It’s not just seeding operations that are putting talk of municipal amalgamation on hold in rural Manitoba.
The Manitoba Conservatives have introduced a “hoist” motion on the NDP’s Bill 33, the Municipal Modernization Act, requiring towns and rural municipalities with under 1,000 permanent residents to submit amalgamation plans by Dec. 1, 2013 to the province.
The rarely used “hoist” provisions in the Rules of the House are aimed at delaying full approval of the April 16 budget. A ‘hoist motion’ is sometimes used in legislative bodies to cause a bill not to be read, but held for six months, or longer.
The NDP needs to have the budget approved by June 13 when the house is scheduled to break for the summer. The Conservative move also roadblocked Bill 20, the PST hike enabling legislation that needs to be passed by July 1.
Both bills were held back from going to second reading last week.
Local government critic, Blaine Pedersen (PC-Midland) said his party wants the government to step back and take six months to consult with municipalities about amalgamation, as they should have done in the first place before trying to force the issue.
“There needs to be some meaningful consultation with municipalitiaes,” Pedersen said.
Bill 33 may be called up for debate at any point again this week, however, in which case the Tories would attempt to debate the hoist motion until it is ordered off and the debate is turned to giving second reading to Bill 33.
“Will they do that? That’s up to government to decide,” he said May 31.
Once a bill has been given second reading it goes to Committee for consideration. As of June 3 there were 54 presenters lined up to appear before Committee on Bill 33.