Canadians across Canada are upset and for good reason. With little fanfare, the Liberals quietly tried to ram through changes to the Standing Orders which govern how the House of Commons operates. The Liberals propose to put permanent limits to debate in the House of Commons and Standing Committees. Changes to opposition days and private member’s bill procedures would give the government even more power to act in a unilateral manner while taking rights away from the opposition parties.
Among the changes is the proposal to shut down Parliament on Fridays so the Prime Minister and his colleagues can take another day off. The Liberals have also proposed that the Prime Minister only show up for work once a week to answer questions in Question Period. This will reduce my ability to represent the constituents of Peace River – Westlock on the national stage.
The cumulative effect of the proposed changes will diminish Parliament and largely strip opposition of its power to hold the Prime Minister and his government to account. Justin Trudeau is ramming these changes through a Liberal-dominated committee with no respect for democracy.
As the Official Opposition, Conservatives have been fighting this latest push by the Liberals to give themselves more power. We led a filibuster in committee, using the procedure to ensure the motion couldn’t go to vote, and we continue to question the Liberals during Question Period, demanding that they explain to Canadians why the Liberals want to change the balance of power in the House of Commons to give the governing party more control.
In the interest of democracy, the Liberal government should not proceed with any of the changes to the Standing Orders without the consent of all parties. Conservatives are adamant on this. Changes to parliamentary procedures must be viewed in the long-term on a non-partisan basis; our parliamentary system must maintain its integrity, no matter who the ruling party is. As your representative in Ottawa, I will continue to hold the Liberals to account on this issue and fight to ensure that any proposed changes to the Standing Orders are first agreed upon by all parties.