Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s C-38 votes. It was expected that voting would begin around 5:30pm, but some procedural fussing about by the Liberals seems to have delayed those votes by a few hours. Stay tuned throughout the evening (and morning?) as we follow the parliamentary festivities.
4:43pm. If you’re only now tuning in, you just missed a fascinating series of points of order, during which Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux twice asked the Speaker to clarify the rules of the House (Speaker Devolin invited Mr. Lamoureux to read the standing orders) and Bob Rae objected to the Defence Minister’s earlier use of the word “mendaciousness” (Peter MacKay duly stood and withdrew the remark). The House is now at the time reserved each day for the presenting of petitions and will soon move to the final period of report stage debate on C-38.
4:51pm. The New Democrats held a photo op this afternoon to demonstrate how they were preparing for tonight’s votes. Mostly this seems to have involved Nathan Cullen removing his jacket and writing “C-38” on a giant white pad of paper.
5:04pm. The Liberals have chosen now to discuss Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. And now there is some discussion between the Speaker, Elizabeth May and Denis Coderre about how long one can speak when responding to a question of privilege.
5:15pm. With Mr. Lamoureux still responding to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer rises on a point of order to question Mr. Lamoureux’s point of privilege. The Speaker stands and reads the rules pertaining to questions of privilege, specifically that such interventions should be “brief and concise” and that the Speaker has the right to “terminate” the discussion. Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti rises on a point of order to object to Mr. Zimmer’s point of order. Mr. Lamoureux attempts a point of order to respond to Mr. Zimmer, but the Speaker suggests he carry on with his point of privilege, but then Mr. Coderre rises on a point of order to complain about the Speaker’s desire to move things along. The Speaker asserts his impartiality and attempts to straighten this all out, but Mr. Coderre rises on another point of order to clarify his respect for the Speaker, but also to express his desire that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to give a full response to Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. Mr. Pacetti rises on a point of order to add his concern that Mr. Lamoureux be allowed to speak fully. The Speaker says he was merely reminding everyone of the rules and gives Mr. Lamoureux five minutes to finish and, finally, we’re now back to Mr. Lamoruex’s point of privilege.
5:30pm. The Speaker stands and calls an end to Mr. Lamoureux’s remarks and attempts to move to the last hour of report stage debate on C-38, but now Mauril Belanger is up on a separate point of privilege.
5:32pm. The Speaker cuts off Mr. Belanger to move to deferred votes on two opposition motions and one private member’s bill. MPs have 30 minutes to report to the chamber.
5:40pm. Conservative MPs Blaine Calkins and Brian Jean seem rather excited about tonight’s sleepover.
6:15pm. Scott Brison’s motion, which instructs the finance committee to undertake a study of income inequality carries by a vote of 161-138 (with several Conservatives supporting it).
6:24pm. Jack Harris’ motion on search-and-rescue response times is defeated 163-138.
6:33pm. Conservative MP Roxanne James’ private member’s bill to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to “to allow the Commissioner to designate an offender as a ‘vexatious complainant’ when the offender files multiple complaints or grievances that are ordinarily of a vexatious or frivolous nature or not made in good faith” passes at report stage by a vote of 194-107. The House now moves to an hour of debate of C-305, Olivia Chow’s private member’s bill on a national transit strategy.
7:44pm. The Speaker has just now ruled on Mr. Cullen’s point of privilege. He found no reason to intervene. (I’ll have the full text up shortly.) The House has now moved to debate of C-38. The latest guess about when voting will begin is midnight.
8:46pm. After going for dinner (the caesar salad at Brixtons is pretty good and you can’t beat the service), I’ve taken up my spot in the House. Debate has concluded and the Speaker is now reading all of the 871 amendments into the record. Each group of amendments is then subject to an oral vote—the opposition MPs yelling “yea” and the government MPs yelling “nay.” The Speaker then judges which side has shouted most, but so long as five MPs then stand, the group of amendments is set aside for a recorded vote. The latest guess is that those votes will start around 11:15pm.
8:49pm. Let the record show that there are eight spectators in the south gallery to witness this reading and shouting.
8:58pm. Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie just asked the House for permission to dispense—ie. to stop reading. She did not find unanimous agreement. There are about three dozen MPs in the House, though it’s not clear how many—if any—are listening. The Liberals are heckling Conservative MP Paul Calandra. Most of those present are fiddling with laptops or tablets. Conservative MP Lois Brown is reading a book.
9:02pm. Mauril Belanger has just risen on a point of order to ask that Deputy Speaker Savoie make sure to read the number of each motion before proceeding so that MPs can follow along.
9:09pm. Peggy Nash explains what she’s doing here (she is actually here at the moment).
We will be standing up for transparency and accountability. We will be standing up for environmental protection and our fisheries communities. We will be standing up for retirement security and health-care funding. We will spend 24 straight hours — or more — standing up on behalf of millions of Canadians who sent us to Ottawa to vote against this bill.
9:25pm. Mr. Belanger on another point of order. He seems to think Deputy Speaker Savoie missed something. She duly rereads the motion in question. We’re at motion 119 now. Only 700 or so to go.
9:32pm. Deputy Speaker Savoie swaps out Deputy Speaker Devolin, another deputy, and receives a round of applause. Deputy Speaker Devolin seems to be reading faster.
9:37pm. I timed him. Deputy Speaker Devolin just read five motions in a single minute. We just passed motion 164.
9:41pm. Mr. Belanger rises on a point of order to say Deputy Speaker Devolin is speaking too fast for the interpreters. Deputy Speaker Devolin seems to have responded by slowing down. It would seem fair to conclude that the Liberals are quite eager to slow this process down as much as possible.
9:49pm. Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner just came in and loaded her desk with food, possibly candy of some kind.
10:09pm. Just passed motion 300.
10:27pm. A few dozen Conservatives just streamed in to lend their voices to a series of oral votes. In the Speaker’s judgment, the nays won all of them, but the requisite number of opposition MPs rose to demand recorded votes. Some MPs are quite enthusiastic yellers.
10:31pm. As a result of all that we’re not at motion 375.
10:36pm. Marc Garneau puts this is in perspective.
Speaker reading motion 300 of 871. Since Speaker started at 8:42pm, Shuttle would have orbited Earth once.Go Speaker!
10:47pm. Attendance in the south gallery momentarily peaked at 20, then a few people left. Deputy Speaker Devolin was treated to a standing ovation as he hit motion 500. He wisely did not stop reading to soak in the applause, but kept going.
10:52pm. Elizabeth May rises on a point of order to note that Deputy Speaker Devolin said “the” when he should have said “any” in his reading of a motion. Deputy Speaker Devolin duly corrects himself.
10:58pm. Deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton swaps in for Deputy Speaker Devolin and Deputy Speaker Devolin receives a round of applause. Mr. Garneau rises on a point of order to note that Deputy Speaker Stanton forgot to read the motion number. We’re on motion 547 now.
11:03pm. The few dozen MPs in the House are variously lounging about. Watching the House at these moments feels something like watching a zoo exhibit, observing the parliamentarian in his natural habitat. One half expects a zookeeper to come by and toss hunks of raw meat or fish into the enclosure.
11:12pm. Strange things happen after dark here. The NDP’s Christine Moore and Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino, frequent QP opponents, are sitting together and chatting at the far end of the room.
11:27pm. We just passed motion 700. Pat Martin tweets a picture of the scene in the opposition lobby.
11:34pm. Attendance in the south gallery is now at 35. It is actually just about half full. And the reading of motion 800 just received a round of applause from the floor. Momentum is building. In other news, I have been officially reprimanded for my removing my jacket while in the press gallery. I kept my top hat and monocle in place, but apparently that’s not sufficient.
11:57pm. Deputy Speaker Stanton finishes reading motion 871 into the record and receives a round of applause. The nays are now winning a series of oral votes, despite very loud and long attempts by Peter Julian to persuade the Speaker of the yea side. Daryl Kramp and Candice Hoeppner have brought pillows. Rona Ambrose has a Hudson Bay blanket.
12:05am. The Prime Minister strolls in. He has neither pillow nor blanket. He is periodically lending his voice to the shouting though. An NDP MP just tried to start the wave.
12:20am. The yea side has actually won a couple here. Meanwhile, there is a stuffed animal dog in Devinder Shory’s seat.
12:26am. After a full 20 minutes of yelling at regular intervals, the House now proceeds to the deferred recorded divisions. The bells are ringing to bring the MPs to the House. A mere 24 hours or so of actual voting remains.
12:38am. Peter Julian tries to wring some drama of what is to come.
2 questions tonight- ?
#c38?: 1) Are there ? #13Heroes? in Con caucus? 2) When will ? #Orangesurge? come to catch Cons by surprise?
12:45am. If you step outside the House, it is June 14. Inside the House, it remains June 13. The House does not recognize the normal laws of space and time and so it will remain June 13 until the parliamentary day is concluded.
12:50am. Justin Trudeau invites you to come watch the democracy happen.
So you’re out on the town in Ottawa? Leave the pub, come to parliament, and watch us stand up for you and for democracy.
In other news, Michelle Rempel appears to have brought play-doh into the House.
12:54am. Leisure Watch. Peter Van Loan is reading The Best Laid Plans. Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield is playing solitaire on an iPad, as is his parliamentary secretary Randy Kamp.
12:58am. The whips, Gordon O’Connor and Nycole Turmel, walk in to begin the vote. The NDP tries to start the wave again.
1:00am. Thomas Mulcair rises to begin the first of 159 votes.
1:03am. Stephen Harper rises to lead the votes against the amendment.
1:05am. Hmm. We’ve only just noticed that the 11 Conservative MPs seated on the opposition side are not present. Neither is independent MP Peter Goldring. Perhaps the first shift as the government MPs split up House duty.
1:07am. The first motion is defeated 150-133.
1:14am. The second motion is defeated 149-133. It’s unclear how or where the Conservatives lost a vote.
1:19am. Much of the government frontbench, including the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Finance Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister, are catching up on paperwork.
1:22am. The third motion is defeated 149-133.
1:26am. The clerk calling out the votes just confused Lisa Raitt with Rona Ambrose. Already the foundations of our democracy are beginning to struggle under the strain of this.
1:29am. The fourth motion is defeated 149-133. The previously absent Conservatives just filed in and the next dozen just filed out.
1:32am. Conservative MP Merv Tweed, head in hand, seems to be trying to sleep at his desk between votes.
1:35am. NDP MP Dan Harris seems to have put together an impressive supply of candy.
1:37am. The fifth motion is defeated 150-133, with David Wilks casting the second last vote against.
1:44am. The sixth vote goes to the Conservatives 150-134. Not sure how the opposition picked up a vote.
1:47am. The New Democrats seem to be applauding random Conservatives as they vote. Not sure why. They seem to find it very amusing though.
1:49am. Merv Tweed Watch. He’s hanging in there, but just barely.
1:51am. The Speaker is struggling manage.
So thirsty. So afraid of drinking too much water…
1:53am. The four Bloc MPs meant to be in favour of the seventh vote, but missed their turn and so the record is now being clarified. The seventh vote goes 248-34, with the Conservatives and New Democrats voting against.
1:56am. With that, the New Democrats are now slow-voting, rising methodically one-by-one to delay the process instead of being on their feet and ready for the clerk to note them. In other news, Conservative MP Mike Lake just snuck a sip of Red Bull.
2:03am. The heckling moves online.
Bob Rae: During the vote, reading Gwyn on Sir John A “a public man should have no resentments” – wish Mr Harper would learn.
James Moore: If we’re quoting former PM’s: “The silent majority does not make a lot of noise; it is content to make history.” -P.E.Trudeau
2:06am. Eighth vote goes to the Conservatives 149-134. Another dozen Conservatives slipped out after the vote. The New Democrats seem to have lost about a dozen as well.
2:11am. Conservative MP Patrick Brown appears to have passed out on his desk.
2:16am. Mr. Brown recovered in time to vote. He is now resting his head on a pillow.
2:17am. 148-124. That vote took about 10 minutes. A smattering of New Democrats just filed out to jeers and moans from the Conservatives. “What about the fish?” asks John Baird.
2:21am. Conservative MP Dick Harris, necktie untied and hung around his neck, just got into it with Nathan Cullen. A Conservative voice, apparently unimpressed with the NDP’s slow-voting, loudly suggested the New Democrats looked “constipated.” Dan Harris advised the Conservatives that things were just getting started. A Conservative voice advised the New Democrats that “Canadians are watching.” Meanwhile, attendance in the south gallery is down to four.
2:29am. Vote #10 concludes and vote #11 begins. The NDP is keeping to its pace. Jamie Nicholls seems particularly concerned about rising as slowly as possible.
2:35am. All three party leaders are still here and the New Democrats and Conservatives continue to insist on applauding theirs when they rise to vote.
2:39am. Vote #11 goes 148-115. Another Conservative shift change and both Bob Rae and Stephen Harper exit. Thomas Mulcair is the last party leader standing.
2:46am. Whatever Conservative MP Brad Butt is looking at on his computer, it’s hilarious.
2:50am. Vote #12 goes 134-114. Mr. Mulcair rises very slowly to begin Vote #13.
3:01am. Vote #13 goes 134-110. Scott Brison rises on a point of order to ensure his vote was counted. Mr. Mulcair rises even slower on vote #14. He’s now handing out food from a Ziploc bag to his deputy leaders. Some MPs seem to be concerned about visible displays of food and prefer to sneak bites or handfuls while holding the food under their desks.
3:08am. The Speaker protests.
Contrary to popular belief, Speaker’s chair is very uncomfortable. No lumbar support + the seat part is not long enough for a 6’4″ person.
3:11am. Dan Harris appears to be breaking open a box of Star Wars Lego.
3:14am. Vote #14 concludes, 135-107. Another Conservative shift change and the Prime Minister is back in the House.
3:16am. Conservative MP Joy Smith is reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. Mr. Harris has begun sorting through his Lego.
3:22am. Dick Harris still hasn’t tied his tie.
3:23am. Vote #15 goes 134-109. The slow-voting continues.
3:26am. Lisa Raitt is watching Hell’s Kitchen on her iPad. I think I missed that episode.
3:33am. Vote #16 concludes with the House seeming a bit sleepy, or at least sleepier.. And on that note, I retire to bed. We’ll pick this up in the morning to see how our democracy is faring and whether Mr. Harris has finished his spaceship.
4:05am. Post-script. Just as I was exiting the House, some confusion seems to have resulted in the Liberals failing to stand in sufficient number—five—to force a recorded vote after an oral vote was taken. The Liberals proceeded to vote slowly the next time around, followed by points of order from Mr. Rae and Mr. Coderre on the issue of MPs moving about the House during votes, including deputy Government House leader Tom Lukiwski engaging in a conversation with the Speaker. The Speaker seems now to have put things back on track, though both the New Democrats and Liberals are now slow-voting.
4:22am. The Liberals seem back at a normal voting pace. And with that I really am going to bed. Goodnight.
10:46am. Up and refreshed after six hours of sleep. I see that our democracy continues to churn. Phew. I feared some kind of resolution would be found while I had my eyes closed. The latest vote goes 144-101. According to the studious Pierre-Luc Dusseault, that was #63. Just less than a hundred votes to go. And the New Democrats seem to be voting a bit faster now.
10:53am. Breaking News from the desk of Dan Harris.
Hey @aaronwherry the Lego Tie Interceptor was completed by 4:30am. Next is a discast Avro Arrow model
11:04am. Breaking News from the desk of Megan Leslie.
Slipped out a few votes ago to brush my teeth. I’m a new woman!
#omnibudget, watch out.
11:42am. In case you were wondering, since it is still Wednesday in the House, Thursday’s schedule is irrelevant, there’ll be no Question Period today or anything else. Assuming the voting wraps up around midnight, the House will adjourn and will resume business on Friday with Thursday having been skipped.
11:45am. Some confusion over voting from the Bloc Quebecois, in terms of who voted when and in what way. Bob Rae stands on a point of order and wonders if we might redo last year’s election.
11:47am. Oh missed this just a few moments ago: Nathan Cullen stood and asked for unanimous consent to pause voting at 2:15pm for Question Period. The Conservatives declined. Mr. Rae is unimpressed.
During the Reform Party 3 day forced vote on the Nishga Treaty, they asked to keep question period. Cons today say no. Hypocrites
12:26pm. I suggested to Dan Harris that he donate his lego Tie Interceptor to the Library of Parliament as an artifact of this moment in democracy. Mr. Harris seems concerned that that would detract from his own collection.
12:38pm. Last night’s ruling on Nathan Cullen’s question of privilege is now posted here, along with my own amateur analysis. We are coming up on the 12-hour mark, last night’s voting having commenced at 1am. Mr. Cullen and opposition whip Nycole Turmel are to speak with reporters at 1pm.
1:58pm. Unshaven and still wearing yesterday’s outfit (grey suit, black tie, red shirt), Mr. Cullen emerged a short while ago to report that New Democrats are “feeling good.”
“We’re also very conscious that as we go through all these votes, these are not just symbols, these are real things that are happening to the laws that guide Canada, be it the protection for our environment that is being reduced, be it employment insurance that is being lost or pensions that are taken away, or the very fact that democracy is being undermined by this government…
“Our point is this, that if we had simply allowed this government to pass this bill without any inconvenience at all, the lesson they would have taken away and Canadians would have taken away is that Parliament is less important than it really is. We must hold government to account. That is our job. That is what Canadians sent us here to do. Not just New Democrats, but I would argue Conservatives as well.”
The New Democrats still think they might be able to rush enough of their MPs into the House to win a vote at some point when the Conservative numbers ebb.
2:12pm. Diane Ablonczy, seemingly passed out on her desk, just roused herself to applaud for the Prime Minister as he led Conservative votes. Having cast her own vote, she has collapsed again on her desk.
2:19pm. The stuffed animal dog is now occupying Conservative MP John Weston’s seat.
2:24pm. Dick Harris still hasn’t tied his tie.
2:31pm. Ms. Ablonczy rouses to vote then returns her head to the pillow on her desk. Meanwhile, Conservative MP Harold Albrecht is visiting with one of his grandchildren in the visitors’ gallery.
2:37pm. A couple Conservative backbenchers have their faces buried in pillows. Probably a suffocation risk. Someone should check to see that they’re still breathing.
2:43pm. John Weston has returned and the stuffed dog is now in Rodney Weston’s spot. It’s unclear if the dog’s vote is being counted each time through.
2:54pm. The Conservatives are beginning to heckle about the absence of Thomas Mulcair. The NDP leader was apparently here from 1am until 10am, before taking a break. There’s been another shift change on the government side and the Prime Minister has taken his break.
3:03pm. Peter MacKay just used his BlackBerry to take a picture of Deepak Obhrai, who is sleeping with the aid of one of those neck pillows. Everyone is regressing to their college years. If Mr. Obhrai doesn’t wake up soon, there’s a good chance people will start writing things in marker on his face.
3:08pm. John Baird seems to be trying to convince Paul Dewar to go grab a drink.
3:13pm. Rona Ambrose has collapsed on her laptop. Oh wait, nope, she’s back up.
3:17pm. The International Association of Machinists is calling on opposition MPs to walk out on these votes. I believe that would actually just bring this to an end. Without any opposition MPs in the House, the government would likely move to apply the previous count to all subsequent votes and this would be over.
3:21pm. Elizabeth May hasn’t missed a vote yet. Via email, she tells me she’s hoping she can hold on to make all of them.
4:10pm. I slipped out for about 40 minutes and apparently missed a lone protestor who shouted shame at the Conservatives and was promptly dragged out. The New Democrats are now standing and applauding their way through Vote #102.
4:13pm. There is an empty bag of Doritos in the seat normally occupied by Bal Gosal, minister of state for sports.
4:17pm. The House gives a clerk a standing ovation for calling his first vote. A page just delivered a stuffed toy cat to Government whip Gordon O’Connor. Now the Prime Minister is investigating the cat. Mr. O’Connor seems charmed by the gift.
4:21pm. I’ll be on CTV’s Power Play today at precisely 5:14pm. Watch and see if I still possess the ability to speak in complete sentences.
4:38pm. Julian Fantino ably eschews punctuation to ensure his talking points fit within 140 characters.
Voting all night to pass Jobs, GrowthandLong-TermProsperityAct!Proud to standup and oppose theOpposition’s hightax, highdebt plan for Canada
4:44pm. While all of this has been going on, there have been C-38 protests in Morden, Prince Albert, Pickering, Stratford, Maple Ridge, Halifax, Regina, Winnipeg, North Bay and Montreal. Prince Rupert city council officially requested that the budget bill be split.
5:31pm. Thomas Mulcair returns to the House and receives a standing ovation from both the Conservatives and New Democrats.
5:33pm. Conservative MP Patrick Brown is napping again on his desk.
5:37pm. The Conservatives seem quite concerned with figuring out which party leader has been in the House for the most votes. Elizabeth May has been here for every vote. So apparently she gets to be prime minister now.
5:40pm. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is asleep. Head tilted back, mouth open.
5:46pm. John Baird to Gordon O’Connor just now: “Are we there yet?”
5:53pm. Mr. Baird just asked Senator Marjory LeBreton, seated in the gallery, if she would order him a pizza. Meanwhile, there are two staffers in the NDP leader’s gallery who seem to be taking attendance on clipboards.
6:33pm. Oh hey, it’s me on television talking about what’s been going on here.
6:54pm. Nycole Turmel rises on a point of order to suggest Conservative MP Royal Galipeau was not in his seat in time to participate in the last vote. Mr. Galipeau says he was in his seat, but NDP MP Guy Caron was not in his seat. Mr. Caron rises and acknowledges that he might not have been in his seat in time and so if his vote has to be disqualified, so be it.
6:58pm. The stuffed dog is now perched quite prominently on Rodney Weston’s desk.
7:17pm. Joe Oliver on a point of order. He suggests two members of the opposition made a Nazi salute in the direction of the prime minister while the Conservatives were applauding the start of another vote. Denis Coderre stands and says he did no such thing and does not want the opposition punished en masse. A Bloc MP agrees with both Mr. Oliver and Mr. Coderre, but suggests Mr. Oliver should identify the MPs he is referring to. Liberal MP Wayne Easter says no Nazi salute was made and tries to clarify the gesture involved. John Baird leads a chant of “shame!” from the government side. Deputy Speaker Savoie says a Nazi salute would be offensive to everyone in the House and decides to move on.
7:25pm. The government side earlier presented Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver to reporters for comment on the proceedings.
Ms. Raitt was very concerned with all the time these votes were taking.
The novelty of staying up for 24 hours really isn’t a novel thing for a woman with kids, quite frankly. I’ve done this. And I guess the point is that this isn’t a slumber party and this is not cramming for your final exams by staying up all night. This is a very serious matter. This is the economic performance of the country. And it’s a serious issue and my concern is that I do believe the opposition is making a mockery of the process. And the reason being is, quite frankly, the budget will pass. We have the numbers, we have the votes. And the process is going to continue. And our EAP, our Economic Action Plan, actually reflects the mandate that we did receive from the Canadian public. We talked about this very clearly in the election last year and today is the implementation of it. What we’ve seen in the past number of hours, since last night at 12:55am, and indeed from yesterday afternoon is a lot of delay tactics from the opposition, a lot of political games and a lot of different methods of making this inevitable situation go longer than it necessarily has to. But we are here to ensure that we’re creating jobs, that we’re promoting growth and we have the long-term plan for the country and make sure that we have prosperity … Our government has to be ready to act, just like we were ready to act in 2008. So what we see today is the opposition standing in the way of us being able to move on with the Economic Action Plan 2012.
Mr. Oliver was sort of also concerned.
We just want to get on with it, while, of course, the opposition is entitled, in a parliamentary democracy, to engage in these sorts of tactics, we find it, you know, a bit of a waste of time, in a sense, but it’s time that they’re entitled to spend, but really the concern that I personally have is that they should be using these tactics to oppose a critical piece of legislation, which will advance Canadian security and prosperity for decades, for generations, to come.
The ministers were then asked whether they were suggesting the extent of today’s votes were going to impact the country. Ms. Raitt clarified that the message was that the government would prefer the opposition move at a normal pace to finish these votes so that routine parliamentary business can resume. The reporter asked again to specify the problem. Mr. Oliver then interjected.
Well, let me be clear here, I wasn’t saying that economic growth in Canada and jobs were being jeopardized by an extra 24 hours. That wasn’t the point. What would jeopardize the growth is the inability to pass the legislation or the requirement to undermine its major thrusts. I just pointed out that the opposition have every right to spend the time, to force us to go through over 150 individual votes, to stand up very slowly and sit down very slowly. I guess they’re trying to make a point and the population will decide whether that point is memorable and whether that point is appropriate. I’m not trying to overstate that, the fact that we didn’t get any sleep for the last 24 hours is not really the point at all. And frankly, I don’t think I’d want to do this on a regular basis, but the morale is actually great in our caucus. You know, some of us may have a hoarse throat at this point, but that’s not the issue at all. The issue is we’ve got this very important piece legislation we want to get through and somehow they want to block it.
It was then suggested that perhaps all this attention on all this bill was a positive for the government. Ms. Raitt seemed to agree with this point, suggesting that a “clear delineation” was being established between government and opposition. A reporter then asked the ministers to square Mr. Oliver’s perspective with Ms. Raitt’s perspective, was this legitimate part of the process or gamesmanship. Ms. Raitt went first.
What it is is a reflection on the attitude of the parties in the opposition. We take the economy very seriously and they’re going to play games and try to delay and try to stall something that is absolutely inevitable in a majority government … They always have a choice to work on behalf of the economy and work together for the country, when they know the reality of what exactly is happening and they know the economy is fragile and they know that the world is in difficult circumstances and we have to be ready for it. So they always a choice and their choice is to play games and to use tactics and that’s unacceptable.
Ms. Raitt then turned and left. Mr. Oliver remained.
The fact that they have a right doesn’t mean it is right. And they have to make a decision and in the end the population will decide whether their tactic is appropriate. I don’t think, frankly, that this particular tactic is the biggest thing in the world. I don’t think that’s what we should really be focusing on too much. At the end of the day, when an election comes up, the population will judge this government on what it has done for Canadians, what its plan has been, what its accomplishments have been and what the legislation has pushed forward will be. And they will forget about whether it took, you know, we sat in the House for 24 hours. That’s not going to be remembered three and a half years from now. It may not even be remembered for more than a few days.
7:27pm. Ms. Raitt also confirmed that she’s managed to watch five episodes of Hell’s Kitchen.
9:36pm. After going for dinner, I’m back in the House for the exciting conclusion. Apparently while I was away, Gordon O’Connor asked if the final 20 votes might be skipped. Nathan Cullen said only if the government would agree to hold Question Period instead. Agreement could not be found, so the votes continue. We just finished Vote #144. Fifteen or so to go.
9:39pm. The yeas were just declared winners on an oral vote. Alas, sufficient MPs stood to force a recorded vote and so now that amendment will be defeated.
9:41pm. John Baird just asked Gordon O’Connor for a “hall pass.”
9:44pm. Dick Harris still hasn’t tied his tie.
10:02pm. Five NDP MPs have apparently been present for every single vote: Fin Donnelly, Jinny Sims, Mathieu Ravignat, Matthew Dube and Jasbir Sandhu. On the government side, it’s believed Peter Van Loan, who has missed only one vote, has the best attendance.
10:08pm. Midway through the ninth-last vote. John Weston has some incredible bed head.
10:11pm. Liberal MP Geoff Regan rises on a point of order to note that the clerk calling out the vote confused him with Wayne Easter.
10:16pm. The New Democrats are back to slow-voting. The Conservatives are jeering and groaning. This vote has to do with the Kyoto Implementation Act.
10:19pm. Shelly Glover just seemed to heckle the press gallery with a request that one of us write about the NDP’s methodical approach to voting.
10:21pm. NDP MP Jean Rousseau just stood to vote and turned his back to the House.
10:22pm. The Liberal and Bloc MPs are now standing and waiting for the New Democrats to finish.
10:24pm. Just before this vote, Francoise Boivin rose on a point of order that was difficult to hear from the gallery. Her argument apparently was that since the legality of Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto is before the courts, out of respect for the separation of powers, it would have appropriate to put this issue in abeyance until the courts can rule. The Speaker dismissed the complaint and moved on.
10:28pm. Megan Leslie just managed a fist pump while yelling “yea” on that oral vote.
10:30pm. The consensus in the press gallery is that if you’re PVRing this at home, set it to stop around 11:30.
10:31pm. Breaking news from the desk of Don Davies.
John Baird: “Someone get me an airplane barf bag.” Peter Julian: “Why? Did you finally read your Budget?” !!!
10:35pm. Peter MacKay’s having a tough time. After a few minutes of nodding off in his seat, only to snap back awake as his head dropped, his chin is now on his chest and he’s in dreamland.
10:36pm. The opposition’s applause for Thomas Mulcair awakens the Defence Minister.
10:38pm. Once again fighting the law of gravity, Mr. MacKay is trying to sleep in a sitting position. Oh wait, he’s up and he’s clapping and he’s cast his vote. Back in his seat and, after flirting with a magazine, he’s nodding off again.
10:41pm. Mr. MacKay’s head droops, then snaps back up. Lisa Raitt is snoozing on her desk. Denis Lebel is holding his head in his hands. The cabinet seems to be coming apart. Mr. Harper continues to go over his paperwork.
10:48pm. The NDP’s Pierre-Luc Dusseault seems to be the official record keeper of this day.
10:52pm. Various Conservatives heckle the NDP’s Jinny Sims to get off the phone. Michael Chong wags his finger to indicate that that is not allowed.
10:57pm. Breaking news from the desk of Hedy Fry.
Quietly getting stoned on Reeses peanut butter cups.
10:58pm. Three more votes to go.
11:07pm. Loud standing ovations from New Democrats for Thomas Mulcair, Peggy Nash and Nycole Turmel. Second last vote of the night. I think.
11:10pm. Loud standing ovations from Conservatives for Stephen Harper and Gordon O’Connor. Mr. O’Connor barely acknowledges the chants of “Gord! Gord!”
11:13pm. The final amendment is defeated by a vote of 163-134.
11:14pm. Nathan Cullen rises on a point of order to thank the House staff, unanimous standing ovation ensues.
11:15pm. Now the vote on the main bill at report stage. Conservatives yell “yea,” New Democrats yell “nay.” Stephen Harper leads the Conservatives and receives a standing ovation and some whistling. Huge cheer for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
11:20pm. Thomas Mulcair leads the New Democrats, standing ovation and several “woohs.” The New Democrats continue applauding in unison as the votes are called. Charlie Angus briefly raises a fist in the air. Jamie Nicholls puts his hand on his heart, looks to the ceiling and mouths the word “Jack.” Huge cheer as the last New Democrat is counted.
11:23pm. Now the Liberal’s turn to cheer. Marc Garneau hugs Bob Rae.
11:24pm. Elizabeth May stands to cast the last opposition vote and cries as the opposition MPs stand to salute her.
11:25pm. Conservatives cheer as the final result is counted. New Democrats thump their desks and chant “2015” en francais.
11:26pm. The Speaker moves to adjournment proceedings, the debate that concludes each sitting day. Christine Moore stands to lead the debate. Cheers of “Har! Per! Har! Per!” can be heard coming from the government lobby.
11:29pm. Ms. Moore is hectoring the government side about the F-35 procurement.
11:30pm. Chris Alexander offers the government response. Chants of “2015” can be heard from the opposition lobby.
11:34pm. Let it be noted that there are four spectators in the south gallery.
11:35pm. Ms. Moore suggests the government is not meeting its commitments in promising to table new cost estimates for the F-35 in the fall.
11:37pm. Mr. Alexander says an independent audit will take a few months. Now to a discussion of Air Canada.
11:39pm. The New Democrat offering the official opposition’s comments isn’t standing at his assigned and I confess I can’t remember who this is.
11:42pm. Oh, it’s Mike Sullivan. Kellie Leitch is offering the government’s response. This is essentially a debate over government intervention in collective bargaining.
11:44pm. A motion to adjourn the House is now deemed adopted and the House stands adjourned until 10am tomorrow. The calendar in the middle of the room still reads June 13.