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View John Brassard Profile
I'm really concerned about Mr. Turnbull's proposed amendment with respect to the majority vote. I will tell you why. Effectively the problem with what he is proposing, and I want all the members to consider this, is that if in fact, under these extraordinary circumstances, a movement to a fully functioning virtual Parliament occurs, in the event of a majority government, whether it's Liberal, Conservative, NDP or Bloc, the majority government could by vote move Parliament into a chat room.
You think about that. You think about the impact that might have. I know Mr. Alghabra is laughing right now, but that's effectively what Mr. Turnbull's motion is proposing. That's not the way it should work. There has to be consensus.
The reverse of that is the concern I expressed before.
Listen, if there's any reason that needs to be determined as to why, when we're under the gun like this with a deadline of six o'clock today to come through this, when we're talking about things that should be talked about in future studies, this is a perfect example of it. With amendments on the fly and the impact that some of what's being proposed has on Parliament, on our democracy going forward, this is a perfect example of why the May 15 deadline, and certainly the six o'clock deadline tonight, are problematic.
I suggest as well that on the reverse of that, as I mentioned earlier, if one party agrees that we are not going to come out of this crisis and resume Parliament, that puts us in almost an equal position as we are in right now, where a majority government can propose that we end up moving into a virtual chat room.
I don't know how we're going to resolve this. Certainly Mr. Turnbull's proposed amendment on this doesn't address what I think is a very valid concern of the potential abuse of Parliament by a majority government to move us into a virtual setting.
Quite frankly, I don't understand why, with respect to this recommendation, we would even be discussing it in the context of the current crisis. This is something that needs to be addressed and discussed later on in further studies.
Like Mr. Richards, who I know has a lot more experience around here than I do in terms of the way Parliament functions, I am frankly concerned about this amendment and the impact, as I said, for a majority government to simply put us into a chat room. That should be concerning to all members of Parliament, especially those on the committee here, on a going-forward basis.
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