The Backbench Spring: Will there be real questions now?

Brent Rathgeber hopes to stand and query the government

Brent Rathgeber says he’s interested in standing during Question Period and asking real questions of government ministers.

“Parliament exists to hold government to account,” he said. “I believe that some ministers, from time to time, have been disrespectful with respect to their expense accounts and I believe that some departments have budgets that are not justified in times of economic uncertainty where scarce resources are becoming scarcer,” Rathgeber said.

“So yes, it is my hope that I will be able to stand and ask a fair but challenging question on how the government spends taxpayer dollars,” the member from Edmonton-St. Albert said.

In other words, an actual question. As opposed to, say, this or this. Or this from last Monday.

It is probably too much to hope for that such lobs should be entirely done away with. But it would be nice if those weren’t the only questions coming from the government backbench on a daily basis. Each afternoon, between 2:15pm and 3:00pm, nearly every MP in Ottawa is in attendance. Most of them with nothing to do except clap for their side and jeer the other. They might at least have the option of standing at their own discretion to ask a question.

The full episode of The House is here.