Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you for the opportunity to participate today. I am here on behalf of my House leader, Candice Bergen, to discuss the matter before us today.
I think that my characterization of this initiative will not be the same as Mr. Simms', who called it fantastic. In fact, I think it's putting the cart before the horse here.
As you know, when you were hired to the position, we were in the midst of a prolonged multi-week/month debate and dispute about the Standing Orders about who should be bringing forward changes, in what manner they should be considered, and whether there should be consensus, etc.
I'll go back to your testimony in February 2018, when you told this committee, “The commitment that I had made is that there would be no change to the Standing Orders”, and “understanding completely that no changes are being recommended through this exercise.”
You gave us “absolute guarantee that no changes would be made”, yet we have 70 changes here, which may meet Mr. Simms' description of being fantastic. I guess my primary question first of all is, on whose authority or initiative was this? Why did you take it upon yourself to change the Standing Orders? I would argue that is the purview of members of Parliament to decide if the Standing Orders need to be changed.
You referred many times to “we” throughout your presentation: “We decided. We did this.” Who is “we”, and who decided that this would be a good idea to pursue without having members of Parliament give you that charge?