Manitoba's Nineteen Bills with No Text

Text Where is the Text with an image of a magnifying glass looking at a document with a question mark on it

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You heard correctly!  The Manitoba government has 19 bills in their first reading that have NO text.  

This is UNPRECEDENTED and UNDEMOCRATIC!

Bills are normally available to read in advance so that the public and the opposition has time to review, reflect and prepare comments.  No matter who is in power this is an unacceptable act and if we have learned anything, is once the bar gets lowered like this, any party would have a stronger case to use the same tactic.

And what are these bills about?  WE DO NOT KNOW BECAUSE THE TEXT HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED.  But it is clear from their names that some of them are about pretty serious topics like Public Health (Bill 54 & 67), Childcare (Bill 47), Education (Bill 64) and Policing (Bills 57, 58, 59 & 63).

Think this is bananas?  Could not agree more.  Finding it hard to believe?  Same!

See for yourself: 

On the site where you can read the bills it jumps from 45 to 60, then 60 to 65 with 67 also missing.

https://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/42-3/index.php (this is the page where you can normally access the text of the bills)

list of manitoba bills with a bunch of numbers skipped

Whereas here, they are all listed:

https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/business/billstatus.pdf (this is a page that summarizes the status of all the bills)

list of all the bills without skipping any numbers

19 Bills are missing!!  46-59, 61-64 and 67

And what are these bills?  Here they are with the Minister who was in power when the bills were introduced November 2nd 2020.  Then there was a cabinet shuffle January 5th 2021 and so the new Ministers are also listed.

Bill number

Name of Bill

Minister who Introduced the bill (prior to cabinet shuffle)

Current Minister

46

The Court Practice and Administration Act (Various Acts Amended)

Cullen

Friesen

47

The Early Learning and Childcare Act

Stefenson

Squires

48

The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act

Fielding

Fielding

49

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act

Fielding

Fielding

50

The Legal Aid Manitoba Amendment Act

Cullen

Friesen

51

The Limitations Act

Cullen

Friesen

52

The Minor Amendments and Corrections Act. 2021

Cullen

Friesen

53

The Municipal Statutes Amendment Act (2)

Squires

Johnson

54

The Personal Health Information Amendment Act

Friesen

Stefenson

55

The Reducing Red Tape and Improving Services Act (2021)

Squires

Johnson

56

The Smoking and Vapour products Control Amendment Act

Friesen

Stefenson

57

The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act

Cullen

Friesen

58

The Criminal Property Forfeiture Amendment Act

Cullen

Friesen

59

The Police Services Amendment Act

Cullen

Friesen

61

The Apprenticeship and Certification Amendment Act

Eichler

Eichler

62

The Animal Diseases Amendment Act

Pederson

Pederson

63

The Petty Trespasses Amendments and Occupiers Liability Amendment Act

Cullen

Friesen

64

The Education Modernization Act

Goertzen

Cullen

67

The Public Health Amendment Act

Friesen

Stefenson

Perhaps they are full of wonderful changes that will improve the lives of all Manitobans, or maybe they are mostly wonderful with something sneaky tucked in or maybe it is just all around terrible. There is no way to know right now.

Paul G. Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies, University of Manitoba says:

“Officially, the rules exist to serve several purposes: to ensure timely consideration of government business, to provide opposition parties with adequate opportunities to challenge government bills and other business, to support all-party co-operation when circumstances require, and to protect the rights of individual MLAs. A shared sense of fair play is needed for these potentially conflicting purposes to be respected in practice.”

This is definitely antidemocratic, wouldn’t you say?

So what are we going to do about it?  That is where you come in!!  There are many ways to help stop this craziness. Choose one or a mix of options:

  1. Join the campaign meetings

  2. Add any background info that you have on any of the bills -

  3. Get involved in CNC organizing to help get the word out

  4. Keep an eye open for content and share, share, share

 

AND ALL THIS DURING A PANDEMIC!

(these Bills were all released November 2nd 2020 which is the day Winnipeg went into Code Red and the rest of the province into Code Orange)

Right now we are still in first reading.  The house sits again March 3rd 2021 and after that we’ll go into second reading when presumably the text will release.

 

MEDIA COVERAGE:

Here is some media we have tracked down.  Know of more?  Send it our way!! (scroll to the bottom of this page or send it via social media) 

Winnipeg Free Press: Politics Better When Parties Play Fair - Paul G. Thomas

For those who cannot get behind the paywall read it here.

THE SYSTEM:

Read the Legislative Rules for yourself - https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/business/rulebook.pdf

How a bill becomes a law, from the Manitoba government’s website - Bills - The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (gov.mb.ca)

PARTY TIME: 

What the NDP have to say - https://www.mbndp.ca/pcs_hide_education_bills_and_push_privatization_agenda

Nothing on the Liberal site

Nothing on the Green Party Website

Nothing on the Communist Party Website

Nothing specific about it on the PC website though one of their stated values is

“6. A government that is respectful of and responsive to the will of the people it serves; committed to both the responsibilities and the spirit of democracy;”

And

Trust. Compassion. Open. Inclusive. Teamwork.

 

Support our letter-writing campaign and contact all of Manitoba's MLA's with one click.