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View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have a small preamble. First of all, I'd like to thank the committee for your indulgence in inviting us to be here today. However, independents often need, not just today but more often, opportunities for input into all of the standing committee business, especially after we've seen the recent assault on independents' rights at report stage in the House. We really hope and expect that in the future there will be more and better opportunities like this one.
We need to recognize that there is a difference between independents and the parties, but also within the group of independents and small parties. To have one person try to represent the interests of nine people is hard, to be candid. So I hope we can continue to deal with this in a better way.
I thank both gentlemen for coming, as I have learned a lot here today.
Mr. Walsh, I was most impressed with your delivery. It was knowledgeable, succinct, clear, and I actually understood it. That's a wonderful thing at these committee meetings when you understand what's going on. I like your idea that recognized parties have more equal standing on the committee. I think that's a great idea, especially given that we don't really have a majority here in Canada, unlike most western democracies. We have what I call a “false majority”, where you can get the appearance of a majority of the seats without a majority of the national electorate.
I'm not asking you to comment on that, but do you have thoughts on how independents and smaller parties can best be represented on the Board of Internal Economy?
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View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
I do like your idea about lay membership. That may help improve the situation.
My second question is to both of you. My budget is inadequate. It's been frozen since before I became a member. The PMO budget has gone up astronomically. I can't imagine how I could ever misappropriate any money from my budget. For several years I actually had to go over budget and spend out of my pocket in after-tax dollars just to do my job properly. So I'm not too worried about it.
Building on that, aren't there dis-economies of scale here if we start to spend $10 to save $1? I'm finding now that the controls are quite adequate for parliamentarians, especially for a backbencher with a limited budget. I am concerned that we are going to make things more difficult and actually more expensive with the way we seem to be proceeding here.
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