Mr. Speaker, the definition of respect includes the words to “regard with deference, esteem or honour.” It also includes the phrase to “refrain from offending, corrupting or tempting.” Over the last year I have seen initiatives that have caused my respect for this institution to increase. I have also experienced things that have shaken my respect for this place.
I hope the reports that we had this morning were false. These reports suggested that there is a move from within the Liberal government by its members to provide each of its MPs with a constituency slush fund whereby money would be doled out not under the auspices of independent programs but as the member sees fit. More disturbing is the fact that this has actually been given serious discussion.
At times the arrogance of the government has shaken me but I have never seen such a disconnect from regular folks. I have never heard such a damning proposal and I have never before been embarrassed to be a member of parliament.
Respect must be earned. Let us not throw away the little public respect still left for us and for this institution.