Mr. Speaker, I want to bring us all back in time. I feel that we have to do this before we move any further. I want to bring us back to, I think, day 10 of the previous election in 2015, when the Prime Minister, then the member for Papineau, said in his campaign promise to Canadians that he was going to do things differently. He said he represented real change. One of the things that he was going to do was to let debate reign, and he was not going to use parliamentary tricks such as time allocation to pass legislation. However, I would hazard a guess that this is about the fiftieth time that the government has actually used time allocation to pass legislation.
I will also offer this. This is an important piece of legislation. The Liberals have the support from our caucus on this side of the House, the opposition, but I will offer this because I feel it is necessary to say this at all times when they do these types of tricks: This House does not belong to them. It does not belong to you, Mr. Speaker. It does not belong to me. It belongs to the electors, those electors who elected the 338 members of Parliament to be their voice here in this House.
For those who are listening in, what is happened with this piece of legislation is that the government has basically said, “We have had enough debate. This is going to committee.”
At committees we do good work, but for the most part it is essentially like speed dating. Consultation happens when witnesses from all over Canada come to speak to legislation. I do not know how many meetings there will be, but I can speak to my experience at the fisheries committee. Sometimes we will have three or four guests over maybe three or four days. Each witness gets seven to 10 minutes to give their thoughts and their views on such legislation. It is only through full debate that we can move legislation as important as this.
Now I am going to bring this to the personal side. I have mentioned in this House a number of times that my wife and children are first nations people. They do not know their language. They are not familiar with their culture. This is an important piece of legislation, and any member of Parliament who may not be able to have a constituent or a person from a first nation come here deserves to be able to come before the committee to bring their stories and their voices here to this floor.
It is shameful that on this bill we are again seeing time allocation.
The beautiful thing about this House is that sounds travel. On one of the earlier questions, one of the members across the way had shouted out, perhaps thinking that it would not be heard on this side, that the reason this is being pushed through so quickly, as it was mentioned on the other side, is that an election is coming this way.
We have to do whatever we can to make sure that the voices of Canadians and of indigenous peoples are heard about the meaning and importance of indigenous languages. Bill C-91 is another one of those bills that the Liberals place such great importance on that they place their hands on their chests, and yet they ram them through with little to no consultation.
The hon. minister likes to say that the government has done a year and a half of consultation. I can tell my hon. colleagues that in my neck of the woods, in Cariboo—Prince George, not many of our first nations have been consulted on this bill, and they would like to have their say.
I would urge our hon. colleague, the minister, to rethink this. Why does he feel the need to once again break a campaign promise and force time allocation on this legislation?