Election of Committee Chairs

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my friend from Saskatoon—Humboldt for bringing a tangible measure that we can all support to deal with what is a democracy deficit in Canadian government and certainly in this Parliament.

I just finished, parenthetically, a cross-country tour of town halls in communities across the country on the subject of democracy. As well, I have contrasted my own experience of having worked from 1986 to 1988 with the Minister of the Environment, where the committee process was far less partisan than it is now. It was a place where people really, as individual members of Parliament, worked to improve legislation. The election of a chair could be one way that we could bring back that sense of greater cross-party co-operation.

I would like the member’s comments on whether that is one of his goals.

Brad Trost: Mr. Speaker, yes, it is one of my goals to bring that together. I have seen it, as the member for Kings—Hants noted. We were on committee together. The international trade committee during that period engaged in some very difficult debates, but it was a good committee to operate in because people wanted to work together even when they were at loggerheads. Therefore, what the hon. member is suggesting is one of my goals for this motion.