Adding 30 MPs ineffective, agrees May

MP says she opposed adding 30 new MPs, applauds reader for letter

I could not agree more with Harry Atkinson of Sidney, “Adding 30 costly MPs inefficient, excessive” (Letters, July 13)

As your Member of Parliament, I want you to know that I opposed adding 30 new MPs. The Green Party president testified to the parliamentary committee offering a different approach to redistribute seats to better reflect the shifts in population.

As well, I spoke in the House and twice suggested that, if the Conservatives insisted on adding 30 new MPs, the least we should do would be to accept a pay cut of $20,000 per year each. By doing so, at least the salary and office costs of the new MPs would be offset.

The reaction was fascinating. While some Conservative MPs across the aisle applauded my proposal, the Conservative speaking at the time replied that they would “let the Board of Internal Economy know that the member for Saanich-Gulf Islands does not need her salary.”

The second time I proposed it, the response (from a different Conservative MP) was that this was “the price of democracy.” I think Mr. Atkinson’s letter makes short work of that rationalization.

Elizabeth E. May

MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands