June 8, 2015 (41st Parliament, 2nd Session)


Pat Martin (Interjection)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin

Mr. Speaker, what I was referring to was how much I enjoyed the exercise leading up to the Charlottetown accord. What an honour it was, as a carpenter by trade, to be chosen as an ordinary Canadian, going through what was an incredible learning experience, learning about the fabric of our country.
As my colleague knows, the Charlottetown accord was not limited to the future of the Senate or the reform of the Senate, although substantive recommendations were made. If my memory serves me, the accord proposed that each province would be assigned six senators and each territory one, and additional seats would be added for the representation of aboriginal peoples of Canada, an idea that we borrowed from the country of New Zealand, where the Maori have representation, and that elections would take place under the federal jurisdiction at the same time as elections in the House of Commons.
Those were interesting developments arrived at by consensus-building in six meetings across the country, talking to ordinary Canadians.
The initiative failed, but at least the government of the day did not put it on the too-hard-to-do pile. It embraced it as an issue and as a subject that Canadians wanted to talk about.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16
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