Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully, and the justice minister said that without time allocation at second reading this bill passed after three hours of debate. Then he said that for third reading there has been an hour of debate, but Liberals want to impose closure, that is shut down Parliament. Based on what he just said, has it not occurred to him that if members of Parliament from all parties are willing to move on after three hours of debate at second reading, it would be roughly similar at third reading? By his activity today in shutting down Parliament, by moving this sledgehammer, all he has done is complicate passage of the bill when there were perhaps only two hours of debate still to come.
Any reasonable Canadian would say three hours of debate on a important bill like this before the House of Commons is not excessive in any way. It is not opposition parties trying to delay. It is not opposition members of Parliament saying they are not going to pass the bill. Any reasonable Canadian would assume that the three hours of scrutiny are just part of moving things through.
However, we saw that the government, by the justice minister's own admission, sat on the bill for well over a month, almost a month and a half. The problem is the government. The problem is the incompetence of the government in trying to move motions and bills through the House of Commons. The problem is not opposition members of Parliament, who simply want a couple of hours of debate in order to finalize before we have the vote.
Why did the justice minister close down debate when, by his own admission, we were only talking about a couple of hours and some members of Parliament who wanted to express their views on this subject?