POLITICS

Harper Government Rushes To Pass Budget Bill

05/07/2015 04:31 EDT | Updated 05/07/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The Conservatives have introduced their latest budget bill — a grab bag of legislative changes that the government no doubt wants to see become law before the House of Commons rises next month.

These days, such bills often reach well past federal budget measures, and today's was no different — it touches on everything from revoking the passports of suspected terrorists to retirement-plan contributions of MPs to the now-defunct long-gun registry.

Still, compared to previous efforts, the bill seems streamlined for quick passage — it weighs in at just 167 pages, compared with last year's hefty 359-page document.

The latest bill does include changes outlined in last month's fiscal plan — balanced-budget legislation, higher contribution limits for tax-free savings accounts and some of the government's election-critical family-friendly benefit measures.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver presented a fiscal plan last month that predicts the government will run a $1.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.

The House of Commons is scheduled to sit no later than June 23 before rising prior to the scheduled federal vote Oct. 19.

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