Ottawa

Just deliver, don't debate

Peter Van Loan responds to complaints about the Harper government’s moves to limit debate in the House.

Mr. Van Loan said the issues on the legislative agenda this fall have been discussed in detail over the past five or six years since Mr. Harper’s Conservatives first took office, albeit as a minority government. “These are issues that have been debated at length in elections, and issues on which we made commitments to Canadians in the last election,” he said. “They responded to those commitments by giving us a majority and asking us to deliver on those commitments.”

Mr. Van Loan said his approach has been to move quickly with time allocation so that it is clear to everyone how much time will be available for debate, allowing parties and MPs to plan their discussion. “Most people in their workplace do not debate an issue for four days before they decide what to do,” he said. “They debate it and they make a decision. It is enough time in this case to make a very clear decision on an important question.”