Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the House that I will be splitting my time with the member for Saskatoon West.
Here we are again. I was in the process of recapping a bit of history on the draconian motions the Liberal government continues to bring. I had described Motion No. 6 in 2016. It was the same thing of wanting to extend the hours and basically obstruct, and that of course was where “elbowgate” came from. The Prime Minister was upset because there was legislation pending and many amendments were brought, so that evening turned into a fiasco.
The government then withdrew Motion No. 6. It realized it had pushed everyone too far and it was very undemocratic. In fact, I quoted the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, who said that the motion was fundamentally anti-democratic. The NDP seems to be supporting its costly coalition now, but at the time he said that it was fundamentally undemocratic.
Then the government came forward with Motion No. 11, which was about sitting until midnight, but not for everybody to be sitting until midnight. The Liberals and the NDP would have been able to be home in their pyjamas with Motion No. 11, because there would not need to be quorum. They would not need to have a certain number of people in the House, which is actually a constitutional requirement to have 20 in the House. They were recommending something that was not even constitutional back on Motion No. 11.
The irony is they have now brought Motion No. 22, which is twice as bad as Motion No. 11, and mathematically, people will see the irony there. On the one hand, we hear Liberal members say they are trying to give us more time to debate, but actually that would only happen when Liberal and NDP members would be here, and they would not need to be because we would not need to have quorum. It is a little insincere.
The other thing is that the government continually moves time allocation. It promised not to do that when it was first elected in 2015, back in the old sunshiny days. Its members said they would never move time allocation, and now they are moving it all the time.
Rushing things through the House can be disastrous. We saw that with Bill C-11, where all kinds of draconian measures were used. It was forced to committee, and it was time allocated at committee to get it over to the Senate. Now we can see there are so many flaws in the bill that the Senate is taking quite a bit of time with it and is likely to bring numerous amendments.
That is why we need to have time here in the House for reasonable debate. Debate means people need to not just speak but also be heard. For that to happen, one needs to have an audience, which of course Motion No. 22 would eliminate. The role of the opposition is to point out what is not good about legislation that comes before the House. It does no good at all for us to point it out if nobody is listening to what is being said.
I find it particularly awful that the Liberals talk about family balance and try to promote more women to come into politics. The member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake and the member for Shefford, who are young mothers, have stood up and said that this motion is not good for family balance. It is not that people do not want to work, but if we want to encourage more women to come in, these kinds of measures are not encouraging them. There is a lot of hypocrisy for the government to talk on the one hand about getting more women in politics and promoting that and on the other hand putting draconian measures such as this in place, where mothers with young babies would need to be here at 11:30 at night debating legislation.
I am very concerned about committee resources, and so that is really the amendment the CPC has brought. We have seen there has been a lot of trouble at committees getting interpreters and committees not being able to extend their hours when there are important issues because there are just no resources. A valid concern brought by the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle was that we want a guarantee we are not going to be shortchanged at committee. Perhaps at the end of the day, that is what the government is trying to do, which is to escape the examination it gets at committee. In a minority government, we can actually try to get to the heart of the issues the government would like no transparency on.
The amendment that has been brought forward is a good one. Overall, I have seen an erosion of our democracy. I think this motion is fundamentally undemocratic, but I would add it to the list of attacks on our democratic rights and freedoms in this country.
We talk about freedom of speech, but we have seen a continual onslaught against it from the government through Bill C-10, Bill C-36 and Bill C-11, including when it comes to freedom of the media and freedom of the press. We have Bill C-18 at the heritage committee right now, and I have lots of concern about that bill. There is an erosion of freedom of religion in this country, from hiring a consultant who is an anti-Semite to advise the government on anti-racism, to having 15 Christian churches burn down in Canada, yet crickets are coming from the side opposite.
I am very concerned. I see the rise of Chinese influence in our elections. There are three police stations that China has claimed in Toronto. What is the government doing about any of this? Nothing.
This motion is just another in a long line of motions eroding our democracy, so I am certainly not going to support it. I cannot believe that the NDP is going to support the government when previously the New Democrats said this kind of motion was fundamentally undemocratic. I understand in no way why this costly coalition exists. The NDP got in bed with the Liberals to get 10 sick days, through legislation that was passed in December last year and was never enacted, and dental care for everybody, which they got for children under 12 and poor families who are mostly covered in other provincial programs, with nothing else coming until after the next election. On pharmacare, there are crickets.
Why is the NDP supporting the government on this draconian anti-democratic motion that is intended to take away the accountability of government? I have no idea. I am certainly not going to support it, and my Conservative colleagues will not either.