Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, I just received Bill C-44, referred to by the Leader of the Opposition, which is the 300-page budget implementation bill and which was intended to be much smaller and thinner. We are looking forward to analyzing this document against the promises that were made by the government.
We have made several very positive adjustments to reflect the change in the nature and the makeup of the Senate. We’ve made sure that the Independent Senators Group is properly represented on committees and that they receive funding for their group. But there is another area we have overlooked and that has to be rectified, and that is remuneration for the leadership in a manner similar to the remuneration that goes with the leadership positions for the other government representatives and the opposition.
My understanding, Mr. Leader, is that the remuneration provision must be changed in the Parliament of Canada Act. I have been told that we don’t really want to open up the Parliament of Canada Act to make any changes, but I look in Bill C-44, the budget implementation bill, and there are 20 pages making amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act.
Was consideration given to rectifying this situation of recognizing groups and caucuses other than the government and the opposition? If so, why don’t we see the amendments in these 20 or 30 pages of amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act?