Thank you, Madam Chair.
I will be brief in my comments because much has already been said.
First and foremost, I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Blaikie for presenting his original motion, and also to thank Mr. Turnbull for his amendments to the motion that he has brought forward today. I think there's a lot of value to both of those.
It's really important that we have this conversation today. It's not at all a filibuster; I just think it's important to share our points of view.
As Mr. Therrien indicated, by no means am I an expert in this matter, like our friend and colleague Mr. Turnbull, but I do certainly believe that having a broader reflection on citizens' assemblies could certainly be beneficial to all of us.
As indicated as well, we certainly know that across the world, citizens' assemblies have been exploding in different countries. There has been a lot of work that's been done in this area.
Just last night during our late-night votes, I was able to do a bit of research as I had a bit of time on my hands. I came across a report from the OECD, which they did in 2020. The report is “Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions—Catching the Deliberative Wave”.
The OECD project brought together an iron-clad team of practitioners, designers, academics, researchers, civil servants, and the list goes on, to examine cases where citizens' assemblies have been used across the world for different topics. For me, when I think of citizens' assemblies, I always think about matters related to electoral reform, but when I looked at that report, there were a number of different studies that were done.
Again, this report looked at why we should use citizens' assemblies and how we should use them. There were three things that really struck me. First and foremost, the experts recommended that they should be focusing on value-driven dilemmas, on policy issues where there's no clear right or wrong. The goal is to find the common ground. To me, it made sense when I read that. Another was they should focus on complex problems that require trade-offs. Often, we need to do that. Finally, they should focus on long-term issues that go beyond electoral cycles. We know those are challenging issues that are dealt with regularly.
When I look at all of that, I'm thinking we should really be looking at expanding this study and reflecting on how we could use citizens' assemblies.
Finally, there are a few examples. I'm not going to get into all of this because time is of the essence here.
In Ireland they looked at some really difficult issues, like the issue of access to abortion and climate change to name [Technical difficulty—Editor]. In France they looked at the whole issue of climate change. We know that's a huge issue that we have to deal with. We have to find some common ground there as well. In Germany they looked at the whole issue of their democratic process. In the U.K. they looked at the issue of meeting their net-zero emission targets by 2050.
Again, I think there's a lot we could learn by doing this study.
I know that my friend and colleague Mr. Turnbull talked about terms of references and what we could look at with respect to this study. We talked about participants: how we are going to recruit them, how we are going to select them. A lot of work needs to be done with respect to that.
Another part that we didn't really discuss was the learning phase. If we have a citizens' advisory committee that's put together, we're all coming at this with very basic knowledge, although perhaps some have a lot of knowledge. I look at the whole issue of electoral reform three years ago. I think we were all [Technical difficulty—Editor] ways that we could vote. I can certainly imagine what PROC committee members had to go through: using common language, asking what it meant, providing definitions, so we're at least using the same lingo.
I think a lot of work could be done with respect to this study. Again, I support MP Blaikie, but I think that with respect to MP Turnbull's amendment, we could have an even greater study.
I'll leave my comments there. Thank you.