Government Policies (Closure of Debate)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, from 1913 to 1956, a period of over 40 years, time limits on debates were used 10 times. In the last 40 days, a time limit has been used seven times, making a new historical record.

What used to be the exception to the rule appears to now be the rule.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Elizabeth May: I am only sitting because I cannot be heard.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker: Order, please. We will hear the rest of the question.

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader. Can we again restore a parliamentary tradition that limits on debates occur when matters are urgent or otherwise justified and do not become routine?

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Mr. Speaker, in the last election Canadians gave us a strong mandate to deliver on jobs for Canadians--

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker: Order, order. The House wanted to hear the question and I am sure the House wants to hear the answer. The Chair wants to hear the answer.

The hon. government House leader.

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Mr. Speaker, Canadians asked us to deliver on tackling crime, on creating jobs for Canadians, on restoring the democratic principle of each vote having equal value on a range of commitments, and we are delivering on those commitments.

But what has happened each and every time is that the opposition has brought in a motion to stop debate, to say those bills should not go to committee, they should not go past second reading.

We will not stand for that. We will deliver on our commitments and ensure that the House has a chance to decide and debate these issues thoroughly at every stage.