No Commons Marathon Repeat As Speaker Limits Budget Votes

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ANDREW SCHEER
Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer rises in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Thursday November 24, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld) | CP

MPs will avoid a second marathon voting session on whether to implement policies contained in the budget after the House Speaker limited the votes to a maximum of 47.

Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled Thursday morning that about 700 proposed changes could be grouped together and dealt with in 47 votes, rather than one vote on each amendment.

MPs are expected to start voting next Tuesday. It will be a late night — it's expected to take about eight hours to get through the votes — but much shorter than the last budget implementation bill, which took more than 22 hours. The voting last June began at 1 a.m. and ran non-stop until just after 11 p.m. that night.

Opposition MPs tabled 1,667 amendments to the bill, C-45, which they say covers far more ground than just budget matters. For example, it makes major changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act that critics say will have implications for environmental protection.

Besides grouping the votes, Scheer threw out more than 1,000 proposed amendments for several reasons, including that they had already been introduced and voted on at committee.

Last June, Scheer bundled the 871 amendments proposed for the first budget implementation bill into a maximum 159 votes.

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