Mr. Speaker, this week is the 800th anniversary of the great charter. Magna Carta is on display at the Museum of History and will soon tour all of Canada. I encourage all Canadians to view it and I encourage all parliamentarians to contemplate its meaning.
Magna Carta's concept is that the Crown is bound by a contract with the people and that nobody is above the law.
Representative government and the rule of law became entrenched based on the principles contained in Magna Carta. Canada inherited its foundational government, its parliamentary executive, and judicial institutions from Magna Carta.
It is the rule of law and democracy that are at the core of Canadian values.
The deal struck at Runnymede resulted in the baronial council that evolved into Parliament as guarantor of freedom, property, and due process.
However, in this place, we frequently compromise our own purpose. Our core function is to constrain the executive and prevent it from seizing too much money or too much power. Holding government to account is the essential role of the parliamentarian.
For those who are seeking the honour to return to Parliament, I would ask them to please remember the lessons of Magna Carta and why their constituents sent them to this place.