Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I do want to thank my colleagues across the way for their interest in the bill. I can't agree with the statements that have been made by the members of the NDP or the Liberals. In fact, I would say that this bill has received a huge amount of time to study. Not only that, throughout pre-budget consultations by the finance committee, which took place over almost 10 months of the previous year, we heard from a number of people who also had commentary in favour of the four pillars that we've put forward.
I know that Ms. McLeod already talked about the four pillars, which talk about predictability and timing of reviews, about aboriginal consultation, which is very important. And it's important that all parties actually do their homework when it comes time to looking at these bills. Delay for delay's sake, frankly, is just obstruction.
This government is committed to moving forward to protect Canadians' interests. This bill does that. This bill is supported by a number of agencies, a number of organizations, a number of aboriginal people, including Chief Clarence (Manny) Jules, who was very clear with the subcommittee about the benefits of this bill. Aboriginal people are protected under the Constitution. Contrary to what was said earlier, their rights to consultation are protected under the Constitution. We will continue to observe those rights, as we have done all the way along.
But let's not forget there were experts who did come to both committees, the subcommittee and this committee, such as Mr. Ray Orb, from the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, like so many others.
We believe, as a government, that this is important to not only the economy of Canada, but to the future generations who follow us—to our children, to our grandchildren, and to those who come after us. We believe in environmental protections so that we sustain our environment for generations to come. This bill does that. It enhances environmental protections in many ways. I would hope that in the future opposition members, rather than just delaying for the sake of delaying, actually look at the measures in the bill.
An extraordinary amount of time has been given to this bill, more than in 20 years, when you compare it to other bills of previous parliaments. We've been very generous and flexible. Unfortunately, many times critics didn't show up. NDP and Liberal members didn't even show up for the briefing, but I can't prevent that. The briefing is not—