Liberal approach to electoral reform under fire
This week on The House, we tackle the Liberal government's controversial approach to reforming the electoral system.
The committee tasked with studying the issue and presenting recommendations is set to include 10 voting members: six Liberals, three Conservatives and one New Democrat. One Bloc Québécois MP and Green MP Elizabeth May would also be members of the committee, but not allowed to vote.
A number of critics have come out swinging against the make up of the committee.
The parliamentary secretary to Democratic Institutions Minister, Mark Holland, defended the fact that his party has a majority of voting members on the committee.
"Eventually, everything that we introduce will have to go back to the house," he said. "It will be the current construction of the house that will decide this issue, so it makes sense to have a committee that reflects that."
But it boils down to a question of legitimacy, NDP Critic for Democratic Reform Nathan Cullen told The House.
"This is the heart of our democracy, how we elect governments, and it hasn't started well in that the hint of partisanship and control is there."
"We all know that the Prime Minister favours one system, said Conservative Critic for Democratic Institutions Scott Reid, referring to a ranked ballot system.
"It is quite literally the only system that is guaranteed to favour the Liberals in the 2019 election more than the current system does, and that is a significant issue."
Security oversight committee coming by summer, says Ralph Goodale
The Liberals' promised oversight committee on national security issues is in the works for a summer debut, says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
"We've come up with a Canadian model. We're drafting the legislation now, and we hope to have it in the public domain before the House adjourns in June," Goodale told The House.
Goodale also talks about the international anti-corruption summit he attended in London, England, this week, and the changes to the no-fly list that his department is working on.
"Bill Morneau's budget was dead-on" says Paul Martin
After his official portrait was unveiled on Parliament Hill, former Prime Minister Paul Martin sat down with The House to talk about his legacy, whether he and Jean Chrétien still talk and the new government's fiscal approach.
"I think Bill Morneau's budget was dead-on. I think it's exactly what had to happen," Paul Martin said of the finance minister's budget that will include a $29.5 billion hole this fiscal year.
"The hit to the economy has been much worse than even people anticipated [during the election]. But that's all the more reason for them to do what they're doing. You've got to stimulate the economy," Canada's 21st prime minister said in an interview with The House. "They're doing exactly what they have to do."
In House panel
In House panelists Susan Delacourt and Joël-Denis Bellavance discuss the Prime Minister's visit to Fort McMurray and whether the government will have to reconsider its approach to electoral reform.