Pat Martin (Interjection)
New Democratic Party
Mr. Pat Martin
Mr. Speaker, the commitment has been, and it has been made very publicly as recently as this weekend, that the leader of the official opposition would consult with Canadians and would consult the premiers for the purposes of finding collective interests in abolishing the Senate and meeting the requisite numbers where the Senate could in fact be abolished, as per the lower chambers. All the provinces that used to have second chambers have gone bicameral, those will testify and admit that their lower chambers were not diminished by abolishing the upper chamber; in fact, they were strengthened.
However, the mandate of senators comes into question, too, and it needs to be addressed as it is part of the problem that we are facing today and part of the abuse that we are going to hear declared by the Auditor General when he releases his report tomorrow. It has to do with the fact that the mandate of senators, as they see it, is so open-ended that the mandate of a senator is anything the senator deems to be his or her mandate. They are spending money freely, without any oversight, without any scrutiny, without any control even by the rule of reporting.
If the ruling party has senators in its caucus, surely the ruling party could exercise some control over those senators so they do not abuse the system and abuse their expense accounts. Where is the accountability on the part of the ruling party and the Conservatives?
Subtopic: MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16