Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to this opposition motion and I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
There is a lot of talk today about failing Canadians. I would like to submit that it is actually the Conservatives who are failing Canadians. I will tell members why I say that, because 338 of us come from different parts of this country to represent our ridings. We come here to form Parliament. We come here to make policy. We come here to make policy and government programs better and all the Conservatives have a role to play. The role of the opposition is to push the government to do better, to come up with better ideas, to improve upon what the government is proposing, but they are failing to do that. Instead they bring forward this motion today that clearly, as pointed out by the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, just makes no sense.
We are all partisan in here and I do not run short on being partisan, but we know if there was an opportunity for the NDP and the Bloc to support a motion that would be partisan in nature but still somewhat meaningful, they would support it. However, they have indicated today they are not going to support it because it just does not make sense.
I say that the Conservatives are failing because they are not doing their job. They are not trying to make better policy. If they came here with a motion telling the government to work harder at reducing vaccine hesitancy that is out there, that would be meaningful. That would actually be contributing to the process here, but they have come forward with a motion that is so arbitrary in nature it is absolutely ridiculous. I will get to why I think they are doing that shortly.
First, I would like to draw attention some of the comments I have heard in the House today. When the member for Calgary Nose Hill was speaking, she said that the government keeps moving its goal posts. I am sorry, it has been the same goal posts since the beginning. Since the beginning, the government has said that everybody will be vaccinated by September. If the goal posts are being moved, they are only being moved closer. They are only increasing the speed at which people will be getting vaccinated. The goal posts have never changed.
I remember the member for Calgary Nose Hill asking me a couple of months ago about timelines and I asked, when should we expect people to be prepared? September. That has never changed. If it has changed, it is only because it looks like it will be done sooner than that. One of the Bloc members admitted that today, that the government is going to meet its target. It is quite clear and I think the Conservatives know it too and I will get to that in a second and why I believe they are presenting this motion today.
Here is the reality. The Conservatives are critical and they keep going back to the January and February mix-up and temporary slowdown because it is the only thing they have to grasp onto now. They want to make Canadians believe that we are so incredibly behind in vaccine delivery, when the reality is that the provinces were told in late fall that this is the timeline for which they will receive their vaccines. If we measure the first quarter, we were well ahead of that. We exceeded the timelines in that first quarter.
The reality is that the government has now committed in the schedule that there would be 29 million doses of vaccine in Canada for the provinces to administer by the end of June, but now, realizing the numbers, it looks like it is going to be closer to 50 million.
Breaking news today, the Government of Ontario is now saying by May 24, anybody 18 years of age and older can get a vaccine. Why is it saying that? Because it is expecting a massive increase in supply.
The Government of Ontario officials know the supply is coming down the pipe; they are getting ready for it and they are telling people. It is in Quebec too. I believe Quebec is saying a week earlier, if I am not mistaken.
What are the Conservatives trying to do with this motion? They are trying to capitalize off the success of the government. All they are doing is trying to bring in this ridiculously crafted motion so that they can tell everybody later on that they did it, that they told the government to do it; that they passed this motion and what happened was everybody got vaccinated, because the Conservatives know that we are going to exceed the targets. They know that, in the coming weeks, vaccines are going to come into this country at a rate so incredibly quick that this whole narrative that they have now is going to be gone. It will not mean anything and the Conservatives will lose their entire credibility on this whole issue.
What they are doing is they are trying to take credit for it now. They are trying to lay the groundwork so that later on they can say they did it, that they went into Parliament and passed this motion. Unfortunately, they will not pass it because the two opposing parties see through it. They want to say that they passed this motion and that as a result of this incredibly worded, arbitrary-in-nature motion they have successfully gotten Canadians the vaccines that they needed.
It is absolutely crazy when we take the time to look at this motion and consider what the Conservatives are actually asking for in it. I always like to take motions and strip away the preamble because a motion should be able to stand on its own without the preamble. It is just the resolve clause that gives direction. The motion says that, “the House call on the government to ensure that every Canadian adult has access to a vaccine by the May long weekend.” That is it. That is the only part of this motion that gives direction, and it is the resolve clause in this motion.
Who would not vote for this if they actually thought they could do this? Nobody would not vote for this if they did not realize that it was possible. It is as if they are saying the government has the ability to deliver on this but is refusing to do it. Who would not vote for this? Everybody would vote for it, if it were a reality and they could actually do it.
It is fascinating how the Conservatives play these games. In my opinion, it shows weakness. It shows that they do not realize what their role is in this House, and I go back to where I started. The Conservatives' role here is to challenge the government to do better, not to make up arbitrary motions so that they can somehow try to claim victory later. The Conservatives need to push this government to do better. That is their job. That is what they have been elected to do and they are not doing it. What the Conservatives need to do is come here with something meaningful, not these ridiculous motions.