Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act (Bill S-12)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to join the debate on Bill S-12. I thank the hon. member for Toronto—Danforth and I say, in a non-partisan way because he does not belong to my party, that we are clearly fortunate in the House to have someone of his calibre, with experience teaching in law schools, who can bring to the House an assessment of something that may appear dry but which really cuts to the heart of dangerous changes to Westminster parliamentary democracy. In this place there is increasing power in the hands of the Prime Minister’s Office and decreasing respect for Parliament as an institution and for our regulation-making authorities. The bill represents a threat because it becomes increasingly difficult to know if regulations are being made.

I also have this one concern. We accepted changes to pharmaceutical drug regulations in Bill C-38, which stated that pharmaceutical drugs were no longer added by regulation but could just be added by Health Canada through a list process, not through the Canada Gazette and not through routine regulations. We have to protect some of the more boring aspects of making laws in this place to protect the rights of Canadians.