House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was grandparents.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Reform MP for Mission—Coquitlam (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 1993, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Drinking Water April 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Health but in view of the seriousness of this potential threat I would like it to be taken seriously. It is a serious threat to the health of Canadians resulting in increased cost to our health care system.

Will the minister launch a public investigation into the continued use of chlorine and chloramine in our drinking water in Canada?

Drinking Water April 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is inspired by my constituents and is for the Minister of Health.

Many Canadians are purchasing bottled water or using purification systems on their chlorine treated drinking water supply and there are continued health warnings against the use of chlorine or chloramine.

Is the minister aware of the reported health risks involved with the continued use of chlorine and chloramine?

Members Of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act April 25th, 1994

Getting back to federal pensions, the very first step in pension reform should be to outlaw that type of double dipping. MPs should not be permitted to collect a pension until they reach an age considered pensionable among the Canadian public, somewhere between the ages of 60 or 65.

Also the pension should bear some relationship to contributions. At present the taxpayer contributes at least five times as much as MPs do to the pension payouts. That is a ratio which is destined to grow.

Finally some leadership has to be shown from the political representatives who endlessly beseech Canadians to cut back, to reduce their expectations. These pleas lose their lustre when the politicians neatly exempt themselves from the sacrifices. Klein realized this. The Prime Minister probably does too. All he needs to do now is act.

Members Of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act April 25th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I thought you were going to tell me my time was up.

I was under the impression that if an MP was no longer an MP it was quite all right to mention their name.

Members Of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act April 25th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the bill today.

This bill to amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act raised by my friend in the Conservative Party is a positive step and long overdue. The MPs pension plan is part of the reason Canadians are disillusioned with politics and with politicians.

The vote on October 26, 1993 to change the government in Ottawa was as a result of many things, not the least of which was the need to reform the MPs gold plated pension plan. Often in the House when the government enjoys a clear majority, the majority overrides voices in the opposition who are often and only repeating the frustrations of Canadians.

Government members protest constantly against the elected representatives who are only doing what they promised Canadians: to get rid of the obscene MPs pension plan for one. When I hear Liberal MPs protestations I am reminded of a phrase from literature to the effect: methinks thou doth protest too much.

It seems strange to be defending a Conservative motion which in essence has been part of the Reform Party platform over the last few years. It seems strange when other Reform MPs and I were elected on the basis of our promises and MP pension reform was high on the list.

One of the promises I made to constituents time and time again was to fight the current MP pension plan and change the system so that retiring MPs, those whom the voters have stated they have no confidence in, those who lost their jobs in the October federal election, would not be eligible for hefty pensions, at least not eligible until age 60.

Politicians must realize they should have no more rights than other Canadians in the private sector like the employees of Woodward's department store who had to face a changing world with no guarantees and certainly no gold plated pension plan.

Defeated and retiring MPs will cost Canadians close to $2 million per year in pension payments on top of current pension payouts. Is this right? No, of course it is not right. The payouts are obscene. If the government hopes to restore confidence in the political process it must take quick action to scrap this ridiculous pension plan.

Part of our accountability and responsibility as members of Parliament must be reflected in our own pension plan. According to the Liberal Party platform the incoming government supports a review of the lucrative pension scheme with a special look at the age at which pensions begin to be collected. That is a good sign.

The pension plan is indefensible, even in good times when Ottawa's vaults are overflowing and the public is feeling wonderfully generous toward its politicians. In bad times when many Canadians are suffering and the government is hard pressed to find basic programs, this plan amounts to little more than robbery. There are probably east European dictators who never had it so good as retiring Canadian members of Parliament.

MPs should not be setting their own wages nor their own pensions. They should be set by an independent body which reflects a cross-section of Canadians. It could be businessmen, academics, professionals, home workers and many others. No group should police itself in our society or set its own wages when those wages come from the public purse.

It is hoped the Prime Minister will recognize the public hostility to this obscene plan. Premier Ralph Klein recognized the public hostility to a rich pension plan for MLAs in a time of hardship. His decision to kill the Alberta MLAs pension plan was probably the single most important factor in the re-election of the provincial Conservative government. It was also a factor that Prime Minister Kim Campbell fatally ignored when she set up a commission on federal pensions rather than act directly.

The Canadian people who heard former finance minister Michael Wilson promise in 1984 to reduce pensions were not fooled by more promises. Chrétien should take the right example: not Wilson, not Campbell, but that of Klein.

It may be that some form of taxpayer assisted federal pension plan should survive. There may in the end be justifications accepted by the public for a plan to assist politicians in retirement. These can be explored.

This bill does not mention the Reform Party's clause on stopping the indexation of the MPs pension plan. Here we have a pension plan where the Canadian taxpayers have to pay far more than their fair share in contributions. The added insult is in indexing.

Former Conservative cabinet minister Perrin Beatty, only 43, qualifies for a pension of over $70,000 annually until he is 60, at which time it will be adjusted to take into account the preceding 17 years of inflation. The Reform Party which has made MPs pensions an issue estimates that Beatty will collect more than $5 million in pension payments if he lives till 75.

When we become government we will continue as we have started. Even in opposition we have kept our word to the Canadian people. We have taken less in salary or in allowance, forgone other MPs benefits and pushed for changes in many areas, particularly parliamentary reform.

We will continue to fight for changes to the MPs pension plan, but not changes like those made by the previous government in January 1992. Those changes illustrate how excessive MPs benefits are.

One of the changes came about because the MPs benefits exceeded the limits allowed for registration under the Income Tax Act. The federal government therefore had to divide the pension plan into two separate sections to keep it registered. The first section, the retiring allowances account, met the requirements for registration while the second, the compensation arrangement account, fleshed out the plan so the MPs could still receive their lavish benefits.

A 1988 actuarial study of the plan revealed that the contributions made by the politicians, which were matched by the government, would fall $144 million short of paying for the MPs projected benefits. Therefore, in the January 1992 changes the government moved to make the plan self-sufficient.

First, the government provided a cash infusion to make up for the plan's accumulated shortfall, which by that time had risen to $158 million. Second, to ensure no further shortfalls would accumulate, the government had to choose one of a combination of the following scenarios. Either the MPs would have to reduce their pension benefits and/or increase their contributions, or the government would have to increase the amount of tax dollars being funnelled into the plan.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out which route was chosen. Treasury Board decided that Canadian taxpayers would be more than willing to keep making up the difference so the MPs plan could keep its gold plating.

A ratio of one to one, one to two, but seven to one? While MPs contribute $7,000 to their pension plan on their $64,000 sessional allowance taxpayers have to contribute about $41,000 per year on behalf of each MP.

There is another aspect to the pensions which is equally insupportable, the right of retired MPs to go on collecting a pension even as they collect another federal public salary. I repeat federal. Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent is a good example, collecting both a handsome pension and a large salary, because of his appointment by Mulroney to a human rights agency.

I am listening to the frustrations coming from the other side. Another gross example is former Mulroney cabinet minister Benoit Bouchard who will collect both an MP-

Drinking Water April 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, whose responsibility is it to ensure Canadians, in this case British Columbians, receive accurate and reliable information on the drinking water and the methods used for disinfection?

Is it the municipalities that form the local greater Vancouver regional district boards and have direct input and control of the poisons put in our water systems? Is it the province and the greater Vancouver regional water district that together contribute to the logging of our watersheds and thereby increase the amount of sediment and organic material within our drinking water and that gave our watersheds a new name, tree farm licence No. 42?

Is it the federal government and the environment ministry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that could initiate a ban on chlorine and all chlorinated compounds which have already proven extremely toxic to fish? Is it our health departments that should be aware of the many research reports clearly indicating the increase in cancer and heart problems since chlorine has been used in our water systems?

Canadians want honest answers and accountability.

Non-Confidence Motions April 18th, 1994


That, in the opinion of the this House, the government should permit members of the House of Commons to fully represent their constituents' views on the government's legislative program and spending plans by adopting the position that the defeat of any government measure, including a spending measure, shall not automatically mean the defeat of the government unless followed by the adoption of a formal motion.

Mr. Speaker, in the time available to me today I would like to explain my motion so that members of this House will clearly know what they are being asked to vote on.

As this is a votable motion, declared so by the procedure and House affairs committee, it will be the first time, at least as far as I can determine, that members will have the opportunity to express themselves on the issues of confidence and flowing from that the issue of freer voting in the House.

I would also like to address the history of voting in this House, a history which has been characterized by political party discipline or voting along party lines. I will refer to the experience in other jurisdictions such as Great Britain where there has been a noticeable relaxation of the party whip.

My research indicates that in Australia and New Zealand, while party discipline is somewhat less than in Canada but more than in Great Britain, there are clear avenues for backbenchers, private members, to influence the policies of their party.

I will conclude by dealing with the criticisms of allowing freer voting by members of the House of Commons. I must admit that I am surprised there are any criticisms because of the support this issue has received in the last two Parliaments. When I first spoke on this subject on January 21, the hon. member for Broadview-Greenwood took issue with my arguments and more recently at a meeting of the House of Commons committee on procedure and House affairs I was amazed by the arguments raised by members opposite.

I believe it is necessary that these be addressed, fears put to bed so that all members of the House may join together to support this motion. The motion refers actually to three matters: relaxation of the confidence convention, freer voting and representation of constituents' interests.

By relaxing the confidence convention I mean that only votes that are explicitly labelled as confidence votes when lost by the government bring about the government's resignation. There is a myth that has been spread about this place for many years that

the government cannot lose votes. If it does it must resign, either forcing an election or putting the Governor General into the position of calling on someone else to see if she or he can form a government.

Intellectually, we all know this is nonsense. Yet it is the practice followed in this House, and my motion would narrowly define the confidence convention. The result of a narrow definition of this convention should be that members, especially government backbench members, should feel freed from the strictures of party discipline to occasionally vote against the party line.

In fact, the beneficial effect of this motion applies to all members, both government and opposition. Government members would feel free to vote against the party line because losing an occasional vote will not mean the defeat of the government. Once this type of thinking is understood by the party leadership, those voting against the party line should also not be subject to retribution or punishment. At the same time we in opposition should feel free to vote with the government members from time to time. The government cannot always be wrong, even this government. It is incumbent on us in opposition to recognize this fact and from time to time vote with the government even though our party leadership may try to convince us otherwise. I also want to make it clear that I am speaking about freer voting and not the declaration of free votes which is done under the direction of party leadership.

Finally, why or when would the break come with party discipline? My motion reads that it would be done "to fully represent their constituents' views". This is one example of when it may be done but there are others. However, I want to deal with the issue of representing constituents' views because there seems to be a lack of understanding of the position of the Reform Party on this matter. Let me be very clear.

Unlike some elections in the past, the 1993 election was significant in that the three recognized parties that are now in the House set out for Canadians platforms which to a great extent detailed how the parties would deal with the major issues as these issues presented themselves in the fall of 1993.

They were what Canadians voted for when they voted on October 25, 1993. To a great extent, we believe that when an issue arises which was in the party platform then the member is obligated to vote the party line. I could argue that the Liberal red book may be long on theory and grandiose but very short on implementation plans and there is room for departure from the party line. However, I am not here to discuss Liberal Party policies.

My main point is that issues will come along which are new, issues which are not found or addressed in party platforms. Two such issues come quickly to mind; cigarette smuggling and constituency boundary redistribution. On these issues and issues like them members should feel less inclined to blindly support the party line.

As well as breaking with their party to represent constituents' views, members could also be representing their own views based on common sense logic which the individual member may bring to the issue in question.

There is a feeling that if members are suddenly freed from party discipline there will be chaos with complete unpredictability in the system. Members will be voting every which way and Parliament will become unworkable and the country ungovernable.

This is not where this motion leads at all. It simply recognizes that on occasion members without fear of retribution from party leadership may vote against the party line. The government will not fall. The sun will still rise in the east and I believe the interests of Canadians will be better served by their elected representatives. Is that not what we are all here to do, serve the Canadian public to the best of our abilities?

Enough about the content of my motion. Now I would like to deal with the history of this matter, a history which began long before most of us got here. It began with a feeling of dissatisfaction among the Canadian people which was detected by the Canadian Study of Parliamentary Group in a Gallup poll it commissioned in 1983.

A question was asked as to how MPs should behave when voting. The response was that 49.5 per cent felt members should vote according to their own judgment. By way of contrast the view that the member should vote as the party wishes received very little support. The national average in the survey favouring the MP as party loyalists was only 7.9 per cent.

The frustration with MPs following the party line which the public expressed in this survey found its way into the 1985 report of the special committee on Reform of the House of Commons. This committee believed that "the purpose of reform of the House of Commons in 1985 is to restore to private members an effective legislative function, to give them a meaningful role in the formation of public policy". One of the main methods by which this goal was to be accomplished was by attitudinal change. This would result in a relaxation of the confidence convention, allowing members to occasionally vote against the party line without fear of bringing down the government or retribution by the party leadership.

The report of the McGrath committee was quite clear on the subject of the confidence convention and freer votes. The committee stated that "once elected, members of Parliament are legally and constitutionally entitled to act independently". In

the House they can speak and vote as they like. "If they choose to deviate from the party line they are free to do so provided they accept the political risks".

It was these political risks that the McGrath committee through its recommendations was trying to minimize. The committee went on to describe the ideal situation. "Rigid discipline is hardly compatible with a philosophy of a democratic political party, and reasonable latitude consistent with loyalty to the party should be permitted the individual members of any party".

This was the middle ground which the committee sought and it is the middle ground that the motion before the House today seeks to establish: loyalty to a political party, but not blind loyalty, loyalty combined with the latitude to vote against the party line on occasion.

The McGrath committee offered five observations on the confidence convention and this is one of them.

In a Parliament with a government in command of the majority the matter of confidence has really been settled by the electorate. Short of a reversal of allegiance or some major cataclysmic political event the question of confidence is really a fait accompli. The government and other parties should therefore have the wisdom to permit members to decide many matters in their own deliberative judgment. Overuse of party whips and of confidence motions devalues both these important institutions.

We are fortunate in this Parliament to have two members of that committee still with us, the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is my hope that both will find time to speak on the motion before it comes to a vote.

More recently in April 1993 the House management committee recommended:

Members of Parliament should be made more aware of a confidence convention and the observations of the special committee on Reform of the House of Commons. With few exceptions, motions proposed by the government should be considered as motions of confidence only when clearly identified as such by the government.

However, the committee which was made up of many members who are still in this Parliament, such as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the Minister of Health and the hon. member for Saint-Léonard were realistic in its prediction of the effect of this recommendation. It stated:

The Canadian parliamentary system does have extremely strong party discipline, one that is perhaps stronger than in many other systems. The committee endorses the idea of freeing up voting in the House but we hesitate to create unreasonably high expectations. It is not a procedural issue. Ultimately it is up to the individual members and Parliament.

Why did these groups of members of this place in previous Parliaments feel relaxation of the confidence convention and freer voting were so important? I believe that these members properly read the mood of the Canadian public.

With the advent of the information age, the public is better informed about political institutions. The work of the members of these institutions, and as a result the public, is less willing to follow without questioning the lead of elected representatives. They expect their representatives to be well informed and represent the best interests of their constituents. This well informed public does not respond to leadership the way it used to. The actions of Canadians in the referendum on the Charlottetown accord is ample evidence of their refusal to be blindly led.

The public also expects its elected representatives not to be blindly led. As well the public feels disenfranchised when members are forced by the threat of dire consequences to a member's political future to vote in a fashion which is perceived by the public to not represent the public interest. Lack of independence in voting is equated with lack of influence in the policy making process. Those involved in the political process make the argument that the influence of the private member is exercised in caucus or in private meetings with ministers. For the public this is not good enough any more.

The public wants to feel that its views are taken into consideration more than just every four or five years at general elections. The public also wants to see a public demonstration that its views are being heard and acted on. This public demonstration most often occurs in the act of voting by an MP.

This exercise of independence by members of the House of Commons has occurred to a great extent in Great Britain and their system of responsible government has survived. In the period between April 1972 and April 1979 there were 65 defeats of the government in Great Britain. These defeats were important because they helped destroy the myth that had arisen to the effect that any government defeat endangered its continuance in office.

They were also important in that they influenced the behaviour of subsequent members of Parliament by established a precedent. MPs from all parties became less willing to accept party dictates on matters of policy and voting. Those who defied the party whips discovered they could do so with little negative sanction and were encouraged to do so more often. Others were influenced in turn by their example.

In Canada our experience with cross voting is more limited but in the sixties and seventies we did have experience with governments losing votes and not resigning.

Therefore I believe I have established that a relaxation of the confidence convention and freer voting has been the subject of study and positive recommendations of at least two parliamentary committees, many members of which are still sitting in the House today. As well we know of at least one other jurisdiction where what would be the results of my motion has been put into action with no dire consequences. Responsible government still prevails, political parties still exist-they have not been deemed obsolete-and most important of all, the public through its members in the House of Commons has some real influence over the policy making process.

I would like to address some of the criticisms that have been levied against relaxation of the confidence convention and freer voting in the House. It is argued that freer voting would have a negative effect on the future well-being of political parties. Political parties are vitally important to the system, especially at election time, for the development of policy and the support the leader can give individual candidates. Also between elections political parties can give tax receipts for contributions.

I cannot stress it enough; freer voting will not have a negative effect on either the continuance of political parties, nor on their ability to meld together various divergent viewpoints. Freer voting does not mean that on every issue members will be voting in unpredictable ways. As I stated in the beginning of my speech, on issues where the party platform is clear, members would be expected to support the party. It is in those other areas outside the platform where I believe freer voting should be allowed.

It is also argued that the government will be criticized for bringing legislation forward and then telling members that defeat of the measure will not be deemed to be a vote of non-confidence in the government. It will be argued that the government is wasting House time with proposed legislation that it does not care about.

I believe that instead of being criticized for such an attitude the government will be praised for allowing all elected members to take part in the policy influencing process. Too often governments have taken the House of Commons for granted, paying lip service to obtain support on critical votes and lapsing back into a dictatorial demeanour.

Another argument presented against freer voting is that if dissent is allowed the government will not be able to make tough decisions because members will duck making unpopular but necessary decisions. While the possibility of dissent may make it tougher for political parties to take potentially unpopular stands, it also presents a challenge, a challenge to inform the public of the necessity of an unpopular decision. It may also force political parties when they are developing an election platform to be as forward thinking as possible so most issues are covered in the party platform and there are no surprises for the public after the election.

Another point often made is that there are plenty of other avenues open to a member to show his or her displeasure with party leadership than voting against the party line in the House of Commons. While at first glance this may seem to be true, there are in reality few effective means available to members to express dissent.

For example, a private member's bill takes a very long time to become law under the best of circumstances. Question period, because the list is controlled by the party leadership, is a difficult time for a dissident government backbencher. Such a member may get to ask one tough question and that is it.

The criticisms regarding the relaxation of confidence convention and freer votes are simply not valid. What is valid is the need for the political courage necessary to start freer voting. Leadership on this issue must come from the government. Once this has been shown, opposition parties must agree to allow dissent so that all members are free to express views which may differ from those of their political party leadership. This will require a change in attitude and political courage. However if this results in more members playing a vital role in the influencing of public policy then dissent will have been worth the time spent to reduce party discipline.

I look forward to the debate on this motion and I urge all members to support it as it will send a clear message to Canadians that we are not afraid of the party leadership punishing us for exercising independent thoughts and actions, as has been done in the past. We want to play a meaningful role in influencing the formation of public policy which addresses the needs of all Canadians.

Divorce Act March 25th, 1994

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-232, an act to amend the Divorce Act (granting of access to, or custody of, a child to a grandparent).

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by my hon. friend from Nepean, for leave to introduce a private member's bill, an act to amend the Divorce Act, by granting access to, or custody of, a child to a grandparent.

In this year of the family it seems appropriate to recognize in statute the rights of grandparents to have access to their grandchildren or to be able to be informed of their well-being should the parents of the grandchild divorce.

At present the Divorce Act overlooks the rights of grandparents and this bill, should it become law, would put these rights squarely before the judge in the divorce matter so they will be taken into consideration when a divorce decree is granted.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Suspension Act March 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in opposition to the closure or time allocation motion introduced today by the government.

This motion refers to Bill C-18, an act to suspend the operation of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. It is not good to have the government move to cut off debate so that this bill can receive approval quickly.

I wonder if this is the tip of the iceberg, the arrogance and lack of respect for debate in Parliament. If it is this will be an all time record because even the previous Conservative government took longer than five months to reach these heights of disrespect for this institution.

I am speaking in opposition to Bill C-18, an act to suspend the operation of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. I believe we should allow the process which began some time ago under the old legislation to continue until it is completed. I submit that there has been sufficient time, energy and money invested in the process to date to make it irresponsible on the part of the government to suggest that the process be halted.

I am aware of the criticisms of the present process which are contained in the report of the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing in relation to the boundary readjustment legislation. I am also aware that the present boundary readjustment process was delayed in the last Parliament with the idea that a new process could be put in place prior to the call of the general election in 1993.

What happened was that the special committee of the House of Commons on electoral reform ran out of time and was unable to deal with this subject. Therefore, the process which we are now involved in began and has run until we now have boundary proposals from the provincial commissions before us and public hearings are set to being shortly.

What will happen if Bill C-18 is passed? We know that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs will be charged with reviewing the whole process and making recommendations for change. However, can we be assured that the process which will result from this study will be put in place prior to the next general election? I do not think so.

We have a process in place now which if allowed to go to completion will bring into effect new boundaries before the next election. We are assured of that fact. Therefore, the next election will be fought under boundaries which are representative of the population distribution as presented in the last census. Doing anything to jeopardize this process does not make sense to me. At this time I want to endorse the position taken by the Brampton Board of Trade in a letter dated March 22, 1994 to the Prime Minister where it states: "It is not appropriate nor

necessary for a review committee to step in at this time and shut down the public process".

We as members of this House do not have ownership of our ridings. We should not feel threatened by changes proposed if these changes recognize representation by population. This is one of the main reasons for having our 10 year census so that boundaries can be drawn which accurately reflect population distribution.

If Bill C-18 is approved we may be fighting the next general election on the boundaries which reflect population as it was distributed in 1980. If the government is so vitally concerned about the process of redistribution and whether it creates ridings which accurately represent rep by pop then there is nothing to prevent the procedure and House affairs committee under its mandate and under the new rules to study the matter at length and bring in a bill in due course which would replace the existing boundaries readjustment act.

Why suspend the process of redistribution under the present act while this is being done? Surely the government is not thinking that it won a majority under the existing boundaries, so let us make sure there are no changes prior to the next election. Surely this is not the new politics described in the red book.

If Bill C-18 passes and the process of redistribution is held up once again due to political manoeuvring and if as I suggest there is not enough time after the procedure and House affairs committee reports to put new boundaries into place, then we will be party to the kind of politics which the Canadian people rejected at the last election.

Surely this is not the wish of the government. It is not the wish of the Reform Party of Canada. Therefore let us go forward now with the system we have presently in place. Let the public hearing process begin. If we do this we are assured that new boundaries will be in place prior to the next election. Money already spent will have been spent for results.

However if the government is adamant that the boundaries readjustment process is flawed, and it may very well be, then the government members know what they can do. They can utilize the new rules, have the procedure and House affairs committee study the issue, report back and bring in a bill which we would consider. If it is reasonable, we could look at agreeing to it so that a new procedure will be in effect to accommodate the results of the next census.

In closing, I again want to reiterate my opposition to the closure motion. We have not had a full debate on this motion. This is vitally important. It is a matter of principle for this House and for Canadians. Do we allow the government to limit debate so that Liberals have a chance to fight the next election with the boundaries unchanged since 1980 or do we take costs and work done into account and public pressure on politicians to clean up their act?

Obviously the government is willing to ignore the wishes of the people. Well, we are not. That is why we oppose this motion and why we oppose the bill.

This morning a government member found it incomprehensible that Reform would support a process that would see the House continue to grow in numbers. I find it incomprehensible that the member was not aware that this was one of the very reasons Reform could not support Bill C-18. There is not, I repeat, there is nothing in this bill that puts a cap on or limits the number of seats. Had it done that, the government might very well have had the support of Reform on this.

I am concerned about one other thing. The member I believe from Waterloo mentioned that he and his constituents were very comfortable with their riding as it is and I can understand that, but I wonder, has his riding not grown in numbers. My riding of Mission-Coquitlam was 116,000 in 1991, having grown 26 per cent from the previous census and is now approximately 125,000. Do I just forget that because I am comfortable with the way things are? What about representation by population?

It is far past time that we started to be accountable as politicians.

Party Fundraising March 18th, 1994

Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Speaker. I have a seventh grandchild. He is a boy. His name is David Michael Jennings. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 5 ounces.