Budget Bill Tharn
I had occasion to recall Elizabeth May's use of 'tharn' to describe the reaction of Conservative Ministers (ministers!) when confronted with the contents of their own budget bill. Something worth remembering considering we're apparently going to be blessed with another omnibus budget in 2013. Tharn. Great word.
Budget Bill Tharn: a state of terror experienced by Cabinet Ministers when their ignorance of a budget bill's contents is placed under a bright light.
... With so many new laws and the repealing of old laws and complex text, the Conservative ministers speaking in the House in support of C-38 frequently claim the budget implementation act will include measures that are simply not there at all, or misstate how the new laws will operate.
I go up to them afterward and, for example, ask ‘I cannot find any reference to increased tanker safety in C-38. Can you show me what section you were referring to?’ Or, ‘I can’t find anything that says environmental reviews will only be transferred to the province if the environmental assessment in that province is ‘as good or better’ than the federal one. Where is that?’ Of course, when I ask these specific questions, it is because I am pretty sure that I haven’t missed anything.
The ministers tend to look back at me, blinking slightly. They mention that it is a very long and complex bill. Yes it is, but I have read it and I missed the section they just told the House was in the Act. Where is it? Then the look on their face is like the ‘lapine’ word from Watership Down for a rabbit caught in headlights on a road: ‘tharn’.