Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding the omnibus nature of the most recent government bill, Bill C-69, an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
I do so somewhat reluctantly because the government has just finished passing a time allocation motion that will limit the debate on this enormous important and sensitive bill. There will be fewer than 10 hours of debate. The time is at such a premium here that I will do my best to be very brief.
I also note, Mr. Speaker, that in your ruling of November 7 of last year on a similar request, you said, “I would encourage them to raise their arguments as early as possible in the process, especially given that the length of debate at a particular stage can be unpredictable.”
I doubt even you could have foreseen the government would have shut the door on debate here after just two hours, but I trust that you will still have enough time to rule on this request before the debate wraps up this Friday.
Standing Order 69.1 states:
In the case where a government bill seeks to repeal, amend or enact more than one act, and where there is not a common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked, the Speaker shall have the power to divide the questions, for the purposes of voting, on the motion for second reading and reference to a committee and the motion for third reading and passage of the bill. The Speaker shall have the power to combine clauses of the bill thematically and to put the aforementioned questions on each of these groups of clauses separately, provided that there will be a single debate at each stage.
Mr. Speaker, as you can see, Bill C-69 repeals two laws, enacts three new laws, and amends 31 existing laws. In total, Bill C-69 will affect 36 statutes. Bill C-69 enacts the impact assessment act, which will replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. As a result, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which were put in place by Mr. Harper in 2012, will be replaced by the new impact assessment act and the new impact assessment agency of Canada. This agency will now be responsible for any assessments requiring federal review—