House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wine.

Topics

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Message from the Senate
Routine Proceedings

December 7th, 2011 / 3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill: S-4, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act.

Decorum in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to make very clear my intentions with my point of order. I have already committed that I will not make gestures according to your ruling. I have already committed to dedicating myself to the safety of Canadians and especially against violence against women. I also want to make it very clear that I understand that many victims of violence and people who fear violence could be offended by those gestures and I am sorry if they did.

Decorum in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for his further statements on that matter.

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That, in relation to Bill C-20, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Canada Elections Act, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and

That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

There will now be a 30 minute question period. Once again, I would like to remind members that members of the opposition will get preference from the Chair in terms of recognizing them for this time.

The hon. member for Windsor--Tecumseh.

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are now at a stage where this has become almost farcical. It would be farcical if it were not so serious in terms of undermining a basic democratic process, which is the right of parliamentarians to have a full and complete debate on issues that confront the country, and the ability of citizens in this country to watch that debate and take part in it across the country.

I just want to recite these facts. The Conservative government has used time allocation or closure 12 times since the election, nine times since the House came back in September. It has used closure on seven different bills since the election, six since September. It has used time allocation 12 times in 62 sitting days, 9 times in the last 48 sitting days.

It is important to draw this into the historical context. The worst that we ever had before this was the Liberal government in the 2000-2004 Parliament. At that point, the Liberals took 122 days before they used closure or time allocation nine times in that one period. We are way beyond that.

How many more times will we have to put up with this undemocratic process?

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we pass the fair representation act as soon as possible. This is a commitment by the government. Even the Chief Electoral Officer, who said at committee in November regarding the passing of the bill:

The best date, in our mind, would be before the commissions are set up in February. Otherwise, commissions will have to start their work, the legislation will come into place later on, and they will have to restart again. That may, of course, generate additional costs, but also quite a bit of confusion, depending on what time the legislation comes into place.

That is the Chief Electoral Officer talking about why it is so important that we pass the fair representation act as soon as possible.

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians should be concerned in the sense that this is now becoming standard procedure for the Conservative majority government. It does not respect the importance of debate and has demonstrated that time and time again.

The minister says the legislation is really important. We have heard that line on every piece of legislation that the government has brought forward. The government has to allow debate to occur inside this chamber. Time and time again the government has introduced time allocation which does not afford members of this chamber, whether they are government backbenchers or members of the opposition, time to participate and engage in the flawed legislation that is being brought forward. A good example of that is the Canadian Wheat Board legislation about which the Federal Court today said the government broke the law.

Why has the government decided to use time allocation almost as a standard procedure nowadays in order to pass its legislation? Why has it given up on true democracy within this chamber?

Bill C-20—Time Allocation Motion
Fair Representation Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is important to have good debate in the House, and on this legislation there has been great debate in the House. I thank members of the opposition for contributing to that debate.

We have had good discussions at committee. It was my pleasure to be at committee to answer questions there. The Chief Electoral Officer appeared at committee to talk about the bill. Other experts and witnesses were at committee. We debated the bill again here yesterday. There has been debate.

It is time to move forward and allow Canadians to have those extra seats, to have fair representation in the House of Commons. We need to put this to a vote, so we have this in place before Christmas and before the electoral commissions begin their work in February.