Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, since October, when we had the last Speech from the Throne, this is the 22nd time allocation motion. I look forward to the Speaker’s ruling on my question of privilege. The repetitive and nearly constant use of time allocation violates our responsibilities and our ability to do our work here as parliamentarians.

I have a small side comment for the Minister of Justice. I find his gratuitous and ad hominem insults toward the members for Charlottetown and Burnaby—New Westminster to be unworthy of a minister of the Crown.

I would ask him this one simple question. If he is so sure that this bill is constitutional, which I and most legal experts do not believe it is, would he please table the legal opinion of the Department of Justice lawyers that Bill C-36 is in fact constitutional?

Hon. Peter MacKay: Mr. Speaker, that is the usual feigned outrage from the member. I will tell her what I have already said to the House, which is that we believe this legislation is constitutional and is charter-proof, of course. We believe the legislation answers the questions that were put forward and the issues that were identified quite clearly by the majority in Bedford. It was a decision that put the government in a position where we had to respond with this bill.

We have done extensive consultation. We have been engaged in an active and genuine outreach to arrive at this place. We do rely on the very capable advice coming from lawyers within the Department of Justice. Quite frankly, I am surprised that the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands would be so critical and so doubting of the advice coming from professional public servants, lawyers, and members of a fraternity of which she is also a member, and that she would suggest that this advice was somehow not being followed by the Department of Justice.