This is about the Conservatives searching out the hidden Liberals underneath the bedcovers. This is about attacking the fundamental merit-based system that we have for approving the officers of Parliament.
One would think that there is some kind of problem that they were responding to, but no. Other than Conservative smears against the Elections Canada office, there has never been a case that has ever shown that the people who work in the access to information commission or the privacy commission, the officers of Parliament, have ever done this in a partisan manner that needed investigation. In fact, they are already covered under part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act, the Political Activities Regulations, and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. We are talking about some of the most qualified and highly credible people in our system, but the government is saying we cannot trust them.
Therefore, we have a situation in which a bill is being brought forward that allows the Conservatives, when they are under investigation, to say that nine years ago a secretary in someone's office was on a riding association and there must be some kind of political skulduggery, because she also had a sign on her lawn.
This is about undermining a credible system that is in place.
Viewers back home should always remember this: the role of government is to be accountable to the Canadian people, and there are institutions that hold government to account. The Conservative government believes that it is accountable to no one and can undermine the basic rules of parliamentary process so that they can hold the people who are supposed to be investigating them to account.
We have sat through the discussion on this bill. The Conservatives have brought forward no witnesses. We have seen nothing credible. They have absolutely no basis for this bill. It has been called a despicable witch hunt, which it is, and now it is just an non-credible witch hunt. The fact is that the government had to basically strip its own bill down to nothing.
Let us save the member for York Centre further embarrassment. Let us kill this bill now and stop this spineless attack on the institutions that hold Parliament accountable.