Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my hon. colleague's speech and a few things puzzle me about his speech.
First of all, we have perhaps the first and second actions of the Prime Minister on taking office which are: first, appointing someone, a former financial supporter from Montreal to the Senate, which he said he would not do; and second, he put that person in the cabinet as Minister of Public Works. The two first decisions of the Prime Minister regarding the Senate go against his election promises and go against what he says he is trying to now rapidly run backwards and trying to fix with Bill C-43.
Let me ask the hon. member a question because it is another would-be senator that is of interest as well. We have Mr. Bert Brown, the senator-in-waiting, for supposedly the same principles that are enunciated in the bill, taking the consultative referendum or preference given by a province or territory.
I would ask my hon. colleague to consider and recall how many Es did Bert Brown plough in his barley field? It was not one E. There were three Es: equal, elected, effective and comprehensive. It is not done piecemeal. There is no room for what the hon. member calls baby steps.
Canada is a big country. Let us have the constitutional courage of the Fathers of Confederation, and open it up and do it properly if we are going to do it. We should not say we are going to do one thing and do another as with Senator Fortier. Then, of course, even worse, trying to do it piecemeal.
The most extraordinary thing is that this hon. member pretends to represent people from British Columbia, the most disadvantaged people in the country, by giving more validity, more credibility, and elected status to a senator when the distribution is so clearly against the equal distribution for the west and British Columbia.
I would like to hear the hon. member explain to his constituents and my constituents in British Columbia why this could possibly be a good thing, entrenching and amplifying the distribution that is so much to the disadvantage of British Columbians?