Thank you very much.
Part of the project around Bill C-24 has been to try to narrow down why it is that this legislation is necessary and why it's important for Parliament to spend time on it. We heard earlier that one of those reasons is to bring legislation into harmony with the current practice of government.
An earlier line of questioning I was pursing was why we're doing that in the case of regional economic development ministers but not in the case of the different kinds of ministers. The government is not using ministers of state, so presumably, if you wanted the legislation to go here, you would get rid of it, particularly so if there's a principled objection to having ministers of state. This seems to be the case in the debate about whether you have a one-tier ministry or a two-tier ministry.
That's not clear, but I don't expect you to answer that. It's more of a comment than a question.
The other aspect of the legislation seems to be creating equality of ministers, and I've been trying to hone in on what the relevant sense of equality is because it's not exactly clear to me, if I'm being generous. I think there is a superficial answer, which is that it's nice to be called “minister” as opposed to “minister of state”, and maybe get taken more seriously.
In any event, what we did hear from the government House leader was that, with this legislation, the five ministries that we've been concerned about largely in the debate—although there's a sixth now because the Minister of Indigenous Services is currently a minister of state—are ministers to assist. One of the things that Bill C-24 will accomplish is that there will no longer be ministers who assist other ministers. Is that true? Is that one of the goals of Bill C-24, to eliminate scenarios where other ministers are characterized as assisting full ministers?