Mr. Speaker, I want to address the comments from my hon. friend across the way on two specific points.
One point is on the immediacy with which my friend from Winnipeg brought this motion forward. As was explained in his motion, if the government House leader had been listening, the complexity of this particular case gave reason. He had brought that reason forward, both in his motion and I believe in dealings with the table, to express that this was as quickly as we could bring the research together around this particular point of privilege.
The second point is that it was with some irony that in his argument against this point of privilege, the hon. government House leader then brought another time allocation motion into this House. I would suggest it was somewhat out of order, in that we were dealing with a motion of privilege. It is somewhat ironic that after talking about the openness, transparency and decency of their government, the Conservatives then shut down debate in Parliament again on another piece of legislation, having just minutes ago voted time allocation on another separate bill.
Lastly, in the debate on the last time allocation motion 45 minutes or an hour ago, the Minister of Public Safety made it quite clear—and I seek, Mr. Speaker, that you check the blues on this point—that he had no concern for lawyers and judges when he was designing policy, and that the concerns of courts and those who seek guidance from the legal profession as to whether they are valid or not or whether they can stand a charter challenge or not are not a concern to him as the Minister of Public Safety.
Also of grave concern—and we can submit them to my hon. friend across the way—are all of the pieces of legislation that the government has introduced that have been struck down by the courts because the Conservatives had not vetted the legislation. This is at great cost to the Canadian taxpayer, never mind to those people who are affected by legislation that locks them up, essentially illegally, while the courts move through the government bills that are not to be applied and judges then have to wrestle with badly written pieces of legislation.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, the prima facie case of privilege that we are seeking from you is to say that members of Parliament on all sides are addressing pieces of legislation that have not been properly vetted for their ability to stand a charter challenge; that the debate that takes place in this House is encumbered by the fact that the government is choosing to ignore and not solicit the advice of all those legal minds in the Department of Justice, which we pay for, to give that very advice to allow Canadians to see legislation that actually does what it is required to do rather than play politics with the legislation, as has too often been the case.
If the Conservatives were not playing politics, one would assume that they would seek to make their legislation charter-proof. They do not. This is a problem that faces the House because we are constantly encumbered by legislation that is dealing with something that cannot survive a charter challenge. Therefore, the debate enters into some realm of fiction and partisanship that does not allow for actual improvement of the law and the lives of Canadians.
I would offer to my friend across the way, the House leader for the government, that we did bring this motion of privilege forward expeditiously. I think the member from Winnipeg made his case soundly and succinctly with good research and backing as to why this is a problem. While this is a challenge for you as Speaker to determine whether it is prima facie, I very much look forward to the contribution that the Minister of Justice will make in this case.
I would suggest to the House leader for the government that he has upped the ante in this by somehow suggesting that the Minister of Justice is now breaking his oaths and that this was an attack on him personally. We look at this as a direct contribution to the further erosion of Parliament's ability to do its job on behalf of Canadians. If government members seek to somehow make this a personal case against the Minister of Justice and the oaths that he has taken as a barrister and solicitor, that is their choice. It was not mentioned by my friend from Winnipeg. It was not mentioned by the official opposition. Therefore, that is a choice for him to make. However, I would ask him not to bring that into the debate, but it is not in my power to discern what he thinks is valid or not.
Mr. Speaker, on a prima facie case of privilege, this is something that I think bears your consideration. Obviously, it looks like we will hear from the Minister of Justice and we can move forward.
For heaven's sake, one would think that a bare minimum requirement of being the Government of Canada would be to introduce laws that would actually stand a test by the charter and bill of rights of this country.