Opponents to a 425-page bill gathered in cities across the country on Saturday, June 2.
Yorkton-Melville M.P. Garry Breitkreuz was unaware that a few showed up in front of his constituency office. Five people gathered to hold signs and discuss their concerns about the budget bill. The nationwide protest took place at 75 different locations.
It was organized by leadnow.ca, an organization that advocates democratic action to protect the environment, equality, and economic fairness.
Poor public disclosure in F-35 fighter jet spending, the robo-call scandal, and “now this bill is kind of the last straw” prompted Frances Simonson to organize the protest.
The protest was an attempt to bring attention to the very large and complicated bill, said Simonson.
“I just want people to find out what’s in the bill in case they don’t know because it’s 400 pages long. I would encourage people to find out more,” she said.
In a phone interview, M.P. Garry Breitkreuz acknowledged the importance of the bill.
“If you have a budget bill generally it will affect the entire country and the economy of the country,” said Breitkreuz.
Simonson criticized how quickly the “drastic changes” included in the bill are moving through the house of commons.
Passing the bill in a time-effective manner is necessary, said Breitkreuz.
“It has been debated for quite some time already. The issues are well-known, I think, to everybody,” he said.
Recently, the bill attracted attention when Conservative M.P. David Wilks told constituents that he would like the bill to be split up into different parts. Later that day, Wilks changed his tune. He publicly stated that he fully supported the bill.
The government is trying to pass the bill by mid-June. The other parties will propose amendments which may slow the process.