OTTAWA — The government was rolling in cash Friday after posting a $2.2 billion surplus for just January numbers — a tidy sum that indicates the Conservatives are on track to eliminate the deficit by this time next year.
The better-than-expected numbers were reported just before the government introduced its budget implementation bill in the Commons, another hefty document Opposition MPs scowled at.
The February budget was universally panned by opposition MPs because it didn't address their pet projects and focused on belt tightening instead of spending.
NDP and Liberals continued their opposition Friday, saying the 375-page omnibus legislation is chock full of non-budgetary items, though critics for both parties could barely name any.
One measure contained in the bill that was not raised by the opposition would amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act to disallow three suspended senators from accruing pensionable time while in the penalty box.
The changes would affect Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin who were suspended without pay in November until after the next election in 2015.
NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen said the bill fails the unemployed and "does virtually nothing to help the fragile Canadian economy."
He said it was another missed opportunity.
"Our past experience has taught us that the devil lies in the details. It's buried on page 216, the worst aspect of this bill, or buried on page 181. One doesn't know until one starts to cast through all the different aspects."