Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to read parts of David Smith's book The People's House of Commons that is at the Library of Parliament. He is an eminent Saskatchewan political scientist who has said that the triple E cause for the Senate, which the government in part espouses, is really the work of Canada west and a number of academics, but he also posits that the House of Commons is the people's house. Whereas the Senate should represent provincial interests, the House of Commons represents the people's interests and unless we move to a representation by population model, the defenders of voting power disparities between the provinces, which is what this bill creates, may justify the status quo by invoking federalism, but the right to vote is an individual right, not the right of a province.
I would ask the minister to keep that in mind while I ask him two small questions based on his comments inside the House and outside the House. He talked about a manageable size. In interviews, he has said that one of the reasons Ontario is not getting its fair share of seats has something to do with the size of the chamber. I want him to address that issue and clarify it forever.
I also want to know why he, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance, men not without influence in the government, presumably or putatively, cannot convince the government to give Ontario more than the 10 seats it deserves. Are they self-loathing Ontario politicians or do they think that the premier of Ontario is a small man in this Confederation when he says, “I just want for Ontario what it deserves?”