MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
A New Role in ‘Making Parliament Work’
Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented to the nation the new “Canadian Ministry”, the team he has charged with protecting Canadians in a time of increasing global economic instability.
This new federal cabinet is a strong, reassuring blend of new and familiar faces, all experienced professionals with a broad range of backgrounds. The key portfolio of Finance will remain in the steady hands of cabinet veteran Jim Flaherty. This signals the strong economic focus of the new Cabinet given that our central responsibility will be to ensure that Canada’s businesses and families have the security they need to weather any global economic storm.
Canadians also want to draw confidence from the continuity of their Parliament. Consensus and tangible progress on critical legislative and policy matters is imperative as we navigate the country through the coming years.
That is why I am so honoured that the Prime Minister asked me to take on a very pivotal role in making this 40th Parliament work when he appointed me Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
As Government House Leader, I will work closely each day with the Prime Minister, my cabinet and caucus colleagues, and the leaders, house leaders and whips of the opposition parties. These discussions and negotiations will focus on how and when we will proceed with priority legislation and debate the issues that Canadians have asked their parliamentarians to tackle.
While the onus is on the government to make Parliament work, the responsibility rests with all 308 Members of Parliament. Fortunately, over the past 15 years, I have fostered solid, productive relationships with MPs from all parties. Having previously served as Opposition House Leader, Opposition Whip and Government Whip, I recognize the importance of respectful and fair negotiation.
In fact, I am humbled by the response to my appointment by my opposition counterparts who indicated publicly that they view my appointment as setting a positive tone for this upcoming parliament.
But by far the most valued expressions of support have come from my constituents. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the flood of emails and calls from Prince George-Peace River, from all across the country and even outside the country, including a congratulatory email from Afghanistan!
I am looking forward to getting started with the Speech from the Throne on November 19th through which our Government will set out its forthcoming agenda and objectives to the nation. Next, Minister Flaherty is expected to present an Economic Update by the end of the month.
In the meantime, Ministers and their departments and staff are already in the midst of intensive activity, review and analysis with the ongoing objective of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of federal programs and services. Canadians elected us with the expectation that we would look for savings wherever we can to ensure fiscal integrity in government through difficult economic times.
As Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, I will continue working both inside and outside the House of Commons Chamber to deliver on that commitment.