Economic Action Plan 2013 (Bill C-60)

On Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 in Debate

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I wish to support the points that have been made by the House leader of the official opposition and the House leader for the Liberal Party. Limiting debate is always antidemocratic, but I want to raise the particular situation of members of Parliament who, like me, are members of parties that obviously lack 12 members in the House. That would apply to members of the Bloc Québécois and to other independent members as well as to the Green Party.

We do not have the opportunity to sit on committee, and every time debate is limited, we are precluded from any opportunity to speak to the bills. While it is always antidemocratic for every member in the House, it is particularly egregious in the case of members like me, who never have an opportunity to speak for 10 or 20 minutes on the bills that are debated in this place, because there is almost always time allocation.

I would like to ask the junior minister to please reconsider limiting debate, because it is particularly antidemocratic.

Ted Menzies: Mr. Speaker, with no disrespect meant to my hon. colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands, she had 30 seconds or perhaps a minute—I was not timing it—to ask me a substantive question about this, to follow the debate, instead of asking what I hear so often from the NDP, a process question. There are a lot of things in this piece of legislation that could be discussed, a lot of positive things that Canadians are waiting for. They are urgently asking us to get this done. I refer to the funding for Genome Canada. Also, the mandate of the Nature Conservancy of Canada will soon expire, and it is looking for the replenishment that we have set out in the bill to help preserve natural lands all across this country. The Nature Conservancy is hoping we get this done as soon as possible.

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