Mr. Speaker, the cat has been let out of the bag. Are we surprised? Unfortunately, no because for months now it has been clear that the government does not like parliamentary debates.
The government is doing everything it can to stifle the work of MPs, who are here to hold it accountable. At a time when the Prime Minister was caught up in the WE scandal and parliamentarians were doing thorough and serious work in parliamentary committee, the Prime Minister decided to prorogue the House for six weeks, shutting down parliamentary work. That happened in the middle of summer.
Knowing full well that there were sunset clauses on financial commitments that are due to expire on September 30, the government was in a position to continue on if it wanted, while showing respect for democratic debate and parliamentarians. But no, the government decided to deliver an inaugural speech last week, barely a week before the deadline. It informed us that the plan to deal with these commitments would be debated over two days.
We were prepared to meet last Sunday to sit in committee of the whole. Four ministers would have had a great opportunity to testify and explain themselves. The government refused. Worse yet, it wants to put a four-hour limit on the debate on spending, which could reach $50 billion.
Why is the government limiting members' speaking time during extremely important debates?