Mr. Speaker, I had the honour today to participate in a rally on Parliament Hill with several of my colleagues, including the hon. member across the way.
I would like to pose a question to my hon. colleague. I remember having taken part in committee meetings with regard to the whole idea of accountability. I remember very well refusals by representatives from the Senate to speak to the accountability of that body.
Let us analyse it. Is the Senate accountable to the taxpayer? I do not happen to think so because I do not think taxpayers would approve a 16% budget increase over two years when the House of Commons gets 2% and generally government operations get 3%. I cannot think of anyone who would make such demands, especially under the circumstances when the Senate works 66 half days a year.
I then look at it in terms of whether or not the Senate is accountable to the House of Commons. According to the Senate it is not accountable to the House of Commons. That is one of the reasons it is willing to raise its budgets, not be accountable to anybody else, and say that it will go ahead and hold hostage the House of Commons and push for work stoppages in this place if we try to call it into question.
The Senate always likes to say that it is not accountable to the Prime Minister either. I could go through all the appointments various prime ministers including this current one have made, but once they are appointed they say they are no longer accountable to the Prime Minister.
I do not believe that the Senate is accountable to taxpayers. I do not believe the Senate is accountable to the House of Commons. I do not believe the Senate is accountable to the Prime Minister. To whom is it accountable?