Electing House of Commons committee chairs instead of letting Party leaders have the power to appoint and dismiss them

Ted Hsu
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HoC-4C-Detailed-75mm-NoTextI am pleased to have been the first MP to become a seconder of motion M-431 (see below). This motion proposes to have chairs of House of Commons committees be elected by a preferential ballot in the whole House, instead of being appointed by the Prime Minister or by the Leader of the Opposition (some committee chairs are automatically chaired by an opposition MP). Motion M-431 now has seconders from all parties in the House, including dissident Conservative backbenchers. A battle in the House may begin with the debate that should be scheduled for some time in the next few weeks.

M-431 — February 27, 2013 — Mr. Trost (Saskatoon–Humboldt) — That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to: (a) consider the election of committee chairs by means of a preferential ballot system by all the Members of the House of Commons, at the beginning of each session and prior to the establishment of the membership of the standing committees; (b) study the practices of other Westminster-style Parliaments in relation to the election of Committee Chairs; (c) propose any necessary modifications to the Standing Orders and practices of the House; and (d) report its findings to the House no later than six months following the adoption of this order.

Pursuant to Standing Order 86(3), jointly seconded by:

Mr. Hsu (Kingston and the Islands) — March 20, 2013

Mr. Benoit (Vegreville–Wainwright), Mr. Clarke (Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River), Mr. Goldring (Edmonton East), Mrs. Ambler (Mississauga South), Mr. Chong (Wellington–Halton Hills), Mr. Vellacott (Saskatoon–Wanuskewin), Mr. Bezan (Selkirk–Interlake), Mr. Bruinooge (Winnipeg South), Mr. Hiebert (South Surrey–White Rock–Cloverdale), Mr. Breitkreuz (Yorkton–Melville), Mr. Payne (Medicine Hat), Mr. Allen (Tobique–Mactaquac), Mr. Young (Oakville), Mr. Rathgeber (Edmonton–St. Albert), Ms. May (Saanich–Gulf Islands), Mr. Anderson (Cypress Hills–Grasslands) and Mr. Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) — March 28, 2013

Mr. Stewart (Burnaby–Douglas) — April 15, 2013

Mr. Nicholls (Vaudreuil—Soulanges) — April 16, 2013

I believe that more power must be returned to elected Members of Parliament in order for us to properly represent our constituents. Over many years power has become too concentrated in the hands of party leaders and, in particular, the Prime Minister. Motion M-431 is a step in the right direction for democratic reform in Canada. I am happy to work with M-431’s sponsor, Conservative MP Brad Trost to promote this step.



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