moved for leave to introduce Bill C-552, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (representation of women).
Mr. Speaker, for a number of years Canadians have been demanding democratic renewal of Canada's Parliament.
With a changing cultural landscape, Canada's Parliament should be representative of the diversity that is celebrated in this country. Sadly, the reality is that today, less than 25% of the total elected members of the House of Commons are women. That is why this morning I am tabling a bill that would alter the formula of special allowances per vote received by political parties.
My bill would amend the Elections Act to provide a special quarterly allowance for registered parties in which a certain percentage of the members elected are women.
In addition to the existing quarterly allowances paid to political parties, which is $1.95 per year for each valid vote cast, the bill provides for a special quarterly allowance for parties in which women represent 20% of the elected members. The 20% threshold was selected because it corresponds to an overall average in the House of Commons, where for several decades now, women have held at least 20% of the total number of seats.
The proportion of women in the House has never been higher than 30%. Although it has been as high as 25% or 30%, it has since fallen and now varies between 20% and 25%.
This would be a special quarterly allowance of 20¢ to 40¢ per year, depending on the percentage of women elected for each political party.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)