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This week in parliamentary reform

Expenses, audits and petitions


 

After Question Period today, and following his promise to be transparent about expenses, Justin Trudeau will ask for unanimous consent to pass the following motions.

That the Board of Internal Economy begin posting the travel and hospitality expenses of Members, on a quarterly basis, to the Parliament of Canada website in a manner similar to the guidelines used by the government for proactive disclosure of ministerial expenses.

That the Board of Internal Economy begin posting individual Member’s Expenditure Reports, on a quarterly basis, to the House of Commons website in a format more accessible to the public.

That the House call on the Auditor General to undertake performance audits of the House of Commons administration every three years.

That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be directed to develop guidelines under which the Auditor General is asked to perform more detailed audits of parliamentary spending and report these guidelines to the House no later than December 10, 2013.

I think it would be unusual for the parties to agree to pass such motions so quickly and without debate, but we shall see.

Tomorrow, the House will debate NDP MP Kennedy Stewart’s motion on e-petitions.

M-428 — February 13, 2013 —That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to recommend changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions so as to establish an electronic petitioning system that would enhance the current paper-based petitions system by allowing Canadians to sign petitions electronically, and to consider, among other things, (i) the possibility to trigger a debate in the House of Commons outside of current sitting hours when a certain threshold of signatures is reached; (ii) the necessity for no fewer than five Members of Parliament to sponsor the e-petition and to table it in the House once a time limit to collect signatures is reached; and (iii) the study made in the 38th Parliament regarding e-petitions, and that the Committee report its findings to the House, with proposed changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions, within twelve months of the adoption of this order.

Mr. Stewart’s motion is seconded by 16 NDP MPs and two Conservative MPs—Brad Trost and Brent Rathgeber.


 

This week in parliamentary reform

  1. No; One Conservative and one Independent.

    • You’d really like to think Wherry wouldn’t have screwed that up, after stalking Rathgeber’s every move for the last 4 months.

      • To be fair, though, he would have been a Conservative at the time of the vote.

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