There is nothing out of order about referring to the government in the collective sense, I would remind the hon. member.
If there is no one on the government side to talk to, then what is the point? What is the point of the opposition speaking? Who are we speaking to?
I think one of the recommendations in the modernization committee report, which is that the whips come up with a plan to have committees meet at times other than when the House is sitting is in fact one of the best recommendations in this committee report, because we cannot continue like this. We cannot do our job properly if we have to be in two or three places at the same time. While I am here I am not at the justice committee, of which I am also a member and which is sitting right now, hearing witnesses on Bill C-15. I cannot be in both places at once.
That may happen from time to time but it should not be a regular occurrence. It should not be something that members have to deal with all the time, constantly having to choose between the Chamber and committee. I would certainly urge that after the passage of this report the whips get busy right away. It may mean that committees would have to sit, God forbid, on Mondays or on Thursday evenings or on Fridays. Committees always sat on those days when I first came here. They sat Monday through Friday. We did not get a week back in the riding after every three or four weeks either.
As far as I am concerned, the whole place has become kind of wimpy as far as work schedules are concerned. We should be making better use of our time and not trying to telescope the work of the House and the committees into this smaller and smaller period, which is getting to be about two and a half days now. It just makes for a lack of quality time, shall we say, here in the House of Commons and in committee. I am very much concerned about it. One of the reasons I called quorum was to make that point.
I want to read to the House something from the committee report and highlight a few things. Let me read what the report says under “Ministerial Statements”.
I hear a cellphone, and that is another thing I do not like, having cellphones in the House of Commons. We should have a rule against it. We should not have to listen to cellphones going off when--