Mr. Speaker, I attempted to catch your eye to respond to the earlier question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope. I also would like to put on notice that I will make representations on that motion later.
At this moment, I want to support the motion we have just heard related to Bill C-97 and its status as an omnibus bill. I am still working my way through it, but it is very clear that this meets the definition of an omnibus bill. I regret so much that it has now become common to hear the words “omnibus budget bill” strung together. I did not think we would be seeing this in this Parliament. I believed the Liberal commitments to end the use of omnibus budget bills, but this one does contain sections that are quite disturbing.
As I went through the budget, it was very clear that 35 separate measures within the budget required legislative changes, so it was very clear to me that we were going to see legislative changes for things like changing the interest rates for student loans and getting action on items that we think are appropriate and long overdue. However, bundled up in all of those measures are things like division 16 of part 4 with amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that are deeply disturbing, unacceptable and should never be bundled together in an omnibus fashion in a budget bill.
I will not go on at length, although I could because this is really outrageous. I do hope that we can at least split apart these sections so that the immigration committee studies this division. Otherwise, it is very clear what happens in an omnibus budget bill. Most of it will never get properly studied because it is only before the Standing Committee on Finance. It is not that there is anything wrong or delinquent or inadequate about the finance committee, but it is not the proper place to study substantial changes to other areas of law where the expertise resides with the committee, which is a standing committee, on that issue.
Mr. Speaker, in the strongest possible terms, I urge you to find this bill as omnibus and allow us to split out those sections that require proper and thorough study.