Statement by Elizabeth May on committee changes for independent, small party MPs

(OTTAWA) May 3, 2016 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), released the following statement:

“I’m outraged to see the current government bring forward a motion to trample on the rights of independent MPs, and MPs from parties with fewer than 12 MPs,” Ms. May said.

“A Liberal-mandated motion is being presented at every standing committee with the instructions of the Liberal majority to pass it. Just as with the parliamentary chicanery of the Conservatives in Fall 2013, this motion will eliminate the right of smaller parties and independents to bring forth substantive amendments at the Report Stage, as I did in the fight to stop omnibus budget bill C-38.

“In practice, this means independent MPs will have to be present at committees when a bill is tabled for amendments. As committees often run simultaneously, this restriction poses a significant disadvantage for independent MPs, who operate with fewer staff and resources than official parties.

“This motion is being presented as if it advances the rights of individual MPs, when in fact it does the opposite. Quite simply, it’s an abuse of power. How can the Liberals say they respect Parliament when they trample on the ability of independent MPs to do their jobs? When you are being kicked, the colour of the boot doesn’t really matter.”