Conservatives set to force all-night voting over Liberal refusal to reveal carbon tax cost
The Conservatives have set the stage for a possible second filibuster in the House of Commons and are vowing to keep Liberal MPs voting for up to 30 straight hours in an attempt to get the government to disclose the cost of its carbon tax plans.
Their reasoning, one Conservative official said, is simple: it worked last time.
Pierre Poilievre, the party’s finance critic, announced the pending filibuster as he rose to speak on an opposition motion submitted by him that asked the government to table the cost of its proposed carbon tax by June 22, which is the day the House of Commons is scheduled to rise for summer holidays.
The Liberal plan proposes putting a price of $50 per ton on carbon.
For weeks, Poilievre and the Conservatives have demanded the government disclose its estimates on how much that plan will end up costing Canadians in terms of increased costs for goods and services.
But so far, the government has refused.
WATCH BELOW: Conservatives ask Trudeau how much his carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the full costs to Canadians will only be available in September once each province settles on their own plan for how to implement the carbon pricing in their jurisdictions.
The Conservatives say Canadians deserve more information.
“We have put forward over 200 motions to object to the spending bill the government has just tabled before the House and we will keep the government here voting for up to 30 hours,” said Poilievre.
“We want every single document produced by every single department which calculates the cost of the carbon tax to every single Canadian that has been produced since the last election.”
Mark Kennedy, director of communications to House Leader Bardish Chagger, confirmed the Conservatives have filed notices of motion.
They have not yet filed the motions themselves and it is possible a filibuster could be averted.
The House of Commons is set to debate and vote on its main estimates no later than 10 p.m. on Thursday night.
WATCH BELOW: Parliament filibuster forces MPs to pull all-nighter
Main estimates are the breakdown of how the government plans to spend the money outlined in its annual budget.
As a bill relating to money matters, any vote on it is considered a matter of confidence.
A loss could trigger an election.
WATCH BELOW: Conservatives end hours-long filibuster on Parliament Hill
However, the Liberals hold the majority of seats in the House of Commons and as such, losing the vote would be next to impossible.
What that means though is that MPs could end up pulling another all-nighter in the House of Commons.
The last time they did so was in March, when the Conservatives launched a nearly identical filibuster opposing 260 sections of the interim estimates, a money bill authorizing spending that was not already approved under the previous year’s main estimates.
Those motions came as a result of the government refusing repeated attempts by the Conservatives to have former national security adviser Daniel Jean testify before a committee on what has become known as the Jaspal Atwal affair.
The Conservatives had vowed to keep the Liberals voting for up to 40 hours but ultimately the filibuster ended after 21 hours.
Jean appeared before a committee in April.