster staged by the Opposition parties, in the end, will have been largely symbolic although it will have show Canadians that the house is fractured along partisan lines and that the Government will not compromise.