Questioning the use of time allocation to limit debate on Bill C-7

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, my question for the hon.President of the Treasury Board is this. Time allocation is being used time after time. My colleagues have made the point adequately that the government has had since June 21 of last year to review the amendments from the Senate. This is important legislation. Of course collective bargaining for the RCMP is not being created in the legislation through the wisdom or good will of the governing party. It is a requirement of the Supreme Court of Canada. We want to move ahead with it.

However, I find it galling that we are being told we need time allocation on the bill, which will almost certainly mean that either members of the Bloc Québécois or the Green Party will be allowed to speak, but not both. I find that distressing. Perhaps the President of the Treasury Board could shed some light on this. I cannot see any reason for urgency, such as slapping time allocation on the bill, unless the rumours of an imminent prorogation are true, which I hope they are not.


Scott Brison – Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, one of the findings of the consultation was the desire among RCMP members to have one national union representing them. Ultimately, that decision will be made by them. It is important we move forward to enable that to occur.

For the leader of the Green Party, with whom I have worked for a long time and for whom I have tremendous respect, the Supreme Court decision was over two years ago and the previous government did not act. This is significant legislation and it is complex legislation. This would be a significant step forward for the RCMP. We look forward to moving it forward.

There have been 16 hours of debate in the House. Committees of the House have reviewed the legislation. The Senate has been active as well. We have accepted amendments from the House and the Senate. The member will recall that accepting amendments was not something the previous government did. We believe in constructive relations and the acceptance of amendments, which can have the potential to strengthen legislation. We are actively engaging Parliament, both the House and the other place.