Madam Speaker, I learned something today.
According to tradition, Quebec’s national holiday is celebrated on June 23 and 24. It is true that Parliament usually does not sit on June 23 except in the case of an emergency, which has only ever happened a few times. June 23 is set aside for emergencies.
This motion could easily have been moved sooner, since the government had all the time it needed. The Bloc Québécois has always been ready to collaborate, especially in the case of Bill C-14, for which it set aside two days to allow Parliament to adjourn on Wednesday and Quebec members in the Bloc Québécois and other parties to celebrate with their constituents.
Our request was legitimate. The government vehemently rejected the fact that Quebecers have a national holiday to celebrate this evening and tomorrow. We asked either not to sit on Thursday or to sit with a Friday schedule so that we could leave the House earlier to celebrate Quebec’s national holiday with our people back home. The government refused. Would the same thing have happened if we had to work on June 30?