Mr. Speaker, I am only too happy to respond as I do every Thursday, with transparency, openness and in a spirit of co-operation with my colleagues across the way.
Today and tomorrow we will consider Bill C-15, the drug offence bill. However, as my colleague the Minister of Justice noted, the NDP members seem to be unnecessarily dragging the debate on the bill out. We will also consider Bill C-25, truth in sentencing; Bill C-34, protecting victims from sex offenders; Bill C-19, anti-terrorism; and Bill C-30, the Senate ethics bill.
Next week I intend to add to this list, Bill S-4, identity theft; and Bill C-6, consumer product safety.
As always, I will give priority to any bills that have been reported back from our hard-working standing committees.
In the response to the question about the allotted days, within the next week I will be designating Thursday, June 11 as an allotted day.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Liberal House leader often asks specific questions about specific bills on Thursday, so I hope you will entertain a few comments of my own.
First of all, I would like to recognize that, to date at least, there has been good co-operation from the opposition in moving our legislative agenda forward, not only in this chamber but in the other place as well. I want to thank the opposition for that co-operation.
However, yesterday we passed in this place, at all stages and without debate, Bill C-33, the bill that will extend benefits to allied veterans and their families. For this bill to become law, we need the same co-operation in the Senate. I would urge the opposition House leader to deliver that message to his senators.
I understand that the Governor General is here today and could actually give royal assent to the bill. It would not only be symbolic but a substantial gesture to those veterans who are reflecting on and participating in the 65th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, this weekend.
The other bill I want to specifically mention is Bill C-29, the agricultural loans bill. In one of his Thursday questions, the member for Wascana took an interest in this bill. He suggested, and I quote from Hansard, that “we might be able to dispose of it at all stages”. I appreciate that level of support for this important and time-sensitive bill in the House, but the member needs to coordinate his support with his Senate colleagues in order to get this bill passed and the increased loans made available to our farmers in a timely manner.
Any communication from the member for Wascana and any persuasiveness he may bring to bear upon his Liberal colleagues in the other place would be greatly appreciated by me and the government.