Senate Reform Act

Ms. Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, one of the things that I hope to address later today in my presentation on this bill is the constitutional difficulties of reforming the Senate. I am particularly attracted to the NDP proposal that the Senate should be abolished.

How does the hon. member for London—Fanshawe and her party contemplate getting around the constitutional aspects of Senate protection within our system? How would we engage the provinces and territories to make this happen?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen:  Madam Speaker, there clearly will be significant challenges to face in terms of the Constitution.

When I was a member of provincial parliament, we looked at the Charlottetown accord, and realized that any time we take on changes to the Constitution, we face real difficulties.

The point is that Canadians have been very clear. This is an antiquated institution that many Canadians are just not willing to pay for any more.

We would consult with Canadians. We would talk to the provinces. We would find a way of doing it and making sure that the concerns of the people across this country were addressed, while respecting their very clear wish that we move into the 21st century and leave this less than sober second thought bunch behind.