Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague across the way touched on a number of points within his speech and I have a couple of questions for him.
Before I ask the questions, I would like to say that when the government came forward with the federal accountability action plan, the whole purpose of the government's ideas were to bring forward accountability to government, not because of the former government, not just to the present government but to government, period, the government as a whole.
I know the government and the Conservative Party certainly have wanted to promote a whole culture of accountability. They wanted to ensure that Canadians across this country would be able to gain again confidence in government, not confidence in the Conservative Party or in any other party but confidence in government because across this land we are seeing more and more people lose confidence in politicians, politics and government.
I will now go to the question that the member caused me to bring forward. I had not thought of it, but he talked about the tenure of deputy ministers. He mentioned in his speech that the average deputy minister would spend approximately a year and a half in that position. I want to tell a quick story.
I jumped aboard one of the green buses on Parliament Hill once. There was a new minister who had been appointed after one of the famous four from the past government was asked to leave office by the then Prime Minister. As I talked to this new minister, I asked him if he would consider one or two things in the ministry that he might achieve while he was there. He had great plans. He had great ideas of what he could do. About two weeks later, I spoke to the same minister and he said that the bureaucracy basically was running his department.
My question is in regard to the year and a half. If ministers were to have the ability to request the Prime Minister to remove a deputy and to have someone in the position that they can work closely with, why then would they not be in favour of ministerial accountability and ensure that their ministry is set up the way they would like to see it set up? Why would ministers not do that?