Overall, I also think this makes sense in the event of the death of a member. I was first elected 13 years ago. Unfortunately, several members have died since.
It is unfortunate that it has been difficult to support the families of the members to date. I think this is important. Changing the policy is a sign of respect for the members and their families.
There are also special accommodations for members. Some members sometimes have problems, and I think it's important to help them, especially when it comes to addiction issues. It's better than always bringing these issues back to the Board of Internal Economy.
Those are important aspects, but I would like to voice a concern.
It is on the question of sign language interpretation services. Having worked with the deaf community before I was elected, I think this is really a question of accessibility. I have events all the time with sign language interpreters, and I find this to be an essential question of accessibility for deaf Canadians, which is a responsibility of all members of Parliament.
This would actually reduce access to sign language interpretation. I don't see that as a positive thing. I see that as a negative. We should be talking about expanding accessibility so that deaf Canadians can attend these events. By limiting it to the MOB, as opposed to having the option of going through House officers as well, it will mean ultimately that fewer members will provide sign language interpretation at their events, which means less accessibility. I have real difficulties with that.
I don't have any difficulties with any of the other changes. If we could set that one aside and consider it at a future BOIE, I would feel much more comfortable. That issue probably needs to be discussed at the BOIE, but I would suggest taking a different tack so that we are encouraging sign language interpretation for our deaf constituents.