Senators on the right track with budget bill



    OTTAWA, March 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada
(PSAC) is congratulating Senators who are making the case that many of the
non-budgetary changes in Bill C-10 should be carved out and debated
separately.
    "From the beginning, PSAC and its members have been trying to make the
point with Parliamentarians that the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act
is not a budgetary measure and should be withdrawn from Bill C-10," says PSAC
National President John Gordon.
    "We also made the point that while the fast track process being used by
the government to adopt Bill C-10 may be appropriate for the budgetary
stimulus measures, it is completely inappropriate for other pieces of
legislation affected by the bill."
    During second reading debate in the Senate last week, it was pointed out
that only 27 of the 550-plus pages of the budget bill actually relate to the
budget and economic stimulus measures. As one Senator noted, the Senate is
being asked to make amendments to 42 acts of Parliament, many of which have no
connection to the budget.
    "The Harper government is using the economic crisis as an excuse to make
changes to a whole range of laws - changes that are not urgent, require
thoughtful examination and deserve full public debate," says Gordon.
    The Conservatives have indicated repeatedly that they want Bill C-10 to
become law by the end of March.
    "Before the Conservative spin machine goes into hyperdrive at the thought
of the Senate actually taking a sober second look at this bill, they should
consider Senator Lowell Murray's idea to deal with the urgent aspects of the
Bill first," says Gordon.
    Murray has suggested that the Senate should deal with the budget and
fiscal stimulus aspects of C-10 and send them back to the House of Commons
next week so that the urgent measures in the bill could have Royal Assent as
early as March 13. That would allow Parliament to give proper consideration to
the rest of the legislative agenda in C-10 in the form of separate bills.
    "The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act is a serious law that will
strip federal public sector women of their right to pay equity," says Gordon.
"And many more of the changes in Bill C-10 will also have serious consequences
for Canadians."
    "Senator Murray has proposed a workable alternative that will meet the
government's demand for approval of their economic stimulus package, while
simultaneously protecting the democratic process."

    PSAC members are mobilizing around the country to contact Senators in
their province, urging them to remove the Public Sector Equitable Compensation
Act from budget bill.




For further information:

For further information: and interviews: Ariel Troster, PSAC
Communications, (613) 292-8363 (cell)


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