The federal Tories once again risk the ire of Canadians as they proceed with a second omnibus legislation during the fall sitting of parliament, a TRU professor and political watcher said Monday.
Had Stephen Harper's Conservatives broken down the legislation — a sequel of sorts to Bill C-38 — the party could have built on the momentum it has gained with the dwindling popularity of the NDP, said Micah Rankin, a professor in Thompson Rivers University's school of law.
"My sense is Canadians don't like this. They want things to be democratic and aired out publicly," said Rankin.
But Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod asks Canadians to wait until the budget bill is made public later this fall before they pass judgment.
The bill includes changes to pension plans for MPs and federal workers, and further cuts to government spending that will help the fragile Canadian economy, said McLeod, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Revenue.
"We continue to look at what happened globally and what's happened in Canada and I think that the policies are very important to move forward with the economic security of our country," said McLeod.
The second bill will put into place outstanding items from the government's "economic action plan" of 2012 which remain to be implemented, said McLeod. And the people of Canada demanded some of the legislation, she said.
"I support changes. I've head loud and clear that constituents and Canadian feel the MP pension is too rich and that there should be changes," she said.
What's riled many Canadians is unpopular items like changes to environmental law that have been buried in the bill, said Rankin, which makes it almost impossible to scrutinize.
The side effect of that is people start to believe the concentration of power rests in the prime minister's office and Canadians have no say in how government is run, he said.
"The consequence of that is that people become much more cynical. They see a government that doesn't want democratic debate," said Rankin.
As in the fall, the bill will be debated in parliament and by the finance committee, which McLeod is a part of. She said it will be scrutinized.
Other forthcoming legislation will deal with RCMP accountability and law-and-order issues, including a bill to make it easier to deport dangerous foreign criminals and one to double the amount that offenders must pay to victims in recompense.
The NDP is trying to set its own agenda, centred largely on helping people who've lost their jobs and consumers who feel big corporations are gouging them at the gas pumps.
A Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll conducted within the two weeks prior to the start of the fall sitting suggests the Tories have opened up a seven-point lead over the NDP.
The survey puts Conservative support at 34 per cent, the NDP at 27, the Liberals at 24 and the Green party at seven.
Two-thousand Canadians were questioned for the poll earlier this month, which is considered accurate within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times in 20.