On the afternoon of May 25, 1998, a young parliamentarian—a member of the opposition, not yet 30 years old and elected for the first time less than a year before—stood to speak on the Liberal government’s latest budget implementation bill.
I begin by expressing my regret that debate on this bill has been limited by the government’s time allocation motion. I understand this is the fourth time in this parliament alone that closure or time allocation has been implemented. It was done on Bill C-2 regarding the Canada pension plan, on Bill C-4 with respect to the Canadian Wheat Board, on Bill C-19, the Canadian Labour Code amendments which we dealt with before parliament broke, and now twice on Bill C-36 … This is parliament. The purpose of this place is to deliberate on legislation brought forward by the government. It is not to rubber stamp legislation brought forward by the bureaucracy or the executive branch. It is to deliberate, to debate, to amend, to consider, to ensure that those who pay the bills for the legislation we pass have their concerns fully and exhaustively expressed with respect to every single piece of legislation.
Two days later, he challenged government MPs to remember their principles.
I ask my colleagues opposite to reference what their caucus colleague said when they were in opposition. They were principled when they were in opposition. They spoke out against the invocation of closure and time allocation.
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