Reducing MP salaries would attract better people

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I find this legislation remarkably inconsequential. I am torn about how I should vote on it quite honestly.

I really do have a philosophical problem with the idea that we do better in attracting people when we pay more. I frankly think every minister and every member of Parliament should be paid less. We would attract better people. We would attract people from the NGO sector who are used to working for poverty wages. We need civil service and public service to be foremost in our minds.

I do not know if we are going to say all members are equal. The salary of the Prime Minister should come down and ministers’ salaries could come down. We could all work in a way that reflects to the Canadian public that we experience lives closer to the lives they lead.

Mark Gerretsen – Member for Kingston and the Islands

Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way is absolutely correct, and that is what this is all about. I had an interesting conversation with a family member over the weekend who was a provincial cabinet minister. I mentioned this debate to him and he seemed surprised to hear that all ministers at the federal level are not paid the same, because in Ontario provincial ministers are.

This is about everyone at the table who helps to make the decisions being valued the same and remunerated the same. It is that simple.