Mr. Speaker, I will start with the concept of the very strange proposition put forward by my friend. He uses this concept of shifts and believes there is some perverse obligation on the part of the government that, if the opposition wishes to filibuster the production of new laws and delay their production, we somehow have an obligation to match them step for step in extending that process. His comparison is with ordinary Canadians. He said that ordinary Canadians should not produce a product at the end of the day at work; they should take two, three, or four days to get the same thing made. That is his idea of getting things done. That is his idea of how ordinary Canadians can work. I think that says something about the culture of the NDP and the hon. member. I will let members guess what culture that is. It is a culture that does say we should take two or three times longer to get something done or to get to our destination than we possibly can.
We on this side are happy to make decisions to get things done for Canadians. In fact, that is exactly what we have been doing. Since I last rose in response to a Thursday question, the House has accomplished a lot, thanks to our government's plan to work a little overtime this spring.
I know the House leader of the official opposition boasts that the New Democrats are happy to work hard, but let us take a look at what his party's deputy leader had to say on CTV last night. The hon. member for Halifax was asked why the NDP agreed to work until midnight. She confessed, “We didn't agree to do it”. She then lamented, “We are going from topic to topic. We are doing votes. We are at committees. They are really intense days. We're sitting until midnight”.
On that part, I could not agree more with the deputy leader of the NDP, believe it or not, but with much more cheer in my voice when I say those words, because we think it is a good thing. These are intense days. We are actually getting things done. We are actually voting on things. We are actually getting things through committee. For once, we are going from topic to topic in the run of the day.
Let me review for the House just how many topics, votes, and committee accomplishments we have addressed since the government asked the House to roll up its sleeves.
Bill C-24, the strengthening Canadian citizenship act, was passed at second reading and has even been reported back from the citizenship committee.
Bill C-10, the tackling contraband tobacco act, was concurred in at report stage and later passed at third reading.
Bill C-31, the economic action plan 2014 act, no. 1, was reported back from the finance committee.
Bill C-27, the veterans hiring act, was passed at second reading.
Bill C-20, the Canada-Honduras economic growth and prosperity act, was concurred in at report stage.
On the private members' business front we saw:
Bill C-555, from the hon. members for West Nova in support of the seal hunt, was passed at second reading.
Bill C-483, from my hon. colleague, the member for Oxford, cracking down on prisoners' escorted temporary absences was passed at third reading.
Bill C-479, from the hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, on improving the place of victims in our justice system was passed at third reading last night.
Progress is not limited to Conservative initiatives. The Green Party leader's Bill C-442, respecting a Lyme disease strategy, was reported back from committee yesterday.
The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay saw a motion on palliative care pass.
We have also seen countless reports from committees reviewing the government's spending plans, as well as topics of importance to those committees.
This morning we even ratified the appointment of an officer of Parliament.
Finally, I do want to reflect on the accomplishment of Bill C-17, the protecting Canadians from unsafe drugs act (Vanessa's law), which members may recall me discussing in last week's Thursday statement. It finally passed at second reading. However, this did not happen until the NDP relented and changed its tune to allow the bill to go to committee. It was the first time ever that we had an expression from the New Democrats when we gave notice of intention to allocate time in which they said, “We don't need that time; we're actually prepared to allow a bill to advance to the next stage”. I think, by reflecting on the fact that those dozens of other times the NDP did not take that step, we could understand that they did not want to see a bill advance; they did not want to see progress made. That lets Canadians understand quite clearly why it is we need to use scheduling and time allocation as a device to get things done in the face of a group that thinks the objective is to fill up all possible time available with words rather than actual votes and getting things done.
It is clear that our approach is working. We are getting things done in the House of Commons and delivering results for Canadians.
Perhaps I might be overly inspired by the example of Vanessa’s Law, but I do want to draw the attention of the House to Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act.
So far, we have seen three days of debate on second reading of the bill, but “debate” is actually not accurate. What we have witnessed is speech, after speech, after speech—most of them from New Democrats—offering platitudes of support for the idea of getting that bill to a committee where it could be studied. What I want to know is, why will they not just let it happen? Victims of crime want to see meaningful action, not just kind words.
Suffice it to say that I will need to schedule additional time for discussion of this bill. Perhaps the NDP will let it pass after a fourth day of talk.
This afternoon, we will continue with the report stage debate on Bill C-31, our budget implementation bill. When that concludes, we will turn to Bill C-20, to implement our free trade agreement with Honduras, at third reading. If time permits, we will continue the third reading debate on Bill C-3, the Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act.
Tomorrow morning, we will start the report stage debate on Bill C-24, which makes the first modernization of the Citizenship Act in 35 years. After question period, I will call Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act, to see if the NDP is ready to deliver results, not talk.
Monday morning, we will continue the third reading debate on Bill C-20, if more time is needed, and then resume the second reading debate on Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act. After question period, we will get back to the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.
Tuesday shall be the eighth allotted day when the NDP will have a chance to talk, and talk, about a topic of their own choosing. At the end of the night, we will have a number of important votes on approving the funds required for government programs and services and pass two bills to that end.
On Wednesday, we will debate our budget bill at third reading, and then we will start the second reading debate on Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, which my seatmate, the Minister of Justice, tabled yesterday.
We will continue the debates on Bill C-36 and Bill C-24, if extra time is needed, on Thursday. After those have finished, and on Friday, we will resume the uncompleted debates on Bill C-3, the Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act, at third reading; Bill C-6, the Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act, at report stage; Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, at third reading; Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, at second reading; Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, at second reading; Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act, at second reading; and Bill C-35, the Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law), at second reading.
To make a long story short, we have accomplished much in the House over the last week, but we still have much left to do, which inspires me to note that, in the week ahead, I have to take my automobile in for maintenance. At that time, when I take it to the dealership, I hope one person will work on it for an hour, get the job done, and then return it to me at a reasonable cost. I do hope I am not told, “But there are still many more employees who have not had a chance to have a shift working on your car as well; so we are going to keep it here another three days and give everybody a turn to work on your car”. I hope the dealership will do as Conservatives do: get the job done and then deliver me the product.