Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to go over some of the things that took place in committee, and we should be concerned.
When the government House leader talks about the evolution of process, what we have witnessed is an evolution that takes away the ability of individual members to perform their duties on numerous occasions.
For example, the government House leader could argue that the usage of time allocation is an evolution of process. That evolution that the government has adopted works against, what we would argue, the best interests of Canadians in limiting the opportunity for individuals to express themselves on a wide variety of bills, including Bill C-60.
Let us take a look at what the government has now proposed to do.
The Conservatives are saying that inside the committee they now want to mandate all members of the House, whether they are part of an officially recognized party or not, to bring forward their amendments to the committee well in advance. However, as one can easily imagine by the way the government has managed this evolution of process, the Conservatives are really trying to prevent independent members who are not part of a recognized political party the opportunity to present their amendments at report stage. This raises a whole spectrum of issues that really needs to be addressed.
I am concerned that if the government were trying to demonstrate good will based on a Speaker's ruling, with all due respect, then this should have been was raised at one of the House leader's meetings and received a consensus of support. We have to be very careful when we look at changing rules, which is ultimately what the government House leader has proposed to do. We have to be very careful that there is a consensus from all political entities inside the House to do that. If we take a look at what took place at the committee, members will find that there was not unanimous consent in passing the motion in question, which is important to recognize.
The second issue I would like to raise is the letter that I understand the leader of the Green Party received. Imagine receiving a letter which gives a very clear indication that one has x amount of time to get all of one's information gathered and amendments in place. The letter suggests that must be done by Monday, May 27, at nine o'clock in the morning. Again, I call into question the legitimacy of this.
This issue came up through a point of order by the New Democratic opposition House leader, and there is great merit for that. We will take a look at this matter in more detail and we might want to add further comment on the issue as time progresses.
However, I want to emphasize how important it is when the government House leader makes reference to the evolution of process or rules. Whenever he starts to fantasize or talk about it, in the past, it has not been a positive thing in democracy in the House of Commons.
I raise this issue as a red flag. We need to tread very carefully before making any sort of ruling on that which seeks to deprive individual members, or collective members, the opportunity to do something they have done in the past because the government deems it as not as clean or quick as it would like to see things take place. The Conservatives are bringing in these draconian-type changes or proposals, which are not healthy for democracy in the House of Commons.