First Nations Elections Act (Bill S-6)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I always regret that the government House leader comes in and tells us that we are going to have time allocation and then leaves whatever minister is responsible for the bill to account for the fact that we have, yet again, a consistent approach of limiting time for debate on bills. As far as I can see, it is the decision not of the hon. minister who is here to answer questions but of the government House leader who is not.

I would once again bemoan the fact that with time allocation having been brought 44 times into this Parliament, we are breaking all historical records. One of the inevitable results of time allocation is that members of Parliament who are not in recognized parties, such as me, as leader of the Green Party, will not have an opportunity to participate in the debate on Bill S-6 other than through questions and comments.

I ask the hon. minister if he would please prevail upon his colleagues in the Privy Council of this particular Prime Minister to change this anti-democratic trend, which is really going to be the legacy of this particular administration as the most repressive in the history of Canada.

Hon. Bernard Valcourt: Mr. Speaker, I hope that my hon. colleague finds solace in the fact that this act, indeed, would be of benefit to first nations.

I understand that many members on the opposite side of the House like to talk. However, on this side of the House, we like to act, and this is about acting. This piece of legislation has been in the works for over eight years. First nation communities under the Indian Act have been fully engaged throughout the country. It is simply time that we passed this bill so that those first nations can get the benefit of the bill.