Protesters to meet outside offices of Central Alberta MPs

Central Albertans should be worried over an all-encompassing federal budget bill that will impact 70 acts including employment insurance and the environment, says a Central Alberta protestor taking part in Wednesday's nationwide demonstrations.

Central Albertans should be worried over an all-encompassing federal budget bill that will impact 70 acts including employment insurance and the environment, says a Central Alberta protestor taking part in Wednesday’s nationwide demonstrations.

Susan Young, of Lacombe, is among those across Canada who have organized political demonstrations outside MP offices at 5:30 p.m.

Young is hoping for people to show solidarity against a bill projected to have sweeping changes. Leadnow.ca has organized a second national day of action after holding one on June 2.

“A lot of these measures are really not directly tied to implementing the budget, like the environment, old age security and changes to EI, the Fisheries Act,” said Young on Tuesday. “It appears there’s an attempt to go around Parliament. It appears to be an assault on democracy.”

The protest will take place outside Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins office at 6-4612 50th St. in Ponoka. Young said that Calkins will be in Ottawa during the protest.

“Why are they cramming everything into one bill and trying to push it through?”

It was hoped that organizers would create similar demonstrations outside the riding offices of Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen in Red Deer and Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson in Camrose.

The Federal Budget Bill, Bill C-38, has been raising alarm among opposition parties for weeks. The massive 450-page bill is expected to be passed by the end of June.

Opposition MPs contend the bill includes provisions that have no place in budget legislation. For instance, it would overhaul environmental legislation, including reducing the number of federal environmental assessments, leaving the job mostly in the hands of the provinces.

The budget looks at reforming old age security, so that the age of eligibility to acquire this would raise to 67 from 65 over a six-year period, starting in 2023. The bill also looks at restricting employment insurance benefits.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com