The fix is in. That was a comment from Senator David Wells, following a raucous session in the senate on Thursday afternoon.
During 3rd reading of bill 234, an amendment was put forward by independent senator Lucie Moncion that had to do with the length of the sunset clause. It was like an amendment introduced in committee but was voted down. Before the debate was allowed to begin, another senator called for the end of the discussion. That had tory senators fuming, saying the speaker was not following procedures. There was a 45-minute break before senators were asked to vote in favour or against putting off discussion to the next meeting. By a slim margin of 29 to 24, it passed.
Many farm groups and organizations were hoping the bill would get third and final reading in the upper chamber yesterday afternoon. In fact, many have sent letters and e-mails to senators urging them not to stand in the way of passing Bill 234 in its original form.
Federal Tory ag critic John Barlow is equally disappointed with what he witnessed in the senate yesterday. While he remains hopeful the bill will eventually pass in the senate but just like Senator Wells, he has his doubts.
For now, the bill, that would carve out a carbon tax exemption on propane and natural gas when used to dry grain and heat barns, remains stuck in the senate, where it’s been for months.
(With files from Dean Thorpe, CFCW)