That is better than taking up not only our time but the time of Their Lordships who sit on the Supreme
February 12, 1986
Court of Canada. I noticed, Mr. Speaker, that you were rather enthusiastic in your applause for that particular reform. This does not require any great change because there is already a movement in the Senate in this regard. All it requires is a meeting of these two Houses to come up with a procedure which will bring us into the 20th century. That is really all we are talking about.
I could go on about the role of the new Board of Internal Economy. We are taking control of our own affairs, presided over by your distinguished self. We now have a Board which administers the Budget of this House comprised primarily of Private Members. Out of nine Members there are only two Ministers, as opposed to the previous Board which was comprised of four Ministers and the Speaker.
I mention that Board not only because of the importance of taking control of our own affairs in this place, but also because of the importance of the Board as a means to implement the non-procedural reforms of this House. If I have one concern to state to the Government House Leader it is about the inability of the House, under the motion before it today, to address the non-procedural recommendations of these two reports. So we rely on the good word of the House Leader who stood in his place on Friday and said he would unequivocally proceed, through the Board, with the implementation of the nonprocedural reforms. The ball is now in the court of the Board of Internal Economy. I would like to say to that Board that I hope it will be able to report before we adjourn for the summer recess to update this House on where we stand on this matter. These non-procedural reforms are important not only symbolically but because they are true reforms.
I will close by paraphrasing an editorial which appeared in The Globe and Mail last June when we brought in our final report. It said in part that this report was the coming of age of Canada as a distinctive parliamentary democracy. It put parliamentary reform right up there with the patriation of the Constitution and the drawing up of the Charter of Rights; and, Sir, I may add, with the Prime Minister's dedication to national reconciliation and national renewal. I believe this Prime Minister will be remembered for doing just that. He will be remembered for bringing in parliamentary reform. I want to say to him and Members of this House how grateful I am for the honour bestowed upon us, and I suspect I speak for my colleagues, when he gave us this challenge and asked us to take on this responsibility. I also want to thank him for the demonstration of confidence as exemplified by the motion which is before the House today. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that it is about time this House took its rightful place in the public affairs of this country.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: STANDING ORDERS-PROPOSED AMENDMENTS