Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act (Bill S-8)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think there is new record-setting every single day for time allocation, on bill after bill. The subject matter before us in this debate is time allocation, not the substance of the bill itself.

My question is for the hon. minister. Does the government, in which the minister serves on Privy Council, have any intention of ever allowing adequate debate on the bills before us?

This is an affront to individual members. People in my position, who do not have automatic speaking slots in debates, lose them for sure every time there is time allocation. It never gets around to allowing full participation of all members of this House on issues of critical importance.

Hon. Bernard Valcourt: Mr. Speaker, that is the member’s point of view, one that I can respect, but that I totally disagree with.

Anyone who takes a hard look at the procedures will realize that any member who wants to do serious and reasonable work will have ample time to give his or her opinion on any bill before Parliament.

When we look at the work of committees, we see that a great number of people are asked to appear and give their opinion. There is no time allocation there. The idea is that at some point decisions must be made. I understand that the NDP like to spin their wheels, but we want to move forward and it is time to rectify the situation.