Mr. Speaker, while I acknowledge the government's efforts to increase gender equality in the cabinet, this bill illustrates the law of unintended consequences. It is increasing the remuneration and salaries of ministers of the executive branch of government. We have seen in this place, not just with the current government but with previous governments that have been in this place for the last number of decades, that time after time the House of Commons passes legislation, makes changes to the Standing Orders, makes changes to unwritten conventions that enhance the power and the budgets of the executive branch of government to the detriment of this elected legislature.
For that reason, I do not support the bill. We need to stop this scope creep of ever-increasing budgets and remuneration for the executive branch of government to the detriment of this place. It started with the formal recognition of recognized parties in the House of Commons, then extended to the recognition of registered political parties outside of Parliament, then the extension of the leader's power over registered electoral district associations, and now, once again, an enhancement of the budgets and power of the executive branch of government.
We have to stop this creep into the rights of members of Parliament, into the rights of this legislature, and see power re-balanced in this town. Most people do not realize that the overall budget for members of Parliament to hire staff is about $120 million, but the budget, just for one person in this place, the Prime Minister's office, ministerial staffers in ministers' offices is almost half of that, $60 million. By increasing the remuneration, salaries, and budgets of ministers of the executive branch of government is a step in the wrong direction to rebalancing power in this town and ensuring that the elected representatives who are not in those 25 or so seats in government have a stronger voice on the floor of the House.