February 19, 2004 (37th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Pat O'Brien

Liberal

Mr. Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Lib.)


moved for leave to introduce Bill C-486, an act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867.

Mr. Speaker, this private member's bill seeks to cap the size of the House of Commons at what it will become after the next election, which is 308 seats.
We do not need to be much of a mathematician to do the mathematics and realize that given our population, if we had the population of the United States, we would have some 3,000 members of Parliament. That would be patently ridiculous of course.
The bill proposes to accommodate any future increase in population which will surely come, as we hope, and accommodate it within the cap of 308. Obviously, by law there has to be future redistributions. They would take place on course, but there would be a changing of the distribution of seats within the cap as per the new demographics of our country.
We are one of the most over-governed countries in the world at all three levels of government, quite frankly, and this bill, if passed, would help address the over-government we have experienced at the federal level.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Constitution Act, 2004
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