March 6, 2014 (41st Parliament, 2nd Session)


Peter Van Loan


Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. whip for the opposition for her very kind comments about the abilities on this side of the House with regard to procedure. Of course, I am only as good as the team that I have.
However, I will say that one thing I have tried to outline and to make clear over some period of time is that the use of time allocation is very distinct from the use of closure. We have chosen an approach in this government to use time allocation as a scheduling device to set an amount of time that we believe is appropriate for debate on any particular issue, which, as the hon. member in her own comments confirmed, in some cases results in even more time being allocated than is necessary for debate.
One of the benefits, though, is that the time does not have to be used. If all speakers complete their discussion of the subject, the debate can collapse and we can move on to other matters. So, really, no time is to be lost from that approach. It is a very positive thing, one that allows certainty for the benefit of all members about how much debate we will have, when votes will happen, and when decisions will be made. That is the most important thing for us in our work up here: making decisions and getting the job done.
As for this morning, I know that the NDP keeps seeing conspiracies and ghosts behind curtains, particularly the House leader for the NDP, who has that concern.
I think everyone knows that the only time one can move these time allocation motions—and we do not need to have a great command of the Standing Orders to know this—is at the start of government orders, at the start of the day. So I really had no choice.
However, the committee had considerable flexibility, which it did exercise. There was no conspiracy. There was no obstruction.
I hope that the opposition House leader will take the benefit of the two weeks to calm down, hopefully look around, see that there are no people waiting behind every curtain and every tree, out to get him, and that some of the conspiracies he imagines are simply not there. It will lower his blood pressure. It will make his life much more comfortable, in total.
I know that the opposition whip will share that advice from me, with him.
This afternoon we will continue debating Bill C-20, Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act, at second reading.
Tomorrow, we will conclude the second reading debate on Bill C-25, Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Act.
Then, we will return to our constituencies, where we will have a chance to reconnect with our real bosses.
When we return on Monday, March 24, the House will have the seventh and final allotted day. At the end of that day, we will consider the supplementary estimates, as well as interim supply, so that these bills will be able to pass through the other place before the end of our fiscal year.
The government's legislative agenda for the balance of that week will focus on protecting Canadians. Tuesday, March 25 will see us start the second reading debate on Bill C-22, the energy safety and security act, a bill that will implement world-class safety standards in the offshore and nuclear sectors. That evening we will finish the debate on the motion to concur in the first report of the foreign affairs committee respecting the situation of Jewish refugees.
On Wednesday, March 26, we will consider Bill C-5, the offshore health and safety act, at report stage and third reading. This bill will complement legislation already passed by the provincial legislatures in Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, given the shared jurisdiction that exists in the offshore sector.
On Thursday, March 27, we will have the fourth day of second reading debate on Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act. Through this bill, our government is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring that our children are safe from online predators and online exploitation.
Finally, on Friday, March 28, I hope that we will be able to start the second reading debate on Bill C-17, the protecting Canadians from unsafe drugs act, also known as Vanessa's law.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Business of the House
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