Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak, perhaps for the last time, to Bill C-10, an act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act and to provide for certain other measures. There are very few other measures, as this is a small bill.
I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London. I am sure that her speech will be very good and that she will have a lot to say about Bill C-10.
We have had many opportunities to speak to Bill C-10 over the past few weeks. We had the opportunity to hear the government say all sorts of things about the importance of Bill C-10 and the need to act swiftly. However, when we asked for the real reasons behind the urgency, which led the government to adopt a time allocation motion for Bill C-10, we got no response. The government says one thing and does another or, in many cases, does nothing.
From the beginning our only question has remained unanswered. We really wanted a justification for the time allocation motion. Why the need to pass Bill C-10 now, when at the beginning of this Parliament there was no urgency?
We asked the question in the House during question period and also in committee. We never received a single sensible answer explaining why Bill C-10 had to be passed so quickly.
I searched books, history, and everywhere in order to understand how the government could justify adopting a time allocation motion for a bill like C-10. I finally found the answer. It is in the Liberal Party of Canada's DNA that I found the reason for the urgent need to take action on Bill C-10.
The government says that it is open and transparent. That can be found in the Speech from the Throne, which states:
...the Government is committed to open and transparent government. ...[the Government] will promote more open debate...it will not resort to devices like prorogation and omnibus bills to avoid scrutiny.
A time allocation motion is a device. We have had the opportunity to look at the budget bill, which is also an omnibus bill. The government says one thing and does another, or does nothing at all. That is what I discovered when I analyzed the process for Bill C-10, , which has brought us here today.
The government has adopted a number of time allocation motions. I am thinking of Bill C-10, Bill C-14, Motion No. 6, and the electoral reform that the government wants to unilaterally impose using its majority. So much for openness and transparency.
With regard to Bill C-10, in just a few months, we have seen the government, for no real reason at all, decide to lose some of its credibility with the provinces. How? The government announced on a number of occasions that it wanted to usher in a new era of improved relations with the provinces.
In the throne speech, the government also said the following three times regarding three files:
To give Canadians a more secure retirement, the Government will work with the provinces and territories.... To create more opportunities for young Canadians...the Government will work with the provinces and territories.... And to support the health and well-being of all Canadians, the Government will begin work with the provinces and territories...
Those three excerpts from the throne speech show the government's willingness to work with the provinces and territories and its interest in doing so. However, the government says one thing and does another, or does nothing at all. We are seeing it again. We saw it yesterday. The government has said a number of times that it is listening to the provinces and wants to work with them.
Yesterday, the Quebec minister of health and social services spoke about another bill, Bill C-14. What did Mr. Barrette have to say about Bill C-14? He said that it was unenforceable and that, given the current context, he would be very careful about going forward with Bill C-14. He added that, personally, for professional and governmental reasons, he does not think it is a good idea to go forward with Bill C-14. Mr. Barrette is a minister in a province with which the government wants to build good relations. However, the government moved a time allocation motion on Bill C-14. The government is not letting members of Parliament speak about it.
I have other examples, but I do not have the time to share them all in four minutes. When Bill C-10 was first debated in committee, Minister Garneau talked about good relationships with the provinces in his speech:
In light of this development [Air Canada's commitment to creating centres of excellence], the Government of Quebec and Air Canada announced an agreement to discontinue the litigation...
Given all these positive developments, we believe this is the perfect time to modernize the Air Canada Public Participation Act...
Minister Garneau said that this was what the provinces wanted, but that is not true. I do not want to say that it is not true, but it is misleading. This may appear to be the case, but that is my interpretation.