House of Commons Hansard #198 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was statistics.

Topics

Bottled WaterPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 20th, 2017 / 10:55 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is also from residents throughout Saanich—Gulf Islands calling for Parliament to discontinue the purchase of bottled water for personal use in any federal government institutions when potable water is available.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition that highlights that, when the government passed legislation a year ago on assisted suicide and euthanasia, the government promised that no health care professionals would be forced to participate against their conscience in assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The petition goes on to say that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is using coercion, intimidation, and other forms of pressure against physicians who do not want to participate.

The petitioners are calling on Parliament to enact, in the Criminal Code, protection of conscience for physicians and health care institutions from coercion and intimidation, which is currently happening in this country. Our freedoms need to be protected.

Firearms Advisory CommitteePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present this morning on behalf of law-abiding target shooters, hunters, trappers, farmers, and collectors who feel that they are not properly represented on the Canadian firearms advisory committee set up by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The petitioners feel that all the individuals in the new membership of the Canadian firearms advisory committee, which was announced on March 3, 2017, have either publicly stated that they are in favour of stricter gun control or are in fact members of the Coalition for Gun Control. Only two members of this committee have a firearms background.

The petitioners are calling for more fair representation.

TaxationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling e-petition no. 818, initiated by my constituent Tony Fairfield, which includes 599 signatures.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to make an immediate and public commitment to not pursue the elimination of the tax exemption for employer-sponsored health and dental benefit plans, now and into the future, at any time throughout the mandate of the government.

The petitioners draw the attention of the House to two specific facts: the February 7, 2017, vote in which every single member on the government caucus side voted against an opposition motion calling on the government to abandon any plans to tax federal dental and health benefits, and 24 million Canadians currently have access to health care through private employer-sponsored plans.

The 599 petitioners in this e-petition are specifically calling on the government, if it has future plans to introduce such taxation, to do so by calling for it during an election cycle.

Commemorative MedalsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal war on history continues to prompt many petitions to my office, and I have a raft of them to present today.

The petitioners are very proud Canadians. They are proud of their country's history. Commemorative medals have been issued on many occasions in Canada's history to recognize outstanding Canadians who have made significant contributions to their community and country. This kind of medal has been awarded on the occasions of Confederation in 1867, our diamond jubilee of Confederation in 1927, the centennial in 1967, and most recently on the 125th anniversary of Confederation in 1992. However, as part of the Liberal war on history, the program to present medals such as these, which was very well advanced, was unfortunately cancelled.

The petitioners call upon the government to reconsider that decision and actually proceed with a proper medal for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The petitioners come from Winnipeg, Manitoba; Iroquois Falls, Ontario; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Acadia, Nova Scotia; Wedgeport, Nova Scotia; Tusket, Nova Scotia; South Ohio, Nova Scotia; Nepean, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Woodbridge, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario; Markham, Ontario; Keswick, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Whitby, Ontario; Pickering, Ontario; Ajax, Ontario; Stockholm, Saskatchewan; Grayson, Saskatchewan; Wapella, Saskatchewan; Whitewood, Saskatchewan; Esterhazy, Saskatchewan; Redvers, Saskatchewan; St. Louis, Prince Edward Island; and Tignish, Prince Edward Island.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to respect tradition, recognize deserving Canadians, and reverse the decision to cancel the commemorative medal for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if the supplementary response to Question No. 1025, originally tabled on June 16, and the government's response to Question No. 1027 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 1025Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

With regard to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), since the changes made to the refugee determination system in 2012: (a) how many cases have come before the IRB, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the refugee protection division (RPD), (iv) through the refugee appeal division (RAP); (b) of the cases heard at the IRB, how many were ‘legacy cases’, broken down (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP; (c) what was the average length of delay for a legacy case to be heard, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP; (d) what is the total funding provided to the IRB by the government, broken down (i) year, (ii) purpose; (e) how much internal funding has been shifted within the IRB to process ‘legacy cases’, broken down (i) year, (ii) area funding was shifted from; (f) how many ‘legacy cases’ have reached final decisions at the IRB, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP; (g) of the remaining ‘legacy cases’, what average length of time the case has been before the IRB, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP; (h) does the government have a plan in place to eliminate the backlog of ‘legacy cases’; (i) in what year is it expected that ‘legacy cases’ will be eliminated; (j) how many instances have there been of ‘legacy cases’ having hearings cancelled, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP, (v) rationale for cancellation; (k) what is the average length of time between a ‘legacy case’ hearing cancellation and the hearing being rescheduled, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) through the RPD, (iv) through the RAP; (l) how many instances have there been of ‘legacy case’ hearings being rescheduled multiple times, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) number of hearing cancellations; (m) how many citizenship applications have been suspended due to the cessation of refugee protection provision, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant, (iii) duration of period of suspension; (n) how many citizenship applications are being prosecuted due to the cessation of refugee protection provisions, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant; (o) since 2009 how many cessation cases have been initiated pursuant to IRPA s. 108(2) at the Immigration and Refugee Board in total, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of citizenship of person concerned; (p) how many cessation cases are being investigated in total, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of origin of applicant; (q) what percentage of citizenship application suspensions are triggered by or related to cessation issues, broken down (i) year, (ii) country of citizenship of origin of applicant; (r) what is the average length of time it takes for a cessation case pursuant to IRPA s. 108(2) from its initiation by the Minister of IRCC, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country of citizenship of person concerned, (iii) method of determination; (s) what is the number of currently unresolved cessation cases pursuant to IRPA s. 108(2) that are pending before the RPD, broken down by year of initiation by the Minister of IRCC; and (t) what is the average time that currently unresolved cessation cases pursuant to IRPA s. 108(2) that are pending before the RPD, broken down by year of initiation by the Minister of IRCC?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1027Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

With regard to the Canada Border Services Agency and since 2009: (a) how many cessation cases in total are begin investigated but are not yet resolved, broken down by (i) year in which investigation was started, (ii) country of citizenship of person concerned; and (b) how many cessation cases have been investigated and resolved, broken down by (i) year in which investigation was started, (ii) country of citizenship of person concerned, (iii) outcome of investigation?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand at this time, please.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Statements by Members--Speaker's RulingPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on June 8, 2017 by the honourable member for Winnipeg Centre concerning the right of members to use indigenous languages in proceedings in the House of Commons.

I would like to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre for having raised this important matter.

The member began by explaining that, despite having provided documentation to interpretation services 48 hours in advance, simultaneous interpretation was not provided when he made a statement in nehiyo, the Cree language, on May 4, 2017. Unable to be understood by his fellow parliamentarians and those viewing the proceedings, he felt that he had been effectively silenced and his privileges violated. The member asked for not only the right to use indigenous languages in the proceedings of the House but also for minimal resources to enable him to participate and interact fully with other members in the proceedings and them with him in turn.

The issue raised by the member for Winnipeg Centre speaks to the very core of what members need when they come to this chamber, that is, not only to be free to speak but also to be understood. To be clear, the sacrosanct right of members to speak is not what is now being questioned; rather, it is the right of members to be understood immediately when they speak in a language other than one of the two official languages that is being raised.

This acknowledge of the need to bridge understanding between languages was surely at the root of the introduction of simultaneous interpretation for Canada's two official languages in the House in 1958. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, at page 287, explains the intentions of members at that time:

Members were of the opinion that this would give further expression to the Constitution, which provides for the equal status of the official languages and for their use in parliamentary debate.

This critical service, which began by way of an order of the House when members unanimously agreed to a government motion on August 11, 1958, continues to provide integral support to members as they search to understand and participate in parliamentary proceedings.

The fact that interpretation is provided in our two official languages was not designed or intended to prohibit members from speaking other languages in this chamber. Acting Speaker Kilger confirmed this on June 12, 1995, at page 13605 of Debates, when he stated:

At this time, there is nothing in the standing orders preventing anyone from using, as you say, a language that is not one of Canada's two official languages.

Members have availed themselves of this opportunity on many occasions, speaking not only indigenous languages but others as well. However, given the House’s current limited technical and physical capacity for interpretation, if members want to ensure that the comments they make in a language other than French or English can be understood by those who are following the proceedings and are part of the official record in the Debates, an extra step is required. Specifically, members need to repeat their comments in one of the two official languages so that our interpreters can provide the appropriate interpretation and so that they may be fully captured in the Debates. By doing so, all members of the House and the public will be able to benefit from the rich value of these interventions.

The Chair understands fully how some members could find this to be woefully inadequate. Perhaps there is some merit to that view. Perhaps being able to speak in other languages without the benefit of simultaneous interpretation is not good enough for some, even as the Chair reminds members of the impact that inherent physical limitations of the chamber have on the capacity for interpretation.

To offer something more, something different in terms of interpretation services, that is a decision that belongs to the House. As the member for Winnipeg Centre made a passionate argument for the improvement of interpretive services offered simultaneously in the House, I invite him to raise this issue with the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which has a mandate for reviewing the procedures and practices of the House and its committees. As the member for Winnipeg Centre noted, other legislative bodies in Canada have had some experience with this issue, perhaps experiences from which the committee could draw upon should it undertake a study on the matter.

In conclusion, while the Chair understands that the current offering of interpretation may be not be seen as ideal by some members, I cannot find that the member for Winnipeg Centre has been prevented from conducting his parliamentary functions.

Therefore, I cannot find that a prima facie case of privilege exists in this case.

I thank hon. members for their attention.

The House resumed from June 19 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke to the issue of prorogation, because we now have a historic opportunity to ensure that prorogation will never again be used improperly, and I said that the motion fails to eliminate that possibility.

I was about to close on the subject of prorogation by suggesting to the House, as I have suggested to the hon. government House leader in a paper I prepared on things we could do in our Standing Orders, the advice from Professor Hugo Cyr, L'Université du Québec à Montréal. He raised before the the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform, as did Professor Peter Russell, Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, additional reforms for democracy that we should consider making.

Professor Cyr's approach is this:

...to amend the Standing Orders of the House of Commons so that asking for Parliament to be prorogued or dissolved without first obtaining the approval of the House of Commons automatically results in a loss of confidence in the Prime Minister. Consequently, the Governor General would not be bound by a prime minister's advice requesting the early dissolution or prorogation of Parliament without first obtaining the approval of the House of Commons.

This is a very sensible proposal. What the government has proposed is a form of improvement, but there is nothing in the government proposal that would stop the abuse of power such as we saw when Stephen Harper shut down of Parliament to avoid a vote he knew he would lose. Unfortunately, the opposition parties had just recently voted on the Speech from the Throne, mistaking what they thought was a mere formality. It actually was a confidence vote and that is why the Governor General at the time refused to deny Mr. Harper his request for prorogation, although it is historically an affront to parliamentary democracy. We need to close that door now and the proposal from the government does not do it.

Similarly, I was pleased to see the motion would deal with omnibus bills and allow them to be split, only to be crestfallen to realize they only would be allowed to be split when it came to voting on them, not for studying them. It was actually the case with one of Harper's omnibus bills, Bill C-31, which was introduced in spring 2014. I went to committee, as I was by that point mandated to do by the new motions that were passed to deny me my rights at report stage, to present amendments to various sections of the bill.

These omnibus bills were so big that when I went to committee with amendments to a section, it was the moment when members around the committee realized they had not had any witnesses on that section. It was a commercial chemical section, by the way. I wanted an amendment related to asbestos. The committee had no witnesses, had not studied it , and certainly could not take amendments, but it could pass it because it was under time allocation. When there are multiple sections pushed in the same bill, it is a small improvement to say that the Speaker can split them out for purpose of voting, but we really need those sections split out for purposes of study.

Again, the recommendation from the hon. government House leader is a small improvement but a long way from being adequate.

While we have a chance, there are a lot of things we could look at in the Standing Orders. Again, going back to the advice of Professor Peter Russell and Professor Hugo Cyr to the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform, we are one of the only modern democracies that does not have a mandatory period between when an election takes place and when the newly elected government convenes Parliament. This loophole has not yet been exploited or abused, but there is no reason not to close the door on it now.

Fundamentally, what is terribly sad about this process is that we lost the opportunity to achieve a consensus on how to change our Standing Orders. This remains a historical, and not a good historical precedent, where the party with the majority of seats in this place, even though it does not have the majority of votes across the land, is able to push through this motion, because the votes are there.

I would urge the government House leader and the Liberals to seriously consider adopting the NDP amendment. It will do no violence to the principles it is espousing. It would at least allow omnibus bills to be split for purposes of study. I urge this to my colleagues. I also hope that in the future we can return to some of the other proposals I made, particularly taking into account the carbon footprint created by our parliamentary schedule. I continue to maintain that we need to consider very closely changing the days and the weeks in which we sit in order to intensify our time in Ottawa and thus reduce the millions of dollars and tons of greenhouse gases as we fly back and forth to this city.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I respect my colleague's years of parliamentary service and her understanding of the protocols in the House. I want to follow up on one of her statements about the omnibus bills. I agree with her that separating them out for the purpose of voting does not give us the opportunity to study them, and that is important.

I notice that budget bills are excluded from that. We have a situation here where the government has tried to bring in a budget bill with an infrastructure bank for $35 billion of taxpayer money in it . We only had two hours of discussion at committee before the Liberals shut that down. The government also resisted input from the opposition members who said it was complicated, that it had a lot of implications for the Canadian taxpayer, and that it should be studied separately. Now it is in the Senate. The senators brought forward the exact same comments and there was a lot of intervention.

Could the member comment on whether she thinks budget bills should be excluded from the proposed separation?

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is a specific exclusion. Actually, the most egregious misuse of omnibus legislation over the years I have been in this place, during the 41st Parliament and then since 2015, have specifically been for budget bills. That is, again, a significant failing that is relatively inexplicable, given the stated motives for the changes to the Standing Orders.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's speeches are always full of great ideas and lots of good thoughts.

I remember when we started this discussion on improving Parliament, a lot of the discussion was about trying to find ways to make it more family friendly. It seems to me that this was lost along the way. I would like to hear the member's view of what happened to family-friendly improvements to Parliament.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the 41st Parliament, the all-party women's caucus spent a lot of time looking at these issues and canvassed what was done in other parliaments. The problem we have in Canada, which means that the advice from the U.K. parliament, for example, does not really work, is that we are a very large country. The hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia and I are both in that category of MPs who spend a good deal of their lives on airplanes in order to serve their constituents and be in this place.

There is no perfect solution. Sittings ending earlier so that members in the Ottawa area could get home for dinner would be great for families in the Ottawa area but would not help us get through the work in this place so we could have more time in our constituencies.

I think the best solution, knowing that there is nothing perfect, is to have what I call the Fort McMurray work schedule, which would be three weeks in Ottawa and three weeks in our home ridings, with the three weeks in Ottawa being six days a week. There would be normal hours Monday to Friday and a half day on Saturday. This would actually give MPs a day of rest on the Sunday, because it would be physically impossible to fly home. I believe it would save taxpayers millions of dollars in air flights and would reduce greenhouse gases substantially.

For most families, an accommodation could be made. Other families across this country have accommodated that for family members who have to travel to work. A concentrated three-week period in Ottawa and three weeks in the riding I think would work better.

Clearly, nothing is going to be perfect. Many members from British Columbia, for instance, move their families, particularly with small children, to Ottawa so they can spend more time with their kids in the evenings, helping them with their homework. Then, when they are in their ridings, all they do is work full tilt on constituency issues.

It is a very challenging question, when we are looking at a family-friendly Parliament, as we travel across many time zones.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, how can members across parties work together to improve democracy in this place?

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Ottawa West—Nepean asked the perfect question. To work together here, we need to create those conditions that encourage co-operation, and we need to get rid of those conditions that encourage hyperpartisanship. That means we need to get rid of first past the post and bring in proportional representation.

Amendments to Standing OrdersGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands for sharing her time with me.

Ten minutes is valuable time that will allow me to speak to the alleged intent behind the modernization of House of Commons procedure. My political party will have had only 10 minutes to express its views in the House. All the members of the House are complicit in believing that this is perfectly fine.

Since October 19, 2015, I have been experiencing Canadian-style parliamentary democracy. To be honest, it concerns me, both in terms of the inconsistencies between theory and practice and the inconsistencies between this government’s intentions and its actions. It concerns me, especially given the discrimination, as well as the complacency about this discrimination, plaguing this House. Whether we like it or not, there are two classes of members in the House. This also means that there are two classes of constituents. There are recognized parties and non-recognized parties, which make up the two classes of members. When it comes to freedom of speech, we do not have the same rights as all parliamentarians in the House.

In terms of its practices, Parliament is stuck in the 19th century. However, the mother parliament of Westminster has evolved. If you ask me, today it would have difficulty recognizing its Canadian offspring, since it grants its minority parties benefits and privileges that this Parliament does not. The aim was to undertake procedural reform. In the area of modernizing procedure, we have been excluded from all parliamentary committees since October 19, 2015.

When the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs wants to meet and seek the approval of all parliamentarians in the House to amend the Standing Orders, members who belong to a non-recognized party continue to be excluded. If this is not discrimination, I do not know what else to call it. Is this ideological segregation? This is following this government’s supposed intention to change the voting system in order to allow for a greater ideological diversity of opinions in the House. Obviously, the Liberals have tossed that in the trash, along with their intention to modernize procedure and the Standing Orders.

However, all my colleagues and I were elected, just like all other MPs, to honour the mandate given to us by the people. How is it that everyone accepts the fact that some MPs in the House do not have the same means of giving a voice to their constituents? I am speaking mostly of the contributions of MPs to committees, or parliamentary “commissions” in Quebec, which represent a large part of parliamentarian’s work.

If MPs are excluded from committees, what other means do they have left to make the voices of their constituents heard? In committee, when the debate is focused on the principle of a bill, we have the right to vote and are given ten minutes to say what we think of the bill. After that, it is radio silence. We no longer have the right to vote or intervene. Depending on the government’s mood, and if we have played nice in committee, we might be allowed to raise our hand and perhaps be given a brief two minutes to say something. However, we still do not have the right to vote. At report stage we can vote in the House, but there is absolutely no possibility of submitting any amendments that were not submitted in committee.

We do not have the right to vote or the right to speak in committee. Is this what Canadian-style parliamentary democracy looks like? Are we proud of this? I for one am not because I am not given the means to speak on behalf of constituents in the House.

However, we have a democratic principle under which voters pay taxes to the Government of Canada and have the right to be represented by MPs from the Bloc Québécois or the Green Party. These parties should have equitable means for representing their fellow citizens. Freedom of speech is a recognized principle, but an MP’s duty to speak is not respected in a fair manner in Parliament.

How could we think that this parliamentary reform of procedure would lead anywhere other than a dead end? According to parliamentary tradition, changing the rules of the game requires trying for the greatest consensus possible. In December 2015, this government gave the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, a committee that we are excluded from, the mandate to modernize how the House works, within a perspective of work-family balance. That is an excellent idea, because after having sat as a member in another parliament, I can tell you that work-family balance is pathetic here in Ottawa.

However, today, this entire aspect has been set aside, along with the willingness to acknowledge all legislators of the House. Parliamentary procedure is controlled by executive power, which, in any case, is always looking to bypass legislative power, since hearing members speak takes too long. There are no ministers in the committees, but the government would like to give parliamentary secretaries more rights than I have. They will automatically receive the right to intervene, even if they do not have the right to vote. The executive will then be able to once again deliver its messages to the majority legislators of the governing party so that they do not deviate from the executive line of government. There is no separation of powers.

This government, however, was supposed to do politics differently. Changing the voting system, which allowed each vote to count, among other things, was thrown out. Reforming the financing of political parties was also tossed, and this could have at least allowed each vote to count, in a British system, by paying parties an allowance in proportion to the number of votes that they received. Work-family balance was scrapped along with the recognition of minority parties in the House, the fundamental right of parliamentarians of all parties to do their job in the House, freedom of speech, and the value of justice, because it is a matter of justice.

The fairness principle must be absolutely respected. However, when it is a matter of the right of only one member, one can assume that all members of the House may not be able to speak, as there are 338 members. This refers to parties. I have not heard many members, except for the member of the Green Party, agreeing with us and saying that what the members of the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois are experiencing is terrible, and that they support us because they would never want to be in that position.

I therefore ask our fellow legislators whether they support us in this interpretation of a bad reform of the procedure.