Madam Speaker, this really demonstrates the extent to which the New Democratic Party is not interested in advancing or discussing issues. That party is interested in merely debating them.
We have already had debate on this legislation, but members were not talking about the bill. Most of the debate took place on the question of the Canada pension plan, things like old age security. People talked about pooled registered pension plans, which was a separate bill before the House. There was a debate on the national rate of unemployment. There was a lot of talk about the health accords apparently. Somebody even talked about French socialist party leaders. We had a great debate on who should take credit for the soundness of the banking system, whether it should be the current government or the previous Liberal government. There was actually no debate on the bill itself.
After a day of that, we still could not get any agreement from the NDP on how many further days to allocate for debate on a routine bill that comes up every five years. The bill has to be passed by April 20 or it will sunset and then our banking system will have to function without any law in place. It cannot do that. We have the soundest banking system in the world and we have to keep it that way. That is why we have to proceed forward with this legislation.
The NDP would not co-operate, even after we made several offers even in public here in the House. There was nothing forthcoming from the official opposition.
It is clear that the NDP strategy laid bare is to run up the score, compel the use of time allocation on every occasion. It makes all of those words from the opposition House leader ring entirely hollow.