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Protesters rally in Victoria against federal budget bill

Jun 04 2012

Victoria residents joined a nationwide protest Saturday morning, rallying against the federal government's proposed budget bill that they say could eliminate dozens of laws in one broad stroke.

Most events were held at Conservative MP offices in various Canadian cities, but with no Tory elected in Victoria, protesters gave speeches in front of NDP MP Denise Savoie's office on Blanshard Street.

The intention was to urge other parties to vote against Bill C-38, an omnibus piece of legislation that critics say would — among many changes — deregulate environmental protection, weaken the Fisheries Act and raise eligibility age for Old Age Security from 65 to 67.

From Savoie's office, dozens of protesters marched to the Conservative Party's office on Johnson Street.

Complaints against the bill were wide-ranging, including people's "disapproval of the lack of discussion of the many parts of the bill in Parliament," said Elizabeth Cronin, who attended the rally.

In Calgary, more than 40 residents were banging pots and pans outside Stephen Harper's constituency office Saturday.

Protest organizer Jim Picken said everyone from scientists and seasonal workers to migratory birds and fish will be affected if the bill is passed.

"I think it will change Canadian society for the worse," he said.

With a file from the Calgary Herald