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Round Table on Private Members’ Business
Peter Adams; John Reynolds; Garry Breitkreuz; Ted White; Joe Jordan; Gerald Keddy; Paddy Torsney; Mauril Bélanger; Yvon Godin; John Bryden; Réal Ménard; Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral; Val Meredith; Ken Epp; Carolyn Parrish; Dale Johnston

On May 2, 2002 the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs held a round table on the topic of Private Members’ Business. For more than two hours a lively discussion took place about what could be done to improve this aspect of parliamentary business. The discussion was divided into four broad themes:  the purpose of Private Members’ Business; whether all items of Private Members’ Business should be votable; the details of the selection of votable items; and whether more radical changes should be considered. The following are extracts by some of the members in attendance. For the complete transcripts see the online proceedings of the committee at www.parl.gc. ca.

Peter Adams (Chairman, Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs): The expression “Private Members’ Business” refers to the time the House sets aside for business emanating from private members—one hour a day, five days a week. That business can take the form of a bill, which before it becomes law must go through the same stages as do government bills—three readings in the House, three in the Senate, all the way through Royal Assent; or that of a motion, which results in a resolution of the House, often expressing an opinion or calling upon the government to do something.

Unlike government bills or motions, Private Members’ Business is determined by a draw. This is largely because there are far more bills and motions tabled than there is time to deal with them.

For example, so far in this session of Parliament, which began in January 2001, there have been a total of 251 bills and 496 motions tabled in the House. Of these, 750 or so, 128 have been placed on the order of precedence, 22 of these have been voted on or will be voted on, while the rest have been or will be dropped from the Order Paper after one hour of debate. In addition, five Senate bills have been debated in the House.

The Standing Orders provide for the establishment of an order of precedence, a sort of running list at the beginning of each parliamentary session and at various intervals thereafter. This order of precedence consists of 30 items of private members’ business, an equal number of bills and motions in the sequence established by the draw of members’ names. To add to the complexity of this system, private bills and public bills from the Senate are automatically placed at the bottom of this order of precedence.

Now all of the 30 items on the order of precedence will be debated for an hour in the House, but only some of them will be voted on. At any time, up to 10 of the 30 items can be declared votable, which means that they get up to three hours of debate and they come to a vote at the end of this period.

The decision as to which items should be votable is made by this committee, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, through its Sub-committee on Private Members’ Business. That sub-committee consists of one member from each party in the House, plus a government chair. So the government does not have a majority on that sub-committee.

John Reynolds (Canadian Alliance): Private Members’ Business is a vital and essential part of the parliamentary and legislative process. We are here today to discuss ideas, to bring the current Private Members’ Business procedure out of the nineteenth century and into modern times. There is a desperate need for reform and I think we all agree with that. This issue lies at the very heart of democracy.

We have been asking for a long time with support from all parties for all Private Members’ Business to be votable. There needs to be a new mechanism in place to ensure that all items are brought to a vote and to make sure that the divisions on these questions remain free votes.

Many reform proposals have come to the table in the past years. The last time this committee took on this issue the government made a decision not to make a decision. On behest of the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary this committee reported back to the House last December 5, five months ahead of the deadline, saying that it could not come up with a solution.

That is unacceptable. We do not need to spend more time talking. We all know what we want and we appreciate what you are doing here today in the round table discussion to try to come to some solution to this issue.

On behalf of the Official Opposition I am today presenting three absolute conditions for reform.

  • First, that all Private Members’ Bills and motions be automatically votable unless requested otherwise by the sponsor of the said bill or motion.
  • Second, that no Private Members’ Business items would be subject to amendment unless the amendment is seconded by the original sponsor of the bill or motion. This would preclude the kind of poison pill amendments that we recently and shamefully saw in the House on Bill C-344.
  • Third, if a Private Members’ Bill passes a second reading and makes it to committee, it must pass the committee stage in a timely fashion and be reported back to the House within the four corners of the original bill.

These are our requests. Everything else is detail. We are not asking for more time than the five hours per week in the current cycle. We are not asking for a model that would diminish the time available for the government to conduct its own business because I know it is very important to the government. In fact, we would be prepared to help. It will be part of this discussion to look at possibly sitting Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to just discuss Private Members’ Business.

We would be prepared to look at the example of reducing the hours on Private Members’ Business from three hours to two hours if they were all votable.

If our three democratic reforms are met, I pledge today that there will be no obstruction or delay from the Official Opposition in bringing long overdue reform to Private Members’ Business.

Garry Breitkreuz (Canadian Alliance): There is a real need to revitalize democracy within Parliament and within Canada. From my experience of the last eight years as an MP. I really must underscore that we should not fear triggering debates across the country.

Apathy has become one of the significant problems within this country. We see the number of voters declining within the country. People really feel disconnected from the entire process of decision-making and one of the reasons that I have been fighting for years to encourage people to scratch below the surface on the issues is because very often at election time decisions are made without a proper understanding.

Private Members’ Business goes to the very heart of this and can be one of the key tools that can revitalize an interest in what is happening in Parliament and the issues that face the country.

Democracy does not work unless people are informed of the issues and there is an effective opposition within the country. That effective opposition can come in the way of holding the government to account, introducing new topics that have not been introduced into Parliament.

Control has been centralized within the country and we are all quite aware of this, within the cabinet and Parliament, and this is a way of giving a much stronger voice to MPs. I would conclude by saying that democracy must enable the people of Canada to have their voice heard and respected. Private Members’ Business is a tool where there would be a lot more input by the people of this country through their MP into Parliament and that is why I think it is absolutely vital that we really revitalize the whole area of Private Members’ Business. It strikes to the very heart of what we do in this Parliament.

 Joe Jordan (Liberal): If you look at the purpose of Private Member’s Business, I do not necessarily buy into the Opposition Leader’s premise that this is somehow a system of democracy in crisis. I think that democracy is in evolution.

We have looked at other jurisdictions as to how they handle Private Member’s Business. The United States is a system of government where every bill is essentially a Private Member’s Bill. If you look at the success rate of bills proposed to bills adopted, it does not even come close to what we are doing here.

We had the Ontario Procedure and House Affairs Committee before us last week. They told us that everything is votable but the government can choose to refer any item to committee which essentially kills it. So, you are giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

What is the purpose of Private Members’ Business? Historically, as Private Members’ Business has dealt with issues that are non-partisan issues. They are issues of national significance. Historically, and I am not saying we are bound by these, there were issues that did not involve expenditures by the government. You could not bind the government to expenditures.

This goes back to the fact that our system of government, rightly or wrongly, is based on the Westminster model. If we are going to introduce a process for Private Member’s Bills that can deal with absolutely anything, a separate instrument for initiating public policy debates on issues, I think it is very important that we recognized exactly what it is we are doing.

Right now when we say things should not be non-partisan in Private Members’ Business, and I know there is a great deal of frustration around it, you have got Opposition critics, or in some cases Liberal committee chairs that are introducing bills that have absolutely everything to do with their portfolios, it seems to be that we need to have a very clear definition of what we are trying to do.

Private Members’ Business did not start or cause a problem of disconnecting with voters. It is not going to solve that either. I think we need to put it in perspective. I think we need to look at the whole issue of empowering MPs, and the work of committees. But it all starts with what is Private Members’ Business for.

If we are going to define that, we need to get very specific with the criteria, remove the objectivity. If you want them all votable, you have got to be prepared to extend hours, otherwise you are going to have either a filter of a draw, or a filter of simply the clock ticking and things will not get heard. If we are going to initiate a process identical to government bills then that is a pretty big change and we are going to have to give that a great deal of thought.

Ted White (Canadian Alliance): For the most part it would be fair to say that much of Private Members’ Business deals with smaller issues, not necessarily unimportant issues, but smaller issues that would often, if they were left to the government, have to be included in an omnibus bill of some sort. So often it takes a long time for situations to be addressed in omnibus fashion.

So one of the roles I see for Private Members’ Business and I am sure the public see it this way as well, to push through or implement issues that would have to wait a long time otherwise to be dealt with.

Now, along with that theme, I find it not only frustrating but frankly insulting that the system sets us up as capable, thoughtful individuals who can study government legislation, make amendments, and then finally vote on that legislation, but for some reason we are not intelligent or capable enough to prepare small legislative measures ourselves and submit them for debate and vote in the House.

I think there is a place for that if we can be credited with the intelligence to study the government’s legislation then surely it logically follows that we have enough intelligence and ability to create small legislative measures ourselves.

Gerald Keddy (Progressive Conservative): The purpose of Private Members’ Business should be viewed as a way of changing the law or advancing an issue by discussing it in the House of Commons. I think we are all in agreement on that.

One of the major problems we have is time. Probably there is too much Private Members’ Business and not enough separation of Private Members’ Bills and Private Member’s Motions. Perhaps if motions were not votable and all Private Members’ Bills were votable, you would have fewer bills and you would do a better job at it.

There is another discussion on how we introduce these to the House and how we seek parity and equality between all the parties and members in an attempt to get their bills forward. But certainly a lot of Private Members’ Business can be deleterious or obstructionist and I do not think a Private Member’s Bill should be. Perhaps there is room for that in a motion. We really have to look at what is votable and what is not. I think we are all in agreement that if you have a Private Member’s Bill, it should be votable.

Paddy Torsney (Liberal): I think the role of Private Members’ Bills is to highlight issues of local concern and to try and encourage the government to act in a certain way. One of my Private Member’s Bills was on peanut allergies. It would have revolutionized how information was dispensed in restaurants right across this country. To suggest that would have been successful after two hours of debate is somewhat naive, and to encourage a discussion about things and to prod the government into action is probably a marker of success rather than necessarily having the bill adopted holus-bolus.

A second Private Member’s Bill I had was to get the government to move on game cards that were distributed. Again, that was rolled into a piece of government legislation which the government was involved with in a bigger consultation, so ultimately it was successful but it was part of a bigger thing. So that is a role for Private Members’ Business. To suggest that, for instance, we would change the Criminal Code after two hours of debate is really quite naive and I would be very concerned about any process that would, in fact, have that implication.

Mauril Bélanger (Liberal): I used to think that all Private Members’ Business should not necessarily be votable. I have now changed my mind because I have been put through a system which does not work. I was prepared to have the bill that I sponsored be judged as to whether or not it should be made votable on the criteria that the committee has agreed to use. So far I have been unable to get an explanation as to why the bill that I put forward was declared to be non-votable because it meets all five criteria. I am subject, as we all are, to decisions that are made in camera, without explanation and without appeal. That is where the whole system falls apart.

I would suggest to this group that we find a way of putting a screen so that all items that get onto the Notice Paper are votable. The notion here that I want to put forward is that you apply the criteria before a bill or a motion is put on the Notice Paper, so that whenever a member’s name is drawn in the lottery, he or she can pick whatever item’s in there, a motion or a bill, and it would be votable. You still apply the screen, the criteria that are set up. That is why you eliminate possible embarrassment.

I would suggest we go further to remove that role of applying the criteria from the subcommittee that you created because it is obviously an impossible task to ask of these members. It does not work. Those who have been on it have seen that it does not work. Those who have had to go through it see that it does not work. I would suggest that we consider giving that task to table officers—here are the criteria, does this proposed bill or motion meet the criteria? If so, it goes on the Notice Paper, and if drawn, it is votable. If it is decided not to be votable, establish an appeal mechanism of some sort, to the Speaker or to this full committee so that decisions are made in the open and on the basis of the criteria—not on the substance. I have been to the committee a few times and most of the debate was on the substance as opposed to the criteria, whatever the criteria may be. That can be decided.

I understand that there would be a time difficulty, and I am not suggesting that we only consider doubling the time. Maybe we can consider halving the time so that instead of speaking for 10 minutes, members can speak for five. Instead of dealing with one in each hour you can deal with two, and maybe we do not need three hours. Maybe we need an hour and a half, of even one hour, so that over two periods you get the bill debated.

I have a number of other suggestions that are of a practical nature to break the bloody logjam, but I will tell you that I have a bill there and I have yet to be told by anyone on that subcommittee it does not meet the criteria, and yet, it cannot be made votable. That is not fair to the people of this country. It is not fair to me, and I really think that the system has to be fixed, not reinvented.

Yvon Godin (New Democratic Party):  I find it hard to believe when I hear political parties say that they would like all Private Members’ business to be votable, given that at the present time there is a random draw – about 15 motions and bills are drawn and then, according to the rules, up to six can be votable. Sometimes there is trouble finding even two.  All the parties are sitting around the table, making the decision.

I want to explain that where I have difficulty is that first, I do not agree that everything should be votable.  That is clear.  That is my opinion, that they should not all be votable.  But at least if we say they should be votable, the Committee should have to come up with six votable items.  There is absolutely no reason not to find six votable motions, in my opinion.

Second, the Chair of the committee should never vote – you say that it is not the government that decides which motion is votable, because there is one person from each party.  But with the Chair being from the Liberals, for example, that means two Liberals who vote.  They may not be capable of forcing motions on the House, but they can block them, because it is five out of six for authorization to bring motions before the House.  So if there are two who vote against, the motion does not go before the House.  That was the way it worked in the last committee I was on.

Now personally, I would like just five of the parties to vote, and then out of the five, it would be four making the decision.  That I could see.

Something else I would like to see, would be the government not having the right to interfere in Private Members’ Business and passing motions, as we saw recently in the House.  After all, we are talking about Private Members’ Business.  Let the Members decide, not the government. In my opinion, that was terrible.  It should never have happened.

The final thing I would like to suggest is that Members should not be able to go by the back door and introduce a motion in the Senate that has already been raised in committee.  It is the same as a 10 percenter.  You can not take a 10 percenter that you are sending out in your riding and then send it somewhere else in the riding if it is the same 10 percenter.  So we should have the same procedure here:  if a Member has a motion that he could not get passed in committee, he should not be able to go in by the back door, and go to the Senate, which is obliged to consider it.

John Bryden (Liberal): I would suggest that for every Parliament each MP be entitled to submit one private members bill and that bill be deemed votable if it meets the appropriate criteria.

The problem is that partisanship is a part of the process and we have to eliminate it. In my particular instance, I had a bill when it went before the private members’ committee that was guaranteed not to pass because some opposition members would be certain to be philosophically opposed to it. I am not criticizing them for that. It’s normal to be partisan in this place. But the difficulty is if you allow partisanship to determine the volatility of bills, then people like myself who worked for seven years on a particular piece of legislation only to see it fail, not because it did not meet the criteria but because members of the sub-committee on Private Member’s Business naturally because of their philosophical approach to politics in this country would reject the bill.

So I think Mr. Bélanger is absolutely right. I too at one time thought that bills should not be all votable. I now think they should be votable. There should be a fixed criteria that we all understand and there should be an independent assessment of whether the bills meet that criteria either through the table officer or otherwise. I would further add that I agree that every member should have the opportunity in a Parliament to have a bill that is votable but I deplore this practice that we have now where members put in trivial bills, tie up the legislative counsel of the House for bills that will never advance and they have no intention of advancing.

Réal Ménard (Bloc Québécois):  I think that every bill should be votable, but not necessarily debated for three hours.

First of all, we have to put an end to the lottery system. It just does not make sense to let chance determine what matters should be brought before the House. At the beginning of every year, in September, I think there should be a registry kept by the Clerk of the House where members of Parliament could register motions or bills that they wish to present during the year, from September to June.

We were told that nearly 30% of the MPs table bills and motions, so not every MP is going to want to take advantage of this, and every year, during the three or four years of the Parliament, one hour could be set aside for each MP. So, in the case of a bill, we could discuss it for one hour and then it would be referred to the committee where it would be voted on, and then it would come back. In one hour, it is possible to explain the measure and then debate it, providing the rules of the game are known. We may see it three or four times during the year, but that would imply that the government would agree to restrict the time reserved for government business.

Since 1995, we know that the government has played less of an activist role than it did during the 1980s, and if we want members of Parliament and the people to have confidence in our system, we need to increase the time set aside for private members’ business. There are hardly ever any ministers in the House on Fridays. Question period is not dynamic on Fridays. We would be much more useful, as members of Parliament if the day were to start at 10 o’clock and go until 3 o’clock so that five, six or seven hours could be spent on private members’ business. We could rejuggle the schedule and find time to make private members’ business used more productively.

There is a way to find time. We cannot say that this would be only once during the Parliament, because we have a lot of ideas, more of a role to play.

I will conclude by saying that we need to establish some criteria. I think that there should be two criteria and these are the ones we face in court: the issue must not be frivolous or ridiculous in nature, nor should it be hate-inspired. If the courts of law are able to determine what constitutes a frivolous, ridiculous or hateful issue, I think that the members of Parliament should be able to propose measures. If a bill is not frivolous, if it is not hateful in what it seeks, it should be votable, should the MP so desire.

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Bloc Québécois):  Like several of my colleagues here today, I had the opportunity to work for several years on the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business.  For me that experience was especially enriching and vital. It often happened that the Chair did not vote, which I would say is quite an interesting phenomenon.

The most frustrating thing was that we often had 10 items in front of us and only room for two that could be votable, when there were maybe five, six or seven that deserved to be votable.  That’s very frustrating.  All of them met the criteria otherwise they would not be accepted.  So we had to choose.

I heard Yvon say that he was against the idea of all Private Members’ items being votable.  On the other hand, when the Subcommittee appears before the Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, if there is room for six votable items, well, there have to be six of them.  But you could find yourself in a situation where, if you argue that not all items should be votable, you might have 10 items in front of you and none of them votable.

I do not think it will ever be possible to resolve this dilemma.  I think we should start from the principle that parliamentarians, when they decide to support or reject a motion or an item proposed by a fellow Member, are going to display the same judgment as when they pronounce on government motions or bills.  Everything should be votable because I do not see how we can ever come up with something that would be seen as fair by all our colleagues.  For me, that is the first thing.

The second thing that I think is necessary, is that time should be organized so that we can get through a reasonable number of them.  Réal was talking about one item per Member per year, and I think it is a pity, but that would be a lot.  If we try to do too much, we could end up missing the boat.  So we should perhaps look at time as well.  There are plenty of Members who never do anything and would not do any more no matter what.

So I think the time allowed in the House for the introduction of a motion or bill should be reduced.  I think Private Members’ items should be votable, even though like the rest of you I might think some of them are far-fetched.  Who am I to decide that something a colleague has presented is far-fetched?

Val Meredith (Canadian Alliance): I think I will introduce few new concepts and I am going to probably disagree with members of all parties here.

First off, I disagree with my colleagues on the idea that there should be more than one per parliamentary session for every member, and the reason I say that is because my colleague across the way, Mr. Breitkreuz has had dozens and I, for the first time this parliament, got my name drawn. In the last parliament, my name was never drawn. So I think that is unfair. For a member of Parliament to have to wait for their name to be drawn and if it is not drawn, you have no opportunity let alone a voting opportunity. So I think that there should be some allowance that every single member of Parliament has an opportunity to put an idea on the table for discussion.

The other issue that I think has to be brought up is that it is not good enough just to say that every item should be votable. I had a Private Members’ Bill that did go through the House of Commons unanimously, pass second reading, into committee stage at which point I had to fight like anything to get the committee to even deal with it. If I had not been sitting on that committee, it probably would never have been brought up. I watched it go through the committee process where it was completed destroyed and never reported back to Parliament. I would assume that when an item is passed at second reading by Parliament, the least a committee can do is review that bill and report it back to Parliament.  I do not think any committee in this House of Commons should have the right to take a Private Members’ Bill and destroy it without even having to report back to Parliament which is how the process works. So I think to have every Private Members’ Bill votable is a worthy concept, but the system has to change beyond that in order for that Private’s Members’ Bill to be dealt with respect and through the parliamentary process.

Ken Epp (Canadian Alliance): You cannot be chosen votable unless you actually get drawn. This is my frustration. I have been here for eight years. I have never been drawn. I am extremely frustrated with that because I have some very fine Private Member’s Bills that I have come up with, and I would love to have the opportunity to try to persuade those other 300 members of Parliament that I have a fine Private Member’s Bill that deserves support.

So I would like to propose that we have a random list of all non-Cabinet members of Parliament. We could do that right now: take all the present members and randomize them. From thereon a permanent list would be kept, even crossing parliaments. When you move up to the top of the list, your item is dealt with; when it is finished, you go to the bottom of the list. Furthermore, if somebody, say, ceases to be a Cabinet minister, they go to the bottom of the list. Soon we are going to have some by-elections. They go to the bottom of the list and they keep on moving up. Along comes a general election. We elect 85 new members. They are randomized and added to the bottom of the list. Let them learn the scheme here before they get in. As they move up, their item is dealt with and they go to the back and it is a continually moving rotation. All members who do not want to have a Private Member’s Bill would automatically, when they get to the top, be rotated back to the bottom.

Now, with respect to the question of volatility, I like the idea that has been floated by some that it should be up to the member. When I have a motion or a bill that I only want to have discussed and to bring public attention to it, all I have to do is declare it: “This is a motion for debate and I do not want members to vote on it” and let that be up the member, him or herself, to decide that. I think that should be the only criterion.

With respect to frivolousness, right now we have 700 pieces of legislation on Private Members’ Business. It has tied up hours and hours of staff. It would be useless for me to put in a whole bunch of bills. I would only be entitled to have library staff prepare one bill or motion as I move up toward the date when I am going to be debating. That way those resources could be used much more effectively and we would not have this scheme of thousands of bills being introduced which are totally meaningless. It is a shame to the public when we say, “So and so introduced his Private Member’s Bill” and a whole bunch of Canadians get their expectations up. I think we better start telling Canadians, “We have introduced this bill. It is moving up. There will be a vote. Parliamentarians will have a chance to make a decision on this. Talk to your MP if you support this bill, have him vote for it”, and let us go through the normal democratic process on these things. That I think will do more than a lot of things that are contemplated these days to improve the reputations that we have as parliamentarians.

Carolyn Parrish (Liberal): I want to suggest that you be careful what you wish for because my distinct feeling is, if all bills become votable the lobbying you will be subjected to will burn you out. The attention you are going to have to pay to all these bills will be phenomenal and those who do not want to put in Private Members’ Bills will be forced to do so, even if they do not want to because their public is watching. I think, human nature being what it is and the party system being what it is, it is going to result in whip votes but that is just my opinion.

As far as the committee is concerned, I also resent hearing that it does not work. When we first started the committee—when it was first invented—there were only three parties in the House so it was a very tight committee of four people—two opposition, two liberals. It was deciding its recommendations on consensus, it worked beautifully for the first couple of years.  What you have now is four opposition members and two liberals, so the thing is totally out of whack and it is too large. I have a suggestion in that you go back to four with the four opposition parties rotating, two per draw. But, if you are going to have everything votable, that is an irrelevant suggestion.

The size of that committee is too big, that is what the problem is there and you are becoming partisan in that you have four opposition and two liberals. If you make them all votable I think you have to rework the criteria and leaving it to table officers is a cop-out. This is a political venue and politicians have to look at the criteria and have to decide if the bill fits. You would be insane to give that to table officers and they would be insane to do it.

I think you also have to bring in a very strong criteria that says no bill shall be put into the bin or wherever it goes if it is reworking government legislation that has just been discussed in the House. Some members do get polled six or seven times and their bills have the same theme each time and it is a theme that has already been decided by the government and so it is an enormous waste of time.

Dale Johnston (Canadian Alliance): I would just like to make a few observations. We have talked about everybody in the House getting a Private Member’s Bill and I think that is a good idea but I think we should first recognize that there are some people who will not be eligible to get Private Members’ Business on the Order Paper, that is the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the parliamentary secretaries and the secretaries of state.

That brings the number down to around 220 or 230 people who will have the opportunity. I think we should be able to work most of those people into the hours that are now set aside for Private Members’ Business.

The draw should only determine the order of precedence in which those bills or members appear on the order paper. If my name is the first or second or third one drawn and I do not have a bill prepared, I should be able to negotiate with one of my colleagues, or even, in fact, with anyone in the House, as to whether they want to take my spot and I would take a spot lower down in the order of precedence.

I have heard quite a lot from Carolyn Parrish about the merits of that committee but I think if we were to make all Private Members’ Business votable and along the lines I have been talking about here, then we would do away with the need for that committee completely.

In fact, Private Members’ Business to me, has some things in common with Citizens’ Initiative. A Private Member’s Bill gives a private MP an opportunity to bring something forth on the national agenda on behalf of their constituents and it is all about empowerment. I am sure that is what my colleagues were referring to when they said this goes right to the basics of democracy.

I think if we were to do those few things, a lot of people would be a lot better off. If you are opposed to having votable motions or bills, you simply can skip your turn when it comes up or bargain it away for a couple of duty days that someone will do for you, or whatever. It would be something that is coming to you if you want it. If you do not want it, nobody is forcing you to do it.

Editor’s Note: On June 12, 2002, the Committee made a number of recommendations aimed at addressing concerns expressed during the Round Table. For details see the House of Commons legislative report.


Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 25 no 3
2002






Last Updated: 2014-08-05