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View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Madam Chair. I always appreciate a robust discussion. I believe that's an important part of the reason we're here. I appreciate the most considerate mention of Mr. Christopherson, who was an amazing member of Parliament and someone I considered to be a mentor to me. I'm very proud of the work he did in this place and I miss him.
I just want to be really clear, though, that this is not about moving a motion that will fundamentally change the Standing Orders. This is for the 43rd Parliament. I just want to put that out there again as a reminder. This is very specific and clear about this Parliament. It's not a fundamental change. It's one that will take place during this Parliament.
The precedent has already been set through the motion that was put on the floor for the Conservatives. I will remind everyone that that motion was not unanimously agreed to in the House of Commons, and yet here it is in practice, and that is the case in some of these situations.
I'm not sure what happened, but in good faith we did reach out to every office of the other parties. If there was a miscommunication, I would love to hear how we could do better in the future. I leave that to the Conservatives to let me know. At the end of the day, I believe that this is a Parliament in which we know Canadians want to see a spirit of co-operation, of collaboration, and of respect for the parties that were sent here. This is our way to move forward to have better outcomes.
We know that yesterday in the finance and trade committees the decision to defer the vote for the vice-chairs was unanimous, as far as I heard. Obviously there was already understanding that there were some discussions happening, and I just want to appreciate that. One of the things that need to be understood here is that this is really about allowing space for all parties so that there isn't debate and discouragement between the two other opposition parties about who should be in what role. This is about respecting all parties, and I think this is one of the best parts about a minority Parliament.
Of course, as you all may know, I am a strong supporter of electoral reform and would have loved to see a different format. That's not where we're at, but we are in a minority situation with three opposition parties. This motion allows all of those parties to be recognized and respected in that role. I'm sad to see this debate go on. I was hoping that people would see the sense of collaboration and move forward. Hopefully we can move forward to a vote and get onto the important business that we need to do to ensure that the committees in this place are up and running as soon as they possibly can.
Thank you.
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