Opposition Motion—Omnibus Legislation

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend from Toronto-Danforth for putting it so clearly the chilling lack of respect for democracy, even in the government’s response in the debate today. I am deeply saddened as a result of that.

I thought today’s motion would be an opportunity by the Liberal Party for us to revisit the difficulties the Speaker has faced. I raised these issues in a point of order on June 4. I believe, with all due respect for the Speaker, whose ruling I am not challenging, that there is enough in our jurisprudence from previous Speaker’s rulings to find that certain omnibus bills are out of order because they fail to have a unifying theme or central purpose in the way the legislation is brought forward.

Accepting the Speaker’s ruling, as parliamentarians we now have an obligation to find a way to set some limits around omnibus legislation. Accordingly, I thank my friend from Toronto—Danforth for an extremely well prepared contribution to today’s debate.

Craig Scott: Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands that Speakers are working within the framework of very confining rules about how far he or she can go in challenging the approach the government has taken with respect to what we are calling omnibus bills. That I why I think the study could be useful. As I indicated in my speech, the purpose should be about best practices and not necessarily one of giving additional power to the Speaker to challenge what governments are presenting.