Mr. Speaker, I want to resume my debate on this very important bill, Bill C-20.
I was talking about the kind of stalling tactics the Bloc members are implementing on this very important and historic bill. It saddens me. I heard the member for Quebec East call me a liar while I was speaking. I suppose that is part and parcel of where some of those people come from which is too bad. I do not think it is appropriate. I think it is quite unparliamentary.
I want to say in review it really is shameful when we see something as important as this bill come forward that there are now amendments to amendments being proposed. It is a shame that 300 press clippings were read in the House and 1,000 amendments were proposed. It shows nothing but contempt not only for the House but for the Canadian people wherever they live in this great country of ours. It really is undemocratic.
For the record indicate I want to indicate that on December 13, 1999 the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry said that everything they can do to slow down the bill to prevent its passage will be done. That really is shameful. That is not what democracy in Canada is all about.
Let me say what the leader of the Bloc said not so very long ago on February 7:
I can tell you that it's going to be a long process...very, very long...The record was 471?....more than that.
The implication is that this is going to be stalled, this is going to be dragged out, this is going to be extended, all at the expense of democracy. That is unacceptable and that is not the Canadian way. It is simply outright rubbish.
On February 8 the hon. member for Roberval said that there was no way whatsoever that the Bloc would co-operate in passing Bill C-20. Again, it is crystal clear where these people opposite are coming from and that is in an undemocratic way to simply tie up the business of the House, using every procedural trick in their arsenal, when Canadians want to talk about other things. They want to talk about jobs. They want to talk about trade issues. They want to talk about globalization. They want to talk about transportation in the west. They want to talk about farmers. They want to talk about health care. They want to talk about education. They do not want to get stalled by those people opposite who want nothing more than to stall the business of the House, to tie it up, to do whatever they can procedurally or any other way to hog-tie the House of Commons.
We on the government side will not allow them to get away with it. Why? Because it is not in the best interests of Canadians, wherever they live in Canada. We on this side of the House will ensure that does not happen.
That is why we are crystal clear when it comes to Group No. 1, which we are debating today, which deals with the preamble. The House should not forget that this is a very simple bill that has three statements to it. It is very simple, very straightforward and very uncomplicated. It is those people opposite who are making it into something far greater than it was ever intended to be, and that is unacceptable.
Let me remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the amendments in Group No. 1, which deal with the preamble, and now the amendments to the amendments which they are proposing, simply go counter to what we have in mind.
The bill closely reflects the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference. Each of the preambular clauses is drawn from elements of the court's judgment. Despite the attempts of the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard, to conveniently ignore certain parts of the judgment, it is all important that all of its elements be reflected in the clarity act preamble.
That is what we on the government side are doing. We are being straightforward. We are being simple. We are being clear in terms of what we are doing, because Canadians expect that kind of common sense approach when it comes to government. Canadians expect that of us. We are here elected from across Canada to represent every region and every area of this country. No matter where we come from, we are here to govern in an appropriate and solid fashion, and we continue to do that. Why? Because it is expected, it is required and it is necessary.
When we brought in as a government the clarity legislation, Bill C-20, we did so with great intent, with great purpose, to ensure that people throughout Canada, and the world for that matter, who are watching this process will know that we come from a very solid and straightforward foundation, knowing that this is a time to act in a meaningful way on behalf of Canada. That is precisely what we on the government side, with the help of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, will do.