He's actually trying to play semantics with the rules of the House of Commons that restrict bills that explicitly initiate government expenditures:
Speaking shortly after the bill received royal assent, Harper suggested the bill is invalid because it is not a money bill, yet would involve large expenditures.
"There are strict constitutional limits which decide what you can do with such a bill," he said. "It could impose enormous costs on the Canadian government or on the economy. It's impossible constitutionally.
Funny, coming from a government that has implemented an unconstitutional no-fly list without even putting a legislative framework around it. A no fly list which will cost many millions of dollars and gain us little or nothing in terms of real public safety.
Any law passed by the government bears a cost of enforcement. Bill C-288 obliges the government to put forth a plan to meet our legal obligations under the Kyoto protocol that we ratified in the late 1990s. It does not initiate any specific expenditures, but rather obliges the government to fulfil obligations that Harper has chosen to ignore since day one.
Oddly, I don't think Harper has a clue what our Constitution really says. The issue he is raising is a matter of parliamentary procedure:
In developing their legislative proposals, Members should bear in mind that bills containing specific provisions or clauses involving the expenditure of public funds will require a Royal Recommendation from the Government before they can be passed by the House.
Please note that bill C-288 makes no specific comment at all about initiating expenditures of any sort, but rather is a legal lever to insist that the Cons actually comply with the will of Parliament as expressed in prior legislation. No more, no less.
Of course, Harper, along with the rest of the Cons, is so clearly ignorant of our Constitution and what it says about Legislative Powers in the Federal Government, that he waves the "unconstitutional flag" about as if he knows something, and only demonstrates his ignorance and disrespect for Canada in doing so.
- Would you vote for a party whose name starts with "Con"?
(Coming soon - the latest CON$ervative "fund raising" tactics - on Canadian Taxpayer dollars)