If I may say so, Mr. Speaker, in 15 minutes in this place you could actually describe the entire Constitution, so I am very delighted to have that much time to dwell on a few points that I had commenced at the beginning before question period.
In my earlier remarks I was alluding to the fact that I was actually praising the legislation for having defined public office holders so there was no ambiguity that ministers of the Crown and their exempt staff were covered by this legislation, whereas we note that under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act there is ambiguity and they are not legislatively covered, although the government has taken steps to make sure that this type of information from that type of individual is available.
Having said that, I have to sound a negative note. I always regret to criticize a government bill in any way naturally, but I do note in this legislation that they have struck the ethics counsellor from schedule I in the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and they have not replaced the ethics commissioner in that schedule I.
Schedule I, Mr. Speaker, as you well know, defines what government institutions are governed by the Access to Information Act. The Access to Information Act guarantees that Canadians have a right to get certain operational information and transparency related information from these various government institutions that are listed under schedule I. So indeed it is a disappointment to see the ethics commissioner is not listed under schedule I even though the ethics counsellor, his predecessor, was.
I think the rationale is that this new ethics commissioner as described in Bill C-34 is to be seen in the same context as an officer of Parliament as the Information Commissioner as the Privacy Commissioner. Mr. Speaker, I do note that these other officers of Parliament are not under the Access to Information Act. I would suggest to you that what needs to happen is that all officers of Parliament have to come under the Access to Information Act. It should be done with alacrity, not just for the ethics commissioner but for the Privacy Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner.