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Monday, March 23, 2009

no debate on public debate amendment [re: bill 18 & tilma].

They stood up to vote against it, but no PC MLA spoke up to explain why they opposed Lethbridge-East MLA Bridget Pastoor's March 18 amendment to remove Section 5 of Bill 18: Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement Implementation Statutes Amendment Act, 2009. In its current form, Section 5 will allow Cabinet Ministers to suspend or modify sections of the TILMA Act without seeking the approval of or having to deal with public debate in the elected Legislature.

Six opposition MLAs rose to speak in support of the amendment, while thirty-one PC MLAs, including Cabinet Ministers Iris Evans, Dave Hancock, Jack Hayden, Doug Horner, Heather Klimchuk, Fred Lindsay, Luke Ouellette, Alison Redford, Rob Renner, Lloyd Snelgrove, Ron Stevens, and Gene Zwozdesky didn't make a peep before defeating the amendment 31 to 6.

UPDATE: MLA Laurie Blakeman raised concerns about this section of Bill 18 earlier in the week:

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Opposition MLAs have no business drafting legislation. Period. End of non-story.

This blog somehow gets more and more pathetic every day.

Anonymous said...

Ha. PC MLA's voting away their right to public debate. Sheep.

Tiny Perfect Blog said...

Dave,

Section five does far more than give cabinet the ability to amend that bill, they can amend any bill.

See my post on the subject.

JP said...

If Pastoor had crossed the floor to the PCs then maybe her amendment would have passed at a Tory caucus meeting.

BT said...

Why wasn't my MLA Rachel Notley in the Legislature to vote for the amendment? Mason was the only ND there.

Bridget Pastoor, Harry Chase, Brian Mason, Kevin Taft, Kent Hehr, and Dave Taylor voted for the amendment.

Ken Allred, Jack Hayden, Alison Redford, Moe Amery, Fred Horne, Rob Renner, Manmeet Bhullar Doug Horner, Peter Sandhu, Neil Brown, Broyce Jacobs, Lloyd Snelgrove, Pearl Calahasen, Heather Klimchuk, Ron Stevens, Robin Campbell, Fred Lindsay, George VanderBurg, Jonathan Denis, Ty Lund, Greg Weadick, Arno Doerksen, Richard Marz, Theresa Woo-Paw, Iris Evans, Barry McFarland, David Xiao, Hector Goudreau, Luke Ouellette, Gene Zwozdesky, and Dave Hancock voted against the amendment.

Gauntlet said...

I don't know if QP is having issues, but I can't read through the formatting problems in Bill 18. From what I can tell, there is some sort of clause that says that the Lieutenant Governor in Council (cabinet) can make regulations that overwrite the law, and that those regulations can be retroactive.

Abdication of legislative power is unconstitutional. But there's this strange constitutional argument about whether or not a legislature can really abdicate its own legislative power, since it can always repeal the act that delegated the power to someone else.

Which is to say, I'm not certain whether s.5 is constitutional. But I'm certain it's highly offensive to democracy.

Both of those are probably reasons that the government isn't talking about it. Which makes the second one worse.

democracy in edmonton-centre said...

TILMA was negotiated and signed without the approval or consultation of the elected Legislature. The entire creation of TILMA was behind closed doors.

Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman called Bill 18 an 'omnibus Bill' because it is so completely packed with changes.

Blakeman brought up the Cabinet powers changes in the Legislature on March 12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaCSFo9ryuQ

Anonymous said...

Another nail in the coffin of citizenship and democracy in Alberta. More power to the cabinet. More power to closed door cabinet meetings.

KBH said...

What's wrong with giving Cabinet the flexibility to deal with laws without having to wait for a legislature to sit? This is what progress looks like. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with KBH -- I want the Cabinet to govern with their gut instincts rather than submit to the whims of the circus that is the legislature. Keep things simple and streamlined; it's given us the best government in North America, so I don't see what all the handwringing is about.

Walt said...

So, when the Alberta Liberals form the next government, will they repeal TILMA quicker or slower than the federal Liberal repealed NAFTA?

I liked it way better in the 1980s, when only the beer brewed in a province could be sold there. This non-Alberta beer sucks.

What do people actually object to in TILMA? They don't want the option to pursue work options in BC? I know its trade policy and it's boring stuff to read (which is why no one at the Journal bothered to until it was signed) but do you have real stuff or just everything the Tories do is evil?

Anonymous said...

Walt - It's not about TILMA. It's about public debate in the Legislature instead of decisions being made behind closed doors.

Walt said...

Oh, my mistake.
Glad we agree about TILMA.

Anonymous said...

I think that letting various supra-national firms run rampant through any economy is soooo self-sabotage. Tilma is the decentralization of accountabilty that is the reason I pay taxes (that are already being given away at the moment).

That... and the fact that rule for, by, and of corporations, is the very definition of FACISM!

Anonymous said...

TILMA also disempowers communities to have any say about what happens where they live. Tilma allows companies to sue government (there-by punishing the tax payer) for anything the company deems is hampering it's bottom line. For example Exxon (I think it was Exxon) was able to sue us under NAFTA because we refused to allow a carcinogenic additive be used. Now our gas can cause cancer and we're out of pocket.

There millions of possible ramification for the public under TILMA...