Mr. Speaker, I will start by discussing the essential points of the matter we are discussing today.
The member for Mississauga—Streetsville simply misspoke during the fair elections act debate last month. Entirely on his own volition, the same member later corrected the record and apologized to the House. Correcting or clarifying the record when a member says something that is incorrect is the type of action that I think members and I, and most Canadians, would expect. Sadly, based on the cynicism spread by the opposition, some might even find a politician apologizing to be refreshing for a change.
By contrast, let us compare the member for Mississauga—Streetsville's actions with those of the NDP.
Day in and day out, the NDP members make outlandish statements in the House. Often, these contain eyebrow-raising interpretations of events or facts, or extreme hyperbole. The only difference is that the NDP's sanctimony in making so many outrageous statements makes it hard for Canadians to even believe what they say, but it does sow cynicism among Canadians.
In fact, we should look at the real reasons why the NDP moved this motion.
Do the NDP members honestly feel that their rights as members were infringed upon? Definitely, no. Does the NDP honestly feel that further sanctions are warranted? No, if it were honest. Is the NDP transparent about its motives? Definitely not.
This is nothing more than an effort to create a smokescreen aimed at derailing the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The opposition is trying to do whatever it takes to derail the committee's number one priority, the fair elections act and the fine work done by the Minister of State for Democratic Reform.
Not only is the fair elections act a much-needed update to Canadian election laws, but it is also much needed now. As our Chief Electoral Officer has said, new legislation needs to be in place this spring for it to have effect for next year's general election.
However, as is often the case with the NDP's actions and policies, it has not considered the ramifications.
Motion No. 428, sponsored by the member for Burnaby—Douglas, has been referred to the procedure and House affairs committee, and I understand that it was one of the next items for study, right after the fair elections act. In adopting it, the House also adopted a deadline for the committee to do its work. This is a motion that the entire NDP caucus voted for, which does not say much since it has virtually always voted as one bloc.
If members would like to witness the NDP members and their logical gymnastics, I would like to hear them explain why the NDP is delaying study of their colleague's own private member's motion in order to study this matter regarding the member for Mississauga—Streetsville, a matter that has been resolved to its fullest extent and to which nothing more could be gained from committee study.
In fact, I have a challenge for the member for Burnaby—Douglas. If he is sincere about the procedure and House affairs committee studying Motion No. 428 quickly, then he will vote against this privilege motion. The entire NDP caucus claims that it strongly supports Motion No. 428. Why then is it delaying study of it?
The opposition is saying one thing to its supporters and then doing precisely the opposite. Do as I say, not as I do. That seems to be the creed of the NDP.
The NDP claims that it supports setting up an electronic petition system to allow more access for Canadians and to improve democracy. Let me emphasize to all Canadians watching this debate right now that by its actions in moving the motion, the NDP is trying to do nothing more than stifle a democratic committee from investigating that very proposal. Yet, the NDP does not show any regret.