Mr. Speaker, when the former Reformers look in the mirror and see Liberals, they must feel a little queasy.
In the 1990s they were on their high horses, calling for change in Ottawa. There were too many partisan appointments, too many members of Parliament taking liberties. There was too much of the Liberal culture of entitlement, not to mention their aversion to the Senate.
“Too expensive,” said some. “Undemocratic,” added others. “A relic of the 19th century”, added the Prime Minister, who was an ordinary member of Parliament at the time and still had some principles.
Alas, many years later, they have settled in comfortably and their principles have flown out the window. Now they fight tooth and nail in defence of Senator Wallin and her enormous spending—at taxpayers' expense—on travel to campaign for the Conservative Party.
The senator from Nunavut has a phony residence, but he is exempt because the Senate is a “complex file with many facets”. No wonder even Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is calling for a referendum on the future of the Senate. He admits himself that the Senate has no legitimacy.
We in the NDP are clear: we will abolish the Senate. And, unlike the Conservatives, we will keep our promise.