Copyright Modernization Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the hon. government House leader.

My concerns with time allocation on Bill C-11 are similar to those of the hon. member of the official opposition. I am concerned that the government House leader and the Conservative Party members do not give the respect that is required toward the functioning of Parliament as a whole and I wish they would. I know the government House leader objected to my tribute to Vaclav Havel, for example.

Free speech in the House is something that should matter to all members. We are elected as equals. In this case we see time allocation over and over again. When we debate time allocation, the inevitable result is representatives of smaller parties, and I admit it only applies to five of us here, such as me for the Green Party, are deprived of the opportunity to debate. The House of Commons itself is the Government of Canada, not an individual party. The result of time allocation, particularly when the government House leader said that to have a full debate under Westminster parliamentary democracy would in itself represent an instability which would jeopardize our economy, suggests that the Conservatives find democracy not only inconvenient but dangerous.

Hon. James Moore: Mr. Speaker, on the topic of the legislation before us, the government is actually restoring the identical bill from the previous Parliament to where it was in the previous Parliament so we can continue consideration of it.

I know it is my hon. colleague’s first term. This is my 12th year as a member of Parliament and I can tell her that except for the Liberal government’s Bill C-2, the response to 9/11, this legislation will have had more consideration at a stand-alone legislative committee and parliamentary and public consideration with all of the tens of thousands of submissions we received from Canadians in person and in writing and the consultations we did across the country before we drafted the bill. Then we drafted the legislation.

There was reaction to Bill C-32. The committee was considering the bill. I think the committee on Bill C-32 received over 100 witnesses before it, giving us constructive criticism and feedback on how the bill could go forward. Then we had an election.

However, we want to continue all the hard work that was done on Bill C-32. We want to carry it forward with Bill C-11 and continue the process as though it was uninterrupted because there is so much at stake and so much went into the drafting of the legislation.

My hon. colleague should know that this bill will have had more consideration by Canadians at two stand-alone legislative committees and more time in the House than any bill Parliament has seen since the Liberals’ Anti-terrorism Act back in 2001. That shows our commitment to ensuring we listen to all Canadians when it comes to getting intellectual property right.