Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a few comments. I believe Parliament must be a place for the free exchange of ideas. The point of exchange is to make for better decisions and good government. In exchanging views in the House, I agree that we must be prepared to ask and answer difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions. It is in this way that we, as parliamentarians, get to the important values of integrity and accountability that Canadians want to see in their government and institutions.
In the case that has been raised by the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, I believe Canadians are getting a snapshot of what the Liberals view as integrity and accountability. The hon. member, though I am sure she is well intentioned as she always is, has made a number of statements that are taken out of the context of the totality of the speech and the positive remarks therein and taken in a way that is most unfair to a well respected Canadian and champion of transparency and ethics.
Mr. Morgan has been nominated to the position of chairperson of the new Public Appointments Commission. The mandate of the commission is to oversee and report on the selection process for appointments to agencies, boards, commissions and crown corporations. The commission will develop guidelines and review and approve the selection processes proposed by ministers to fill vacancies and report publicly on government's compliance with the guidelines. It is involved in the process only.
The member knows or ought to know that if Mr. Morgan's appointment is approved, he will not be the head of the committee, which recommends who should be appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board.
The hon. member may wonder why the appointments process is being reviewed. We only need to look to the Gomery report to see the case that has been made for reform. Appointments need to be based on merit.
Under the old government, many appointments were unprincipled and political. Canadians, who stood up for change during the last election, want something better. The new government is meeting their calls for merit-based reform.
Is there anyone more capable or excellent for the task of leading the commission's important work in helping government reform appointments? One would have to look long and hard to find someone with those credentials.
Mr. Morgan has an outstanding career in the private sector and has served his community in many capacities as a volunteer and adviser. His skill with organizations can be seen in his having led in the building one of the world's leading oil and gas companies. He is recognized by his peers, having received numerous awards and distinctions, including being named one of Canada's most respected CEOs in 2005. He is highly regarded by colleagues in the business community. This appointment is of the highest importance in terms of credibility before the public, and that is precisely why Mr. Morgan has been selected for this position.
I spoke about the importance of the debate, about integrity and accountability. As I look at the member's questions, it is unfortunate. Canadians have waited for the Liberals to propose a vision for immigration. There was none and no actions were taken. Canadians want action, but the last thing they want is fearmongering or partisan attacks where people are brought down and not brought up.