Mr. Speaker, I also would like to comment on the hon. member's speech and the whole issue of change.
Members on this side who have been speaking against this particular bill are not opposed to reviewing or changing the process. What is interesting about this bill is it makes no such proposal. There is no proposal to review or to change the process in any meaningful way. It is simply to kill it and substitute nothing other than parliamentary committee hearings controlled by politicians on a matter which is supposed to be the purview of an independent commission.
Let us look at the recommendations of the Lortie commission on redistribution. The previous Parliament set up a commission to look at all aspects of electoral reform and election law. I am not saying that we necessarily approve of those things, but they were studied at considerable expense to the taxpayer of Canada. Now they are just off the table, we are talking about another study.
The Lortie commission recommended to amend the representation formula found in section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 so that Quebec would be assigned 75 seats and other provinces would be assigned seats on the basis of the ratio of their population to Quebec. The senatorial clause would be kept. No province would lose more than one seat from a previous distribution. No province would have fewer seats than a province with a smaller population.
Of course, that formula would lead to a more rapid growth in the number of seats in the House of Commons than the formula we are dealing with today. That was the last time we spent money to discover what was wrong with the process and how we could improve it.
Actually, the Lortie commission said: "Maintain the current composition and manner of appointment of the electoral boundaries commission". The last study was not proposing that we change the method or that we kill this particular process.
One other recommendation from that commission was that electoral boundaries commissions would justify their proposals with reference to communities of interest, et cetera and discontinuance of the procedure of parliamentary committee hearings on electoral boundaries. Instead, the commissions would hold a second set of public hearings if their second proposals departed significantly from their first proposals. In other words far from suggesting that Parliament should get itself involved again in the process or in examining the process, it suggested quite the opposite.
We spent millions of dollars to find out from that particular commission that the opposite should be done. Parliament has no power to change but it does in fact review the recommendations of the boundary commission. We would actually cancel that to go to a second set of public hearings instead of one set of public hearings.
With those observations I would appreciate the comments of the hon. member for Fraser Valley West on whether those recommendations are consistent with what he is hearing from people. Do they at all affect his view of whether we need to amend this act and whether we should be doing it in this way?