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National News

Second budget bill votes unlikely a marathon

OTTAWA - Opposition parties' efforts to throw another wrench into the machinery of the federal government over the budget are unlikely to end in the same pyjama party as last time.

Voting on the Conservatives' second budget implementation bill is set to begin next week but take far less than the 22 hours spent on the spring bill.

Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled Thursday on what amendments the Commons could consider to this bill and bundled them into groups of votes.

It's expected to take between eight and 10 hours to get through them all.

The bill makes changes to everything from the Indian Act and the Canadian Labour Code to the Canada Shipping Act.

It includes provisions to build a bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., and sharply reduces the number of waterways governed by federal legislation.

It had also originally contained changes to the MP pension system but those were hived off into a separate piece of legislation in a rare show of all-party consent.

The first bill changed or eliminated some 70 laws and saw the opposition introduce thousands of amendments in the House of Commons, keeping MPs in their seats for close to two full days.

That bill ultimately passed unchanged.

This time there are fewer amendments to be considered, among them dozens from Green party Leader Elizabeth May.

She's the only MP with the procedural power to introduce substantive changes to legislation on the floor of the Commons.

May says her proposed changes focused on quality not quantity.

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