Madam Speaker, I want to take a different approach on this debate.
Looking at Bill C-3, I anticipate unanimous support from the House. I believe that every member, all 336 of them, actually supports this proposed legislation, and justifiably so. After all, it is not the first time that we have had this legislation before us. In fact, the former interim leader of the Conservative Party brought the idea forward.
The Prime Minister has inferred in the past that no one owns a good idea, and if it is something that is for the betterment of Canadians, let us do it. Back then, the government of the day said that it supported the bill, and when that did not work, we ended up bringing in a government bill. The previous bill not only passed in the House, but it also went through the committee stage and on to the Senate. There was plenty of opportunity for good, healthy debate.
Sex assault is a very serious issue. Again, I suspect that all 336 members have something to say about this very important issue and the impact it has on our society. All of us, I am sure, have something to share with the House. However, if we look at all the private member's bills and all of the government's proposed legislation, we see that, mathematically, it would be impossible for every member to talk about every piece of legislation.
It was not possible even when we sat during the summer in a different forum in the House. At the end of the day, there is a limited amount of time, and the official opposition knows that. Those members understand that, last Friday, if they wanted to, they could have passed the bill. This is a very important issue, which all members of Parliament are very passionate about, and it could have actually passed last Friday.
What would have happened had that taken place? Well, we would be debating Bill C-5, the national day for truth and reconciliation. I have heard from some that the Conservatives might not support that piece of legislation. I am hopeful that the majority will, but I suspect that there will be huge demands from the Conservative Party that we debate that piece of legislation. When it comes to legislation inside this chamber, the only way we get the Conservatives to pass it is to either bring in time allocation or shame them into doing the right thing.
At the end of the day, when we look at what we have before us, I challenge any member to indicate their opposition to this legislation. As I pointed out, the very essence of the issue is of the utmost importance to all Canadians. I am sure that there is not a member in the House who would speak about this legislation not passing, and we recognized that years ago when the interim leader of the Conservative Party brought it forward.
I would like to challenge my friends across the way. I have been affiliated with House leadership teams for a while now, and I can tell members that, at times, we need to allow bills that have unanimous support to go through the process.
I know a member of the opposition can stand up in a righteous way and say that every member should be able to speak to this legislation, I am not going to deny that. If members want to speak to this piece of legislation, let them speak to it, but we must remember that not every member can speak to every piece of legislation; it is not possible. We cannot do that and the Conservatives know that. It does not take much to put off any piece of legislation, because after we debate it, with all 100 members speaking between questions and answers, and the speeches themselves, which are a half hour for the first five hours, then 15 minutes afterward, we could be speaking for weeks on this legislation, and all because the Conservative Party does not want legislation to pass so it can criticize the government in the future for not passing legislation. If we try to pass legislation, the Conservatives ask why we have to bring in time allocation.
The opposition members need to come to the realization that if they do not want time allocation, if they want to see a consensus, and if they behave like this, that is what they will get. I am focusing on the Conservatives, At the end of the day, what I would like to see, and I did it when I was in the third party, is support for the government of the day with respect to certain time allocations, because I believe that unfortunately at times we need to bring in time allocation. I would like to think that on this piece of legislation we do not need to bring in time allocation; rather, what we could do is recognize the fine work that has been done to date on this legislation.
Maybe it is because I am eager to get on to Bill C-5, which is about truth and reconciliation and one of the calls for action. I understand the Conservatives will be demanding a lot of time for debate on that legislation. I would think that call for action is something there is a great deal of interest in with respect to finding out where the Conservative Party is at. We know where MPs are at with respect to this piece of legislation. I would suggest the members opposite in the Conservative Party will no doubt want to continue to talk about this debate. I will no doubt be one of the first to remind them in the future why it is we did not get as much time to debate Bill C-5, because I suspect they will not provide us the opportunity—