Role of Government RepresentativePublished on 19 April 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Serge Joyal
Hon. Serge Joyal:
Would the honourable government leader and styled Government Representative accept another question in relation to this subject?
Senator Harder, I have to tell you that when I had the opportunity to read the letter you referred to from the Prime Minister of Canada appointing you as government leader, styled Government Representative, I noticed that a copy was sent to the Honourable Speaker, one to the Clerk of the Senate and one to the Leader of the Opposition but not to the Leader of the Senate Liberals.
To tell you the truth, I was offended. I said to myself, if the government was rational and coherent in structuring the participation of the various political groups in the chamber, there is a party officially linked to the Conservative Party of Canada, there is an independent Liberal caucus with absolutely no link to the government caucus in the other chamber, and there is now a growing group of independent senators who we can expect in the future might want to give themselves a convener on the basis of what exists in the House of Lords, which is somebody to represent them in the organization of the work of this chamber.
This group here, the independent Senate Liberals, is organized. We have a leader. We meet and discuss the government agenda and the house agenda and we try to contribute to the best of our knowledge and expertise. I noticed that in the letter appointing you as government leader, styled Government Representative, our group was totally omitted even though we are organized. I would have expected that if the independent senators had the opportunity to work with a convener, they would also be informed of you being the government leader and the Government Representative. However that message letter is phrased, we don’t exist in the mind of the Prime Minister as senators who are devoted enough in this chamber to assume the fair responsibility in the review of legislation and the discussion of policy issues.
How do you explain that our leader was not informed that you were appointed government leader, styled “Government Representative”?