Mr. David Christopherson
Madam Speaker, that is a really critical question in terms of the process and why we are here. This is the third version of the bill. It speaks to the lack of consultation on the part of the government. If the government had done its job and talked properly to the provinces and talked to the other parties in the House, we would have a lot clearer idea of where everybody is from the get-go. However, the government did not do that. The government once again followed its usual heavy-handed, our-way-or-the-door way and that is why we are at this point.
Now we are here debating the third version and we are sort of stuck. We are ending the year having a debate, which is good because we get to put our positions forward and it gets us a little closer to second reading, but without a vote at second reading to get this to committee where the real work will happen, it is all but meaningless.
So a lot of the problem we have is not just the complexity of the issue, which is part of it, but the government's heavy-handed approach to everything it does, the lack of respect and lack of recognition that other people have points of view and that the provinces need an opportunity to express what they want to have expressed here. If the government had done that ahead of time, it would have been a lot easier for the House of Commons to deal with this in a more expedited fashion.
That brings us all the way around to the question of whether the government is really serious about doing this or just trying to find ways to justify not making it the law of the land.
Subtopic: Democratic Representation Act