Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank my colleague Robert for his presentation. As a courtesy, he discussed it with me before he filed the submission with our committee.
Mr. Chairman, I would suggest, and I hope Robert agrees, that two criteria in the law are effective representation and community of interest. Obviously the population variance is the third. Certainly, if you read the New Brunswick commission report, they very much privileged the arguments of community of interest and effective representation.
That's why, for example, they left our colleague from Miramichi at almost negative 25%, because they thought, in their judgment, that those two factors, in the words of the New Brunswick commission's final report, were more important than a strictly numerical calculation in a province that's largely rural with a number of growing cities, as is the case for Mr. Goguen.
If community of interest is an important criterion, what Mr. Goguen is suggesting makes eminent sense. This is the first time a portion of the city of Moncton has been added to the rural riding I represent. The only possible explanation must be that they wanted to achieve a reasonable parity between our two ridings. The community of interest is so strong. The workplace migrations are so strong; the school boards, the hospital boards, and the social and cultural activities are very much with Mr. Goguen's community of Moncton. I think they can be certainly as effectively represented by Mr. Goguen as they would be if I were their member of Parliament.
I didn't submit a request to appear, so I've just appeared from the committee table. I didn't recuse myself, as Tom did on another matter.
Mr. Chairman, I wanted to put this on the record because I think Robert makes a very commonsensical, eminent argument. The people in those communities told me, when they realized this was the proposal in the second report.... It was not in the first report, as was noted in response to Alexandrine's question. They will be very surprised on election day to realize they're voting with rural communities an hour away by car when the other side of the Trans-Canada Highway is the riding they had always been involved in.
I'm wondering if Mr. Goguen would agree with that very logical argument I've just made.