Ottawa

What is this House for?

With the last intervention of Question Period yesterday, Elizabeth May asked the government to clarify its general attitude toward parliamentary democracy.

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. 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?

In a response to Ms. May, and later in a response to Joe Comartin on the same issue, Peter Van Loan lamented that the opposition was not duly deferential.

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