Mr. Speaker, I am a bit out of breath after running over here from the all-important operations committee.
I am pleased to rise on this private member's bill. I want to address all my comments to the bill itself. I am sure the member who presented it is a wonderful parliamentarian. I served with her on OGGO, but I have to say I am not a big fan of this bill. It is almost like it is “bad private members' bills” week. Earlier, I had to speak to Bill C-245, which was talking about bringing the $35 billion in the wasteful infrastructure bank over to be $35 billion to add to the wasteful infrastructure department.
I have to say that with this bill it is like “déjà vu all over again”, to quote Yogi Berra. I recall actually speaking to this bill about four years ago in the 42nd Parliament. I was not a fan of it then, and I am not a fan of it now. The big reason is that I have to wonder, of all the things going on in Quebec right now, or in Canada or around the world, if this is what we should be discussing in the House of Commons and taking up two hours of our time.
For example, I look at issues in Quebec right now. I think in the member's own riding we have an increase in problems at Roxham Road again. We have heard from the Government of Quebec of the incredible strain on its social services from these illegal or irregular crossings, however we wish to term them, but I think that is a bigger, more important issue we should perhaps be debating right now.
Of passports, we hear repeatedly in the House from across the country. In Edmonton, people are actually lining up at 12:30 in the morning to get passports, so that is not quite a day in advance, but it is the same problem in Quebec. We actually heard from Trois-Rivières that calls for help from citizens at the Trois-Rivières constituency office were increasing. They have been approaching decade highs daily for three weeks now. Why are we not talking about a private member's bill addressing that issue?
There is a labour shortage. I recall, actually now for several years, hearing about the labour shortage in Quebec. It is hurting productivity. It is hurting the economy of farmers, retail and aerospace. We cannot get workers in that province. Again, this is directed at the PMB. I would think it is a much more important issue we should be chatting about right now, as well as hurrying up the access to foreign workers.
Of course, there is inflation. It is 6.8%, and we will be hearing new inflation numbers tomorrow. My guess is that it is going to rocket past 7%. We hear in Quebec, again, about the shortage of bodies that is going to be driving wage inflation and making the inflation issue more troublesome. One would wonder if that is not a more important issue to be debating right now than a name change for a riding.
There are border issues and the ArriveCAN app, or “ArriveCAN'T” app, as we call it. This is a quote from the newspaper:
It's time to bid farewell to the ArriveCAN app, say border-city mayors, tourism industry leaders and others who complain Canada's stringent COVID-19 rules for international travellers are encouraging would-be U.S. visitors to spend their tourist dollars at home.
Estelle Muzzi, mayor of the Quebec border community of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, says that the rules are a drag on border crossings that are vital for the local economies. I think that mayor might actually be in the member's riding. Here we have the mayor saying she has issues with ArriveCAN and passports, and we have to wonder why we are talking about a riding change, especially right now.
With the redistributions, the ridings are going to change completely in Quebec, probably. My own riding is getting split into Edmonton West and Edmonton Winterburn. It would be strange for me to perhaps change the name of my riding right now to “Edmonton West Edmonton Mall” or “Edmonton Kanye West”, as I jokingly call it, knowing that in two years the riding was going to change to Edmonton Winterburn.
Again, we have a lot more important issues we can talk about. I want to give some examples of some PMBs that have come through the House recently from my Conservative colleagues that, perhaps, are better examples of how parliamentarians should be spending their time.
Bill C-296, which is from the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, is a PMB to amend the criminal code to find the person convicted of abduction, sexual assault and murder of the same victim in respect of the same event—