Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 (Bill C-4)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I have the same issue over and over again in my constituency office, families who have been seeking reunification, patiently waiting. I am horrified by the change in policy and the moving of the goalposts for so many families that have been doing all the right things, filing all the right papers; they find they have to start all over again.

My question is on the member’s last point, on finding omnibus budget bills. In the last number of years the Conservatives have done two omnibus bills per budget. In 2012-2013 we had a spring omnibus budget bill, C-38, and then a fall omnibus budget bill, C-45, then Bill C-60 and now Bill C-4. Each of these monstrous bills has included many aspects that had nothing at all to do with the budget, but were mere expedients for pushing things through the House that much faster.

I wonder if the hon. member knows what the official opposition would do? Could we have House rules to restrict when omnibus bills are legitimate? How would the official opposition deal with this problem?

Jasbir Sandhu: Mr. Speaker, not only is the bill humongous—it is 300 pages with changes being made to 70 laws—but on top of that, the government is trying to ram it through. It is not giving opportunity to every member in the House to speak about it.

One of the phrases I learned from the Conservatives is “time allocation”. I want to explain that to Canadians. Basically, it is shutting down the debate. It is not giving the opportunity for every member in the House to speak to the bill. Not only that, but this bill will only go to one committee. That committee may not have the expertise for all of the 70-odd bills that are addressed in this omnibus bill.

If the government is going to bring forward legislation, it needs to make sure it addresses areas that are important, not a hodgepodge of different areas in one bill that it tries to ram through. Canadians expect more.