Thank you very much, and congratulations on your election to Parliament. I hope that collectively we can find a way such that your four-year-old son will see his dad more often than perhaps other kids in different Parliaments saw their parents. That can be done in a way such that we can also serve our constituents and fulfill our responsibilities here.
On your comments about openness and transparency, I understand what you're saying. I came from a cabinet committee this morning on open and transparent government, so we have a cabinet committee focusing on these exact issues.
With respect to the Senate process, I hear what you're saying. In a different frame and a different constitutional context, there may have been a different way to do it. We are very much guided by the Supreme Court of Canada reference that Mr. Harper's government brought—we thought properly—to the Supreme Court to clear up what are in fact the rules. What is possible? What's not possible? It should bring clarity to the conversation around how to improve the Senate and to understand when you would or would not trigger a constitutional change.
Our commitment was to make incremental improvements while not reopening the Constitution. This more inclusive process, by which we hope the Prime Minister receives high-quality recommended names from a committee of people who are not strictly partisan advisers, we think is an incremental improvement.
On this business about releasing the names, we had a conversation about that, to be honest. Suppose the advisory committee gives the Prime Minister five names in the case of an appointment from New Brunswick. I'm not sure that the five people who may agree to be on that list to be considered as a potential appointment to the Senate would agree if they thought the list was to be made public, because to some extent it is a judgment on the four who weren't selected.
In a judicial appointments process, the Attorney General has a list of qualified persons determined by a judicial advisory committee. Every time we make a judicial appointment, we don't announce that there were 38 people on the list who weren't selected and we chose the 39th one. I'm just conscious from a human resources perspective about doing it in a way that respects privacy but also the professional and personal lives of the other people. That was the thinking behind it, but it may not be a perfect solution. In our view, it's a beginning and an incremental improvement.