Mr. Speaker, as you know, I wrote to you earlier today requesting an emergency debate on the refusal of the government to split the omnibus budget bill into separate pieces for proper study at the proper committee.
According to page 693 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, an emergency debate is legitimate when the matter “could not be brought before the House within a reasonable time by other means, such as during a supply day”, which is the case here.
As time allocation was moved by the government to limit time for debate and as this is the last day of debate on the omni-budget, I believe this warrants an emergency debate. It is the case that we have a budget before us that is over 400 pages long when, historically, budgets have been about 30 pages long. It touches everything from the environment to old age security, assisted human reproduction, employment equity, CSIS, the Seeds Act, and telecommunications. It really does touch the lives of every Canadian as far as I am concerned.
The NDP has tried to negotiate with the government, asking it to voluntarily split this bill into the appropriate subject matters but it has denied us this. You, Mr. Speaker, may also have heard that yesterday it was my intention to move a motion during the public session of committee to try to have the environment committee review the environment parts of this budget bill. We were not even able to be in public for me to do that. I was denied the opportunity to even move a motion to consider some of the environmental aspects at the environment committee where it properly belongs.
I urge you, Mr. Speaker, to take this application for an emergency debate seriously, to see the urgency of this issue and to grant an emergency debate on the government's refusal to be transparent and accountable on this bill.