Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc told The Hill Times in last week’s issue that the new Liberal government will bring in major reforms to House procedure as soon as Parliament resumes next month. We say: bring them on. The Liberals say they will elect House committee chairs by secret ballot, potentially changing the size of committees; they want to re-evaluate the roles parliamentary secretaries will play on House committees and may remove them from committees altogether; they want to open up the Commons Board of Internal Economy meetings except in cases where confidentiality is required; they want to create a merit-based selection process for appointing new Senators; they want to reformat Question Period to allow the Speaker of the House to challenge members, provide more time for questions and answers, and designate a special time for a Prime Minister-only question session; and they want to evaluate ways to make QP more relevant through the use of technology. Moreover, Mr. LeBlanc said the government will be turning the page on extreme partisanship in the Commons. He said the Liberals won’t use procedural tactics to frustrate the legislative agenda and will be more open to negotiate with their political counterparts. Mr. LeBlanc said the Liberals don’t want House committee chairs to be seen as partisan agents of the government. If true, this is all good. If all of this is true in its letter and spirit, this will add Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s name in the list of prime ministers who changed Canada for the better. Canadian political history, however, is filled with examples of former prime ministers from both major parties, who have said all the noble things on a variety of public policy issues for public consumption at the beginning of their mandates, but then ended up doing the total opposite by the end, which explains the refrain “Liberal, Tory, same old story.” It’s hoped that Mr. Trudeau, who commands a majority government, will set a new example. Canadians, and especially the media, will pay close to attention to what Mr. Trudeau said in the election campaign and what he does in government. “I think we need to restructure committees of the House of Commons so that they’re more independent from the government and they can assume a more robust role in both studying legislation and looking at specific bills, but also in pursuing public policy work,” said Mr. LeBlanc. Once Parliament returns, the Liberals say they will be revisiting existing bills over the course of this new Parliament. They want to amend Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015; repeal changes made by Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act; repeal changes to the Canada Elections Act made under Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act; review all bills passed into law without proper consultation with indigenous Canadians, or that contravene Sec. 35 of the Constitution respecting aboriginal and treaty rights; and amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination. They’ve also promised to change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to the “abuse” of omnibus bills, as Mr. LeBlanc put it. On Senate reforms, Mr. LeBlanc said he’s currently working on a “number of different options,” on the request of Mr. Trudeau. If the Liberals actually follow through, Parliament will be revived with life and power. This will make House committees independent and MPs will be able to do their jobs properly as federal legislators.