The Bill C-311 Ottawa Update: part two
As I had mentioned in my previous update on this topic, time was of the essence to get Bill C-311 through the House of Common and into the Canadian Senate. As I also mentioned previously the only way to do that was to ensure passage during the first hour of debate as a failure to do that could potentially delay the Bill almost by a half year given how Private members Business works. The way to ensure that happens within the House of Commons is obviously to ensure that debate during the first hour concludes (or collapses as it is called in Parliamentary terms) so there is enough time left over for a what amounts to a vote to send the Bill onto the senate.
Within my Government caucus I had a huge amount of my fellow MP’s literally lining up in wanting to speak in favor of the Bill. Many represent wine producing regions and others simply understood the common sense to the bill that literally thousands of other Canadians have also been in strong support of. However all of my colleagues understand that ultimately our goal is to help the people we serve back in our home ridings and as a result we agreed that in order to keep the time limited I would be the only formal speaker from the Government side and I also contained my comments to fewer than five minutes of a possible fifteen.
I would also like to commend the Liberal party who have also been strong supporters of the Bill. The Liberals also agreed with me to put up only one speaker in the interest of time and I will commend Justin Trudeau for doing an excellent job in so eloquently explaining why he and the Liberal Party support the Bill and our great Canadian wine industry. I can also pass on the same co-operation and agreement from Elizabeth May of the Green Party who also represents wine growers in her riding and has been an outspoken proponent and supporter of Bill C311. The NDP, I was assured would continue to be supportive of the Bill as well, or so I was told at the outset of these discussions.
So what happened next? Although the official version from the NDP is that they made a “mistake”, I will share a behind the scenes view of what really occurred and the many questions that are raised by the NDP’s actions.