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Marathon voting in Ottawa cost taxpayers $1M: Windsor West MP

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Brian Masse, the NDP MP for Windsor West, participated in non-stop voting for more than 30 hours on a Liberal spending bill.

“It's a lot of money for Canadian taxpayers to pay for doing this,” Masse told CTV News Friday. “It's just really unusual.”

The non-stop voting on 135 spending measures, which happened both in person and online, began at 6 p.m. on Thursday and pushed other agenda items off the table until next week.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer had said earlier Friday that the Conservatives would not let up unless the government removed federal carbon pricing from applying to all home heating, farmers, and First Nations.

"The carbon tax is really hurting Canadian families as we head into the Christmas season. More and more Canadians are experiencing the tragic choice of heating their homes or putting food on the tables."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat in the House overnight for the votes, and when asked Friday whether he'd "axe the tax," as Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre puts it, he said he wouldn't.

"What the Conservatives are doing right now is so silly and absolutely ridiculous. This is not leadership," said Government House Leader Karina Gould.

“But at the same time, we're seeing some clear colours come out,” said Masse. “They (Conservatives) could choose to vote for things they wanted to, but they're voting against everything; farms, prisons, defence money for Ukraine, women's improvement programs.”

In a speech to his caucus that was posted on X, Poilievre acknowledged that the marathon vote was challenging.

"I want to thank all of you for the energy that you're putting in," he said early Friday. "I know this is not easy. It's extra time away from family, it's hard on your health, but we have to make a point. We said we would fight to axe the tax."

Poilievre also posted a video to X showing the leader bringing in McDonalds for tired and hungry MPs.

On Friday afternoon, International Trade Minister Mary Ng was in the front bench covered in a blanket while watching a show on her tablet during a steady stream of yawns, before ultimately falling asleep.

She was woken up by a colleague, who splashed water on Ng to wake her up for a vote. Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who was in the line of fire, ended up with a soaked back.

Health Minister Mark Holland was reading "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue" by V.E. Schwab.

Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan was also seen in the House with a stack of books. On top was "How the World Really Works: A Scientist's Guide to Our Past, Present and Future" by Vaclav Smil.

Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez and Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, who came to the House straight from Dubai where he attended COP28, were seen doing the wave after one of the votes.

"I'm jittery. I haven't had any sleep," one Liberal MP was heard saying on Friday afternoon, while a Conservative MP commented to his colleagues that, "I'm growing outward very quickly," as he listed the amount of food he's eaten since being in the House.

Nearing the 24-hour mark in the serial voting, some MPs had their shoes off.

Despite the Tories' forced votes, the government spending bill still passed — albeit 24 hours later than originally expected.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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