Its members hate it when I point that out.
When the member for Mississauga—Streetsville misspoke in the House, he corrected the record and apologized.
When the entire NDP caucus says one thing to its constituents and then acts in completely the opposite direction in the House, it not only fails to apologize but, sadly, it does not even feel any shame.
We are still waiting on the member for Timmins—James Bay to apologize to his constituents for his reversal on the gun registry vote.
By telling its constituents one thing and doing another, the NDP's actions are an affront to democracy. Do as I say, not as I do. That is what it is saying.
Let us look at a few other important pieces of business currently at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
Motion No. 431, sponsored by the member for Saskatoon—Humboldt, was passed just last month. That motion reads:
That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to: (a) consider the election of committee chairs by means of a preferential ballot system by all the Members of the House of Commons, at the beginning of each session and prior to the establishment of the membership of the standing committees; (b) study the practices of other Westminster-style Parliaments in relation to the election of Committee Chairs; (c) propose any necessary modifications to the Standing Orders and practices of the House; and (d) report its findings to the House no later than six months following the adoption of this order.
Just like the motion by the member for Burnaby—Douglas, Motion No. 431 passed the House and deserves to be studied by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. Again, and unfortunately, the NDP's obstructionist actions are causing needless delays at committee.
Yet again the House adopted a deadline as part of its order to the committee to study the issue. For this particular matter it set a six-month deadline, which means that the procedure and House affairs committee will need to wind up its work by the summer.
There is yet another item referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs just last week that the opposition seems intent on delaying and obstructing, Bill C-518, Protecting Taxpayers and Revoking Pensions of Convicted Politicians Act. Bill C-518 would strip convicted crooked politicians of their pensions. We have to wonder why the opposition wants to avoid studying this. The New Democrats should not be protecting the pensions of politicians who break the law, but by their actions on this question of privilege, that is exactly what they are doing.
As we know, private members' bills are on a guaranteed timetable that includes a deadline of 60 sitting days for a committee to consider a bill. That means that our procedure and House affairs committee would need to deal with this by the first few sitting days in September. I hate to think that their motives are sinister, so I call upon the opposition parties not to pass this motion so that the procedure and House affairs committee can get on with its work.
On top of those items of business, the committee also has other important business before it not under the gun of a tight deadline. It has been working off and on for the past two years on a review of our Standing Orders, the very rules and procedures governing how we do our work on Parliament Hill.
In October, the House voted to refer this issue back to the committee so that it could study it as part of its ongoing agenda. Also in October, the House adopted an order of reference for the committee to study a different question of privilege. I understand that the committee is still working and trying to hear from the last witnesses on that issue.
Additionally, the procedure and House affairs committee will at some point get back to the five-year review of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. It started that project some time ago, but its conclusion awaits committee having the free time to do so.
Here we have a proposal by the NDP to send something else to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to add to its very busy agenda. We already know all of the facts here. The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville came forward to acknowledge and apologize for what happened. He did that on his own, unrequested by the Speaker or anyone else. What is left for the committee to study? All of this leaves me scratching my head, wondering what the game of the NDP is. It has become quite clear.
The NDP is simply looking to block and delay the fair elections act despite the Chief Electoral Officer saying that we need to amend our electoral laws by this spring for them to have appropriate effect by the 2015 election.
I call upon the NDP to let the procedure and House affairs committee finally begin hearing witnesses on the fair elections act. As I said earlier, this legislation needs to become law within the next few months. Despite the NDP's filibuster at committee, Conservatives believe that the committee needs to get down to work.
I understand that the Chief Electoral Officer and other important witnesses are ready to testify. We could have started hearing witnesses weeks ago, but the NDP is afraid to hear witnesses. Why do those members not want to hear from Harry Neufeld, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and others? I think it is pretty obvious. Of course they do not want to hear Mr. Kingsley. He gave our bill an A minus. No wonder the NDP would not want him appearing before the procedure and House affairs committee. Why do those members not want to hear from first nation groups? Why do they not want to hear from groups representing those with disabilities? I think we can all figure it out.
The NDP claims that it wanted to hear from Canadians on the fair elections act, but every action the party has taken since the bill was introduced, from the filibuster at the procedure and House affairs committee to the debate on the motion here today to add to that committee's agenda, has been an attempt to disrupt the progress of the fair elections act and to avoid hearing from witnesses. That party may not like what it hears.
Why do NDP members not come clean with Canadians and admit that they are simply trying to be obstructionist? They do not care what it costs or what important legislation is held up as a result. That is exactly why the NDP will never form government. That party simply does not understand what it is like to balance priorities, an important part of governing.
I have only known the member for Mississauga—Streetsville for about two years, but I find him to be a good and decent member of Parliament, who has delivered a great deal for the residents of his riding. He rightly corrected the record in the House after realizing that he misspoke. I consider this matter closed. Most Canadians consider this matter closed. I encourage everyone to vote accordingly.
We all make mistakes in life. We all make mistakes as members of Parliament. I have made them myself. Just this morning the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands was at our committee and I mistakenly was going to allow her to vote, although she did not have a vote. We corrected that. It was not a big deal. We own up to our errors, and that is what the member for Mississauga—Streetsville did. End of story.