Mr. Speaker, I am glad to continue on this very important debate, although unfortunately under different circumstances than we had last night. Obviously the government, by invoking closure on this motion, is really looking to limit any further debate on this and censor members of Parliament, who have been elected to this place. There are millions of voices on this side and 119 members, yet in just a couple of hours of debate, we are going to determine the continuation of a hybrid Parliament into the fall.
Just to recap what I said last night, there are no other legislatures in this country, provincial or territorial, or around the world, not even the mother Parliament in Great Britain, that have a hybrid system. They all have in-person sittings at this point. In fact, the mother Parliament went back to in-person sittings last July.
We would be the only outlier, not just within the Commonwealth, but globally, in using a hybrid system. Why are we at this point? The government House leader and his partner in the NDP, with their coalition agreement, have decided this is the direction we are going in the absence of any science, evidence or form of decision-making we should be taking. They are just arbitrarily and unilaterally deciding this is the direction we are going to go.
I have heard the argument from both of them that somehow, as I said earlier, there is this southern hemisphere variant coming in. The doctor government House leader and the doctor in the NDP suggest that somehow they know more than public health officials. Here is a news flash: Public health officials in governments across this country have eliminated mandates. They have eliminated mask mandates, and they have also returned to normal within their legislatures.
Why are we an outlier? Perhaps the most world-renowned epidemiologists, virologists and immunologists, the doctor in government House leader and the doctor in the NDP, have figured out that we are different in this place than those in the rest of the country.
It comes down to one simple thing. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many in our caucus, they have complete contempt for this place as an institution. They have complete contempt for Parliament. They see it as a nuisance. They see it as something that gets in the way of their ideological agenda.
Certainly, the government has proven over time that it has shown contempt for Parliament. There have been various motions that have been presented. I remember the start of the pandemic. One of the first orders of business coming into the pandemic was the proposal of a piece of legislation by the government that would have given it entire spending powers and taxing powers until January, 2022. Members can think of the consequences of that.
The government was effectively going to seize control of this place to make the opposition parties, and the millions of people who elected members of Parliament to represent them in this place, irrelevant at that point. It was going to seize complete control of Parliament, giving itself complete taxing and spending powers. If it had not been for the opposition, for the voices of millions of Canadians and the media at that time calling into question the government's motives, we might have been in a situation where it would have seized entire control of this place.
This is how little respect the Liberals have for Parliament. This is how little respect they have for our democratic institutions, and there were other cases as well.
Members will recall Motion No. 6 in the last Parliament. The government tried again to seize the operational control of this place, making the opposition irrelevant. Motion No. 11 was another one where we effectively had Conservatives debating Conservatives in extended evening sessions. The government did not even participate. The Liberals say it was to extend debate, but how can it be about extending debate, when they were not even participating in the process at all? Then of course, there is Motion No. 19, with which the Liberals would once again seize control of where this place will be in September and how it will operate.
Just a couple of weeks ago I sent a letter to the government House leader and the other House leaders, a letter the Speaker received as well, with what I thought were very reasonable and practical solutions on how this place can get back to some sense of normalcy. If we are not signalling from this place to Canadians that we are getting back to normal, then what type of message are we sending?
One of the reasonable and practical solutions that I proposed was to look at this in August or September. If some southern hemisphere variant is going to be here, as the government House leader and his partner in the NDP are suggesting, then why not revisit this in August and September? We have proven over the last couple of years that we have the tools, that we can flip the switch if we need to.
The government's argument is that we need certainty. Well, there is certainty. There is certainty in the land right now, because we are seeing the lifting of public health guidelines, masking mandates, vaccine mandates. I do not know what evidence or science the Liberals are looking at, but it is certainly nothing that they are sharing with us, our colleagues in the Bloc or any other parties so that we can make an informed decision. It is just an arbitrary method to completely seize control of this place, as is the pattern they have shown in the past.
As I said, it is really diminishing the value of our democratic institutions. This is a government, quite frankly, that does not want an opposition; it wants an audience.
The Prime Minister has shown his contempt for this place. He has shown his contempt for institutions and he has shown contempt for the opposition parties. There is no greater example of that than some of the scandals that have gone on, including the current scandal, with the lines of differentiation be damned between the executive branch and the government and our institutions that are supposed to function independently of government and the executive branch.
The government has proven time and time again that it is going to interfere in the institutions that Canadians hold so dear. We are seeing a diminishment in those institutions and we are certainly seeing a decline in our democracy.
As I said last night, even the pundits are suggesting that it is time to get back to normal here. Even the pundits are saying that this is done, that this is over. We need to return to normal to signal to the rest of Canadians that we are returning to normal, and if that is not the signal from this place, then what signal are we sending? We cannot live in perpetual fear. We cannot live in a state where the government is inciting this fear among its citizens. Let us look at where we are in September and make a decision then.
This week we could have been dealing with many other issues. I am going to suggest that this is a country in chaos right now, when we see what is happening with inflation and the affordability crisis that is facing Canadians, when we look at the passport situation and the fiasco that is going on there, when we look at other factors, not the least of which is what we are hearing out of Nova Scotia about the government, the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office interfering with an active investigation, not to mention the scandals that have gone on in the past. We could have been dealing with many issues other than the speculative issue that the government House leader and his buddy in the NDP predict may happen. We could have been dealing with and seized with these issues. We could have been providing solutions so that we can help Canadians who are facing this affordability crisis right now.
I would suggest the Conservatives have done that many times in the past. Over the course of the last several months, we have proposed solutions like lowering taxes, lowering gas taxes and getting rid of the carbon tax to make life more affordable for Canadians, and every single time, those proposals have been rejected by the government. We have proven time and time again that we want to find solutions and work to help Canadians, but in that time that the government has rejected our proposals since the coalition agreement between the NDP and the Liberals has taken effect, the NDP voted 95% of the time with the Liberals to reject those proposals.
This is a party that used to stand up for working families. The NDP used to stand up for principles. There were members in the party who actually had a moral compass system. They had values, and they stood up for what was right or wrong. Now they are standing up every single time with these Liberals, and they do that because of promises. This is a government that cannot deliver even the most basic services in this country, yet the NDP signed a deal with this government that proposes to bring about dental care and pharmacare. Now, let us think about that. The government cannot even deliver the most basic services, yet the NDP is depending on it to implement complicated systems. Boy, have they been sold a bill of goods.
As well, they have sold their values and their morals, the things they used to stand for in this place. They used to stand up for what was right and against what was wrong. They have sold those values on a wing and a prayer.
I have news for the NDP members. If this government cannot even deliver basic services to Canadians, how can it be expected to deliver on its promises in this deal as a coalition government? Canadians will be waiting a long time for that.
However, in the meantime, what we see from the NDP in question period is gross. The NDP is asking this government questions on accountability issues, yet supporting the government on every aspect of what it is doing at least 95% of the time. It is actually gross to see. The NDP could have followed the people before them, like Tom Mulcair, who used to stand on values and principles in this place and who used to actually act like an opposition, and others like Jack Layton and Tommy Douglas, who fought for working Canadians. Where has that NDP gone?
I will make a prediction right now that the NDP is heading into an abyss of irrelevance because of this deal that it made with the Liberal government that it continues to prop up. The NDP will continue to prop up the government on all of the issues of corruption, on all of the issues of cronyism, on all of the issues of political interference, on not fulfilling its promises and on not living up to what it promised Canadians, not the least of which was electoral reform. That should have been a signal to this government.
He does not like what I am saying, so he—