Mr. Speaker, the minister delivered his best speech since the beginning of debate, and it is only a couple of hours before the final vote.
If he would have been willing to engage the opposition to look at amendments, I think we would have come up with a much better bill than the one on which we will be voting.
He repeated again and again that the government does not want to pick winners and losers. That is empty rhetoric. The world is doing that. Canada did it. This House has been the same size for 25 years now. Provinces are doing that all the time. Canadians told him in the latest poll yesterday that four out of five of them do not want his plan and accept the idea of keeping the House a reasonable size.
He mentioned the future. I would be pleased to discuss the future with him. If we accept the high growth scenario of Statistics Canada, we would end up with a House with 392 seats with his plan. It may not be this one, but even the middle growth scenario would give us a House with 354 seats.
He said that no province should have fewer seats than a province that is less populous. We all agree. I said many times, if we did not table the bill, it is because we were willing to amend the government's bill and to work with the minister. Why did he not want to work with us? Why, in the last hours of debate on the bill, is he not commenting on the substance of our proposal and asking valid questions, to which I would have given him valid answers? We would have been able to improve the law of the land for Canadians. Why is it impossible to work with the government?