Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to follow my friend from Scarborough—Guildwood, who has had millions of minutes in this chamber. However, I am at a loss to ascribe any real substance to those minutes, despite the fact that I hold him in great affection. He has been very helpful on some projects related to veterans, and on that matter, maybe he can help get the Afghan monument finally done.
I share the comments from a lot of people today in that I have frustration with when the bill is being put forward. I think all members of this chamber have tremendous respect for the men and women who wear the uniform of the RCMP or wear the uniform of the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, who would be impacted by the bill. Nothing shows a lack of priority like introducing bills when the tulips are coming up here in Ottawa. This is when we are in the final weeks of the parliamentary sitting, and so when the government introduces something in this time period, it shows how much it has prioritized it. If the Liberals are doing that in the fourth year of their mandate with literally a few weeks left in the session, it actually shows disdain for the underlying issues of the bill when they have had four years related to it.
My friend from Scarborough—Guildwood was suggesting that we needed to stay in our partisan lane and was bemoaning the fact that we are decrying the lack of consultation and lack of prioritization by the government, but the Liberals have left us no choice. We do not even think, at the pace things are going, that this will be substantially looked at in committee, despite his nice offer to take phone numbers of union members who were ignored in the preparations behind the bill. We will not even be able to get time to hear from them, and that is amiss, because our job as an official opposition is to hold the government to account, critique and push for better. I should remind my friend, the Liberal deputy House leader, that better is always possible, and this is an example.
The bill was introduced on May 7, 2019, literally in the final weeks of Parliament, much like Bill C-93, another public safety bill, which was introduced in the same month. What is shocking is that these are areas the Liberals have talked about since their first weeks in government. In fact, the marijuana pledge is probably the only accomplishment of the Prime Minister in the Liberals' four years in government, and they are putting the cannabis records suspension bill to the House in the final weeks. Who have they not consulted on that? It is law enforcement, which is really quite astounding.
Canadians might remember that in the first few months of the Liberal government, back in 2015-16, the Liberals were fond of consultations, which I think my friend from Sarnia—Lambton and others have made note of. In fact, there were little vignettes created saying, “We're going to consult. We're going to have public consultation.” I guess after that the Liberals stopped doing it entirely.
My real concern in the matter of public safety and security bills is that the CBSA alone will be swept into elements of Bill C-98 and the 14,000 people in that department, including the almost 7,000 uniformed people at 1,200 locations across this country, should be consulted on a substantive piece of legislation that would impact them. They were not. In fact, the Customs and Immigration Union has been demanding to be consulted, and not at the committee stage in June, a few days before Parliament may rise and go into an election. They should have been consulted prior to drafting the legislation. That is the real problem I have with this.
It is the same with the cannabis record suspension legislation, which is another public safety bill being thrown into the mix in the final weeks. The Canadian Police Association was not consulted. Tom Stamatakis, the president, had this to say:
Were we directly consulted? Not in an extensive way. We had some exchanges, but we didn't have a specific consultation with respect to this bill.
It is the same now with Bill C-98. The underlying people impacted by it, including members of the Customs and Immigration Union, were not consulted on the bill.
We also see other important pieces of public safety legislation still lingering in the legislative process. For example, Bill C-83, legislation to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, is now at committee. That committee is already charged with other legislation from the final year of the government.
A lot of us are watching Bill C-59 as well, a quite comprehensive, almost omnibus bill on national security. It is in the Senate committee. I have been advocating on that bill with regard to the no-fly list, supporting the good work done by the families of the no-fly list kids to make sure that we can have a system to remove false positives and remove children from this list, which is ineffective in terms of public safety if it has tons of erroneous and duplicative names on it.
It is also substantially unfair to Canadians, especially young children, when they are impacted by being on the no-fly list. We need a mechanism for them to take themselves off the list. That is in Bill C-59. I am publicly urging Senate colleagues to make sure they do a proper review, but get it done quickly.
As we can see, there is already a backlog of public safety and security legislation in Parliament now, not to mention a number of other bills being introduced in May.
Stepping out of the public safety area for a moment, it should also concern Canadians that some of the signature issues for indigenous Canadians also had to wait until the final months of the government. They include child welfare legislation, which I think I spoke about in this place maybe 10 days ago, and the indigenous language bill, which was also tossed in at the end of the year when the flowers are coming up here in Ottawa.
That is a lack of respect. It shows there is a priority given to speech, imagery and photos with the Prime Minister, and a lack of priority given to action on public safety issues and on issues related to reconciliation. Governing is more than lofty language. It is delivering on the priorities for Canadians and the things they need.
To review, I would like to see substantive committee time for Bill C-98 so that the Customs and Immigration Union can be properly consulted. The same goes for the RCMP. In fact, I was the public safety critic before I took a little diversion and a national tour to get into a leadership race. We actually worked with the government on Bill C-7, which was the RCMP union bill. We have tried to work with the government, particularly when it comes to uniformed service members. In fact, we pushed for amendments to Bill C-7 so that there would not be a hodgepodge approach to workers' compensation for our RCMP men and women and so that there would not be different standards in different provinces. These are important bills, and people should be consulted.
I would also urge the former chair who spoke, the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, to make sure that adequate time is given. Despite the government's claim that it would never use time allocation and never use omnibus bills, we have seen it use these measures literally by the week. The government House leader appears to relish it now. My friend the deputy House leader wishes he could erase all the speeches of outrage he gave in opposition about the use of time allocation and omnibus legislation, because now he is part of the government House leader team that the member for Scarborough—Guildwood blamed for the delay that we have with these bills, and he uses it with relish.
Let us make sure we have the proper committee time to look at the changes to the RCMP Act and the CBSA Act to make sure we are doing a service to the people who will be impacted by them, whether it is on a public complaints process or other elements in Bill C-98. The consultation should have been done first, but to do this properly, the committee debate time cannot be rushed. We will work with them, but we want to make sure the people impacted are part of the committee review process.