Conservatives set three-day deadline to vote on nearly 300 election bill changes
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 28, 2014 10:32AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 28, 2014 1:34PM EDT
OTTAWA -- The Conservative majority on a Commons committee studying a major elections overhaul has set a three-day deadline for redrafting the legislation -- a tight time frame the Opposition NDP is calling a farce.
Joe Preston, the Conservative committee chairman, says almost 300 amendments to Bill C-23 have been submitted, comprising hundreds of pages, to be voted on in committee by 5 p.m. Thursday.
That includes a number of changes proposed by the government itself late last week to address some of the most contentious elements in a bill dubbed the Fair Elections Act.
The committee wrapped up witness testimony today by hearing from Brian Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, who said he was not consulted on changes that will hive off Elections Canada's investigative arm and place it within the public prosecutor's office.
Saunders says it is a fundamental principle that investigation and prosecution must remain separate and distinct.
He expresses concern about perceptions arising from housing the commissioner of elections in his office, although he insists that the commissioner will be completely independent.