Albas: Reform Act abandoned by Liberals and NDP

The House of Commons will reconvene Dec. 3 with the first order of business being the election of the next Parliament Speaker.

All the major political parties have now had their first full caucus meetings in Ottawa.

These first meetings are important for a variety of reasons but one that will be material to this report is the provisions related to The Reform Act.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Reform Act, it was a private member’s bill sponsored by MP Michael Chong.

It proposed a number of measures to increase the power of individual MPs within their party caucus and by extension to reduce the power of the party leader.

The Reform Act was widely supported by media, many pundits and locally by a large number of citizens who took the time to share their support with me.

Ultimately the Reform Act, after a number of amendments, was passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate and is now law.

As the 42nd Parliament is the first to convene since the Reform Act was passed, one of the legal requirements at the first caucus meeting of a party is to vote on what, if any, measures of the Reform Act would be adopted by the MPs of each party caucus.

The 99-member Conservative Opposition caucus voted to adopt two of the four measures from the Reform Act and modified a third condition.

This contrasts with the Liberal government caucus, which voted to reject any measure of the Reform Act with all 184 Liberal MPs unanimously agreeing to reject the Reform Act and maintain the status quo.

The NDP caucus has also announced it will not support any measures of the Reform Act.

Considering that the Reform Act Passed with the overwhelming support of Liberal, Conservative and NDP MPs in the last parliamentary session, it is disappointing to see only the Conservative caucus now honour that vote following the federal election.

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On that same theme, I would like to take a moment to thank the many veterans and citizens who gathered at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month to remember the great sacrifices of those courageous Canadians who served so bravely.

We should never forget these valiant Canadians were not drafted to serve.

Our fallen and veterans made a choice to stand against tyranny and oppression and fought for the values that we must ensure we never take for granted today.

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The House of Commons will reconvene Dec. 3 with our first order of business being the election of our next Parliament Speaker, which is widely expected to be a Liberal MP.

On Friday Dec. 4, our Governor General will present the Speech from the Throne, announcing the priorities of the new Liberal federal government in the upcoming sitting and likely the parliamentary calendar will be set at that point for the remainder of the current session.

Before I close this week, I would like to re-iterate my thanks to the many people who have taken the time to share comments, questions and concerns with me. Your input is greatly valued.