Mr. Chair, the last time this committee wrote a letter was following the hearings we had in the summer of 2016. There was at that time, I believe, a desire to do more. What ended up happening was that this committee wrote a letter to the minister. It was a self-congratulatory do-nothing letter.
I'm looking at a CBC article here right now. This letter came out July 22, 2016, with no requirement for a response. One of my colleagues' offices had said that it was the best that could be done right then. It took another four months of browbeating to come up with some sort of a motion or a solution and then another year.... We're now a year and a half into this.
I don't find it acceptable that the government feels that their response to this situation is a self-congratulatory letter that requires no government response. This is not what the resettlement services agencies need. This is not what these women need. They need help now.
Mr. Chair, you have done good work in chairing other committees. You have been very passionate on some of these issues. To prove my colleague, Mr. Sarai, wrong in saying that this is somehow Conservative theatrics, I would implore you and I would ask you to talk to your colleagues. Suspend the meeting briefly. Hopefully they can caucus. There is no reason why there cannot be a report. The Liberals have a majority on this committee and they can write whatever they want. I want the government to be required to respond to the testimony that was put forward at this committee. That is what members of Parliament do. A self-congratulatory letter disrespects the community effort that is being put forward to help these people and it disrespects the government actually doing something on this particular file.
Canada should be developing best practice on this, not trying to sweep this problem under the rug. We had this committee meeting, hopefully, to do something that resembled work and get some help out. A self-congratulatory letter that is developed in secret and that requires no government response does not do that. I will be before this committee every single time, every time we hear an issue, every single time something happens in the community, reminding the members of the fact that we wasted time and we wasted the resources of the government in closing our response to this with a nice, flowery letter from Liberal members, who are listening to staffers and the centre, to the minister.
If this is what the members want to do, if they just want to push this away.... I'm sure they have something drafted already. I ask you, as the chair, to perhaps talk to some of the other members on this team. They can write whatever they want in this report. They have the majority on this committee. It can be there. There is no reason why we would not have a report, or not have the minister come to committee, outside of the government wanting to hide this or sweep this under the rug.
Yes, I'm going to get theatrical about this Randeep, because I don't get this. I don't get why this is the fourth time we've had to go through this conversation. I don't get why you've given me half an hour on camera to get angry at you when you could have just voted to have a report. The government will respond. We'll make sure that the minister gets here somehow. Why don't you just let the government respond in a written report? This is insanity, it's lunacy, and it's not what we should be doing with a parliamentary committee.
I ask you, Mr. Chair, to take even five minutes, and maybe people across the aisle will want to caucus for a minute and talk about something that is more reasonable than what's on the table right now.