July 14, 1988 (33rd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Mr. Speaker, I thought the Hon. Member went a little outside the line of questioning when he referred to the Government not bringing forward a Bill of its own. I would like to put that in context.
The country was in a great deal of trouble in September, 1984. This Government brought forward more legislation and dealt with it more efficiently than any Parliament in the history of this country. In June, 1988, alone we faced 19 dilatory motions which resulted in the wasting of the House's time with votes and so on. Those motions were put by his Party. With a little more co-operation we might have been able to deal with even more legislation.
I just wanted that on the record. To blame the Government for not solving all the nation's problems in four years is a bit much. With a little more co-operation and fewer dilatory motions and filibusters, we could have solved a few more. However, we will go to the people and see who gets to solve them for the next four years.
On the specific comment concerning this Bill and the Government's intentions, I repeat: The Government has not interfered with Private Members' Business in this Parliament, that is, the notion of Private Members' Business. To ask whether the Government will refuse unanimous consent is to imply something that simply does not need dealing with. The Government does not intend to interfere with Private Members' Business. The nature of this House, the precedents, and principles related to Private Members' Business are very important.

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