Tories Ignore Elizabeth May’s Budget Bill Quiz Challenge
June 20, 2012 in International Greens
OTTAWA — It was a challenge that went unanswered.
Not one Conservative MP showed up to take Green leader Elizabeth May’s open-book test on the contents of Bill C-38 Tuesday morning, and May said she wasn’t surprised.
“Why bother to know what’s in this act, if reading it and understanding it can get you fired?” May said in an empty room, save for a stack of unopened quizzes, a copy of the bill, and some untouched pitchers of water.
“If you’re given your talking points and you’re content to live with yourself to rely on talking points instead of reading the legislation yourself, then that be on your head.”
On Monday, May challenged Conservative MPs to take a quiz on the contents of the federal omnibus budget bill, saying that she was concerned that caucus members, including cabinet members, were unfamiliar with the specifics of the legislation.
She set aside two hours for MPs to show up and take the 15-minute quiz, available in French and English. Any MP who earned a passing grade — three out of five — would get a tree planted in the location of their choice.
The federal omnibus budget bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons late Monday and then headed for the Senate Tuesday, where it’s expected to sail through. C-38 would raise the eligibility age for old age security, reform the employment insurance system, overhaul environmental protection and fisheries laws, and expedite natural resource development approvals, along with hundreds of other proposed changes.
The government has repeatedly defended its legislation, saying the measures in the more than 400-page bill are what the country needs to stay afloat financially in a tough global economy.
A lone independent MP, Bruce Hyer, did show up toward the end of the morning to take the quiz and received a perfect score.