Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity today to participate in this debate on Bill C-69.
First of all, I want to congratulate all the members who sat on the parliamentary commission on Bill C-69. I want to point out in particular that this bill was agreed on and approved by all the members of the parliamentary committee. I can remember, for instance, the rather significant contribution made by the hon. member for Bellechasse and his support during the final vote in committee. The hon. member enthusiastically agreed to support this government bill.
However, he had to yield to the higher authorities within his caucus, to the big shots in his caucus, and was unable to support the bill in the House. His colleagues even forced him or encouraged him to move an amendment. Even though we were told that the amendment was in order, it was unconstitutional because it would have changed the constitution of Canada.
As you know, the hon. members of the Bloc and others may want to talk about the constitution, because they get a kick out of it, but I for one do not want to address this issue and the right hon. prime minister did say that he did not want to talk about it. Mr. Speaker, you are totally objective and impartial; therefore, you must have noticed that we have stayed away from the issue of the constitution since we came into office.
I want to come back to the substance of Bill C-69, but I cannot miss the opportunity to comment on the statements made by the hon. member for Fraser Valley West.
A little earlier I listened to the remarks of the hon. member for Fraser Valley West. He was talking about the virtue within the Reform Party. He was talking about the fact that the Reform Party was so virtuous in his opinion, that the Reform Party could do no harm.
As my colleague the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader said so eloquently, obviously if that had been the case it would have been a very short speech because the Reform Party is rather short on virtue.
Nevertheless, he referred to MPs' being able to in his own party, so he said, vote the will of the people members represent and that they were never disciplined for doing so within the Reform Party. Surely some of us remember when the then justice critic was bumped off his parliamentary committee. The then justice critic, the member for New Westminster-Burnaby, whom I see before us in the House right now, got the boot. He was booted off his committee because he said something his leader and many other people disagreed with.
What happened? He got bumped off the committee. He was unceremoniously demoted. That is what happened to a Reform MP. What happened to another MP? I remember a certain speech in the House on Bosnia.