Mr. Speaker, I have a brief comment to make before asking my honourable colleague a question.
I recently mailed out in my riding 48,000 copies of a 16-page pamphlet containing a great deal of information on senators, with a breakdown of their income and benefits, and what they do in the Senate. In addition to being extremely well paid and having a multitude of benefits, they serve particular interests. Some even sit on the board of multiple corporations, as well as defending the interests of certain parties.
The reaction in my riding was extremely virulent. Hundreds of people called up to ask “How can Canada allow an institution that is not representative, not elected and not accountable?”
In the pamphlet, I gave two phone numbers, one for the Senate, which I think is still connected, and the other for the PMO. They have been swamped with calls and the PMO line had to be disconnected. The Senate line may well follow suit before long if people keep on calling.
One of the points raised by the leader of the government in the House was that there were a great many constitutional problems relating to the Senate regulations. In this document, since we have the power to set the Senate's budget, I propose that its budget be limited to $1 per senator per year. This will encourage the senators to retire.
I would therefore ask my colleague if he finds that budget formula more acceptable than allocating $30 million to the Senate.