OTTAWA – A few hours after disrupting the budget speech, the Conservatives are threatening to use their opposition day to force a night marathon in the House of Commons.
Upon their arrival at the caucus meeting on Wednesday morning, elected representatives of the formation maintained that it was justified to make a noise to bury the speech of the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who opened the meeting room to the media, reiterated that the 2019 budget was just an attempt to camouflage the SNC-Lavalin affair.
He said his party would not give up and continue to try to find a way to hear Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister at the center of the story again.
One of the tactics that the Conservatives were threatening to employ was to force a night marathon of votes.
They registered 257 votes on the order paper, which could result in an uninterrupted session of 35 to 40 hours, depending on the number of members present.
Government House Leader Bardish Chagger sees this as just another example of their usual behavior.
“It’s been three and a half years since they say they’re going to filibuster. So for me, nothing has changed, “she said in a scrum.
Minister Pablo Rodriguez, for his part, is of the opinion that the Conservatives are firing on their feet.
“What they are doing right now, I think it’s going to hurt a lot,” he predicted when he arrived at the caucus meeting.
“When Canadians see a gang of people screaming and banging on their desks for long minutes without stopping … I do not see how it contributes to the democratic debate,” he chained.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Conservative troops made such a ruckus that Minister Morneau’s speech was inaudible.
After yelling slogans and tapping loudly on their desks, Conservative MPs finally decided to boycott the exercise and left the compound en bloc.
Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet blasted their attitude.
He argued that “never, never” such a thing could have happened in the National Assembly, where he sat as the Parti Québécois minister.
“Look, they had to get blisters from banging on their desks,” he said.
“And I did not talk to anyone (…) who found that the Conservatives’ behavior was the least elegant,” added the Bloc leader in the scrum.
Philpott and Wilson-Raybould
In the Liberal camp, on this caucus day, it was the fate of resigning ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott that caught the eye.
The two elected women slammed the door of the cabinet, but they remain members of the caucus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was comfortable with this situation.
“They both talked about wanting to run for the Liberal Party, that they believe in what we’re doing, and I’m very happy to be able to continue working with them,” she said. he declared in a scrum.
“Today, we are a united caucus. We will continue to talk about our budget (…), “he said.