Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my Liberal colleague a question about the Senate. As he knows, the New Democratic Party supports the abolition of the Senate because it is unelected. As a matter of fact the people who occupy the Senate are friends of former prime ministers and the current Prime Minister.
Senators are appointed to age 75, and 104 of them and their staff spend about $55 million a year. They have no accountability to anyone. They do not have to go to constituencies to report on what they have been doing on their behalf. They do not do much of behalf of people unless it is a very wealthy family or a very large corporation.
Has my Liberal colleague ever heard of someone by the name of Jim Balfour? Perhaps he could nod his head yes or no.
He has never heard of Mr. Balfour. We have a senator by the name of James Balfour who was appointed 20 years ago by Joe Clark. He was a friend of the then prime minister. He is a Conservative who comes from my home town in Regina.
I have been involved in the public community of Regina for 26 years and I have never met this person. Nor have any of the 6,000 people to whom I have talked. They have never heard of this guy who is a senator representing Saskatchewan, let alone Regina. Over the years Mr. Balfour has an attendance record of maybe 18% or 23% depending on the year we are looking at.
Does the Liberal member opposite, who also supports the abolition of the Senate, believe that there should be more accountability for the people who are there now? Perhaps they should go back to their cities and provinces on occasion to meet one or two people, at least once or twice a year, so that people know they are alive and maybe doing something progressive for the country.
Would the Liberal member comment on Mr. Balfour, the phantom senator from Regina?