Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank all my colleagues who have returned for this committee's work.
It's great to be here in Regina, all the way from Fredericton, New Brunswick, to meet with witnesses who are here today and with folks from the community who have come out to join us. I agree with the comments made by both our presenters today on the importance of engaging Canadians in this conversation—I thank them very much for that—and of ensuring we can effectively have the voices of Canadians reflected within the electoral system, within their Parliament, and within their system of governance.
Something we've heard about for the last number of months now is the challenge in balancing the different values that we want to see reflected in the system.
Professor Smith, I'll start with you. One thing you mentioned was the value that Canadians place on holding government to account. I think a counterpoint to that is the way that communities hold their local representatives to account. I wonder if you can speak a bit on the importance of local representation as reflected in the electoral system. I know that I feel it acutely in the community that I have the honour of representing. I wonder how people in Regina, Saskatoon, or rural areas of this province understand that value of local representation within their electoral system.