April 3, 1998 (36th Parliament, 1st Session)


Myron Thompson


Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Ref.)

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak for a moment. I probably will not take my allotted time because the member for Calgary—Nose Hill did a superb job of analysing what is in the bill and how it will affect the lives of a lot of people.
I would like to take a moment to say a couple of words with regard to the Senate. I ask the senators and constituents who are watching this debate on television to hang on to their armchairs because I am about to say something that is very nice regarding the Senate. That is probably a shock to a lot of people.
I want to allude to the fact that the bill originated in the Senate. At the present time a committee of senators are travelling around the country, particularly in the west, meeting with grassroots, hard working farmers regarding Bill C-4 respecting the wheat board. The senators are meeting with these people and I hope they are listening.
I feel it is very efficient for the Senate to be doing that. If someone were to identify it as a job description, a very important part of it would be getting into the country and representing the regional interests of all Canadians.
In this place 104 members of Parliament from Ontario and 79 members of Parliament from Quebec, which constitutes a high majority, voted in favour of a bill that does not affect any of their constituents but has an impact on western farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and northern B.C.
I commend the senators for being out there in the region affected by a bill that is being passed. They are making certain that it is in the regional interest. If they are truly listening to the people, I am certain they will come back disillusioned that the House would pass such a bill based on the votes of people who live outside the territory being affected.
Let us look at the types of legislation being put into place in the land. We on this side of the House become quite concerned when decisions are made by judges who are unaccountable, unelected individuals or legislation is brought forward by people who are unelected and unaccountable. It is our duty as an opposition party to question the avenue used by the government to bring in the legislation and to suggest that it should stop.
The people of Canada have elected individuals to come to this place to represent their interests. These interests should be brought to this place by their elected representatives. That is what Canadians expect and that is what they want. They do not want unaccountable judges and unaccountable senators making laws of the land. They want their elected officials to do that task. That is what we were elected for.
I commend my colleagues from Calgary—Nose Hill and Prince George—Peace River for their comments on Bill S-3. I agree fully with their comments. The House can expect support from this side. Our only objection would be to the origination of the bill.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985
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