Mr. Speaker, I am also well aware of the rules, and the rules for the Thursday question require a very succinct question about the upcoming agenda of the government, and the government House leader is supposed to be bound by those same rules as I understand them. On this side of the House at least, we always want to respect the rules of the House of Commons.
To be very brief in my response, I think I have answered that question repeatedly. We will not allow our political staff to be dragged before standing committees where the opposition coalition holds a majority of members and be subjected to the type of abuse we have seen. On behalf of those staff, I would point out that anyone who wants to research this issue can find it in the Hansard of the standing committees. Many of those meetings were televised. Members can see the type of abuse that opposition members of Parliament subjected those staff members to. Many of these staff members are very young people, oftentimes in their mid to late twenties. To be subjected to that type of abuse is completely shameful. It is intolerable and unacceptable. Our ministers will assume their responsibilities yet again and will be appearing at committees when there are questions to be asked of their departments and their staff. So I hope I have put that to rest.
On another issue I have raised a couple of times in question period, when it has come up, is the absolute hypocrisy of the Liberal Party in asking these types of questions of staff members and yet filibustering the government operations committee to prevent their own member of Parliament, the MP for Scarborough—Rouge River, from testifying and answering valid questions about his connection with a law firm that advertised on its website that the member could make “valuable contributions to [its] clients includ[ing] acting for foreign and offshore organizations in obtaining operating licenses, securing regulatory and governmental approvals for mergers and acquisitions, reviewing policies and conduct of Canadian Security Intelligence Services”—I repeat, “Security Intelligence Services”, Mr. Speaker—[and] advising bodies on international issues regarding cross border tax collection”. And it goes on and on about the services the member could provide in the form of lobbying. Yet the member was prevented from testifying today by the Liberal members on that committee, who wanted to filibuster.
This is a member of Parliament and it is the same standing committee that is supposedly looking into the alleged lobbying issues of a former member of Parliament, who has appeared at that committee and testified. At least he had the courage to do that, which is more than the member for Scarborough—Rouge River has done.
On the issue we are supposed to be discussing, the agenda looking forward to the next week of the House of Commons, today we will resume the debate on the report stage motions on Bill C-9, Jobs and Economic Growth Act. As we heard in question period, that is the much anticipated budget bill of the government.
This evening in committee of the whole, we will consider the estimates for the Department of National Defence.
Tomorrow will be an allotted day.
Next week, if necessary, we will continue the debate on Bill C-9, followed by debate on Bill C-23, Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act. We will have as backup bills, Bill C-10, Constitution Act, 2010 (Senate term limits) and Bill S-2, Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act.
As I mentioned in reply to the Thursday question last week, Monday, May 31 has been designated as the day to consider the main estimates of the Department of Natural Resources in committee of the whole.
Finally, Tuesday, June 1, shall be an allotted day.