It is the same thing. My colleagues from the Bloc are correcting me, and I thank them for that. I was saying that the Liberal members of the committee get on any bandwagon, knowing that their work and their decisions will amount to nothing anyway. It is not only the opposition that was taken in; so were our friends across the way. They accepted an amendment, and were slapped on the wrist for it. The government told them “Do not do that. You have no right. We do not agree with that”. They apologized and promised to correct their mistake in the House. They will all vote in favour of Motion No. 7, despite the fact that all committee members approved the amendment. This is not serious. It is terrible.
People complain about the rigour of the committees. The Liberals, especially those in the back, close to the curtains, are saying that the members must have a role to play in committee. When they play their role, they get slapped on the wrist. Then, they say “We made a mistake. We did not think that this would make such an impact”. Perhaps they should read more about history.
That being said, let us talk about the second motion that was approved. It changes an amendment which we proposed. It is scandalous. Is it the lobby of big business that put their backs to the wall in only a matter of days?
What was said is very simple. There were two elements, clauses 43(4) and 43(5), which were to apply together as far as protection of confidential information is concerned. Clause 43(5) refers to components and then adds “of health or environmental concern”, and we are not doing anything to that. What is this bill about? Is it for businesses or individuals? All we did was add an and. The government's reply was “No, we are going to put back the or”. This gives an out to companies that do not want to make public confidential information that might have an impact on the environment and on health.
I recall certain Liberals on the committee talking about the necessity of “looking after pregnant women and unborn babies. We must think about future generations”. I think that thought was given instead to “present and future businesses”. It was simple and we are very much disappointed.
They were taken in as far as the Senate and the joint committee were concerned. This proves their inability to connect with reality. Now they are changing and heading off to spend the summer at home, saying “We were wrong, we would have liked to give the House of Commons more power but we are not entitled to do so”.
Lawyers came before the committee, people who are experts on parliamentary procedure. We could have asked them the question but were told “No, it is fine. They are right and we agree.” This is very disappointing. It has taken 30 years to review this legislation.
One thing is clear. There are advertisements on the radio and on TV, or in the newspapers, there are campaigns. They say “What do you have against bugs?” A person goes into a store and ask the clerk “What do you have against bugs?” meaning “to use against bugs” and the answer is “Nothing”. “What do you have against dandelions?” “Nothing”.
This has two meanings, since it can also mean “What objection do you have to bugs?” It shows that people are already starting to be more careful about the use of chemicals. Some will say that there are advantages to use, that is true.
The issue of cosmetic use and the issue of the precautionary principle were both rejected. All they wanted to do was bring the law up to date, but we are still ten years behind what the public wants to see, and what it already knows, ten years behind what the municipalities and provinces are doing.
I have said it often before and I will repeat it: the Liberals only have one single vision, one single strategy, it is for the Liberal party. They have no vision, no strategy for the country. Look at the legislative program, it is paltry.
In committee, people work like dogs to try to get some good work done. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens. All they want is to save this government and this political party.
With all due respect, Liberal members are simply machines; machines that say yes or no. Why did the committee members not stand up to the minister, who wanted to undo what they had voted on in committee? Why would they not stand up to her?
I believe that the time has come to reform the committee system, the House and parliament. However, more importantly, it is time to change governments.
For many people, Bill C-53 may not be a big deal, but again, this is ample proof of all the work that can be done in committee and all the trust that can be built in committee. There is another bill, Bill C-56 on reproductive technologies, being considered in the health committee. We will try to begin the debate before the House recesses for the summer.
When I look at the work that I did on behalf of my party, there were arguments for and against. We have been trying to build trust between the different opposition parties, and also between all of the parties, including the government party. Amendments have already been passed, and we have principles that we would like to discuss and adopt, if possible, in order to speed up the process.
We know that clause by clause consideration is slow. It is very slow. We go about this in good faith. We wanted the labelling to be more complete, but we were defeated on this point. We forgive them. They have no vision, but they are forgiven for it.
However, when we are able to agree on an amendment, which is passed, we expect all of the committee members to defend this amendment, every one of them, from both sides of the House.
Unfortunately, once again, the relationship of trust that was established in committee disintegrated, and this does not bode well for the trust between the people of this country and the government for the next few years.