Time allocation limits democratic debate

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, of course I do have comments on and concerns about Bill C-49, but this is a debate on time allocation.

I want to put a proposition to the hon. minister. The more the Liberals use time allocation, the more we normalize a practice that was offensive to this place under the Harper administration. Avoiding time allocation, treating bills thoroughly, and organizing the schedule of this place is the job of the House leaders. My concern is that by having time allocation time and again on many bills that proper management of the House calendar would have avoided means there are now very few opportunities to speak to bills in debate because the speaking rosters are shrunk to accommodate time allocation.

Therefore, time allocation really does limit democratic debate in this place. It really is normalizing what Harper did, which the hon. minister and I railed against when he was with me on this side of the House. I urge the current government not to decide to set the bar no higher than the previous government did, but to go back a few prime ministers to see how often time allocation was used in those administrations and then to shoot at doing better than that.