I spent some time on Friday trying to ascertain how I might become involved with Bill C-54. I did receive some guidance from my Member of Parliament’s office (see Curriculum Vitae) but was essentially directed to the Minister of Justice. This is where I began. I called Minister Rob Nicholson’s office (613- 995-1547) to get more specific answers. Since Mr. Nicholson also has a constituency I made the mistake of not calling the Justice Department he heads. Interestingly, the first answer or rather question was “What is Bill C-54?” It’s not really their shtick so I wasn’t surprised. I was advised to call the Ministry of Justice as they could answer my questions. I did so. “Could you give me some more information on Bill C-54?” “I don’t think that’s a Justice Bill…it’s not ringing a bell…just a minute.” The Justice Department can be forgiven for not knowing what Bill C-54 is. There are 360 Bills before parliament presently. This includes the 33 introduced by the senate. The majority are sponsored by individual MP’s. The Minister of Justice has introduced 8. I would be unable to keep 8 Bills straight so how can I expect someone who is paid to. Once it was confirmed that Bill C-54 was in fact a Justice Bill I was directed to a website where I could peruse the Bill itself. “How do I get involved in the processing of Bill C-54?” “You’ll have to ask Parliament of Canada.” “What is the next step for this Bill?” “You’ll have to ask Parliament of Canada.” 1-866-599-4999 pulled me into an automated loop with a busy signal through which I was eventually put on hold for 10 minutes. I ended up with a more cheerful voice who spouted off the next 8 or so steps for the Bill. “How do I get involved in the processing of Bill-C-54?” “You would have to get in touch with Minister Nicholson’s office.” “I spoke to his office and the Justice Department.” “I’ll connect you.” I got the office answering machine as visions of secretaries hiding under their desks flashed through my mind. I felt I had made enough of a pest of myself and was conscious of taxpayers’ dollars; besides I had an appointment to bang my head against the closest wall so I left no message. Maybe we need a Canadian embassy in Canada to help citizens when they need to interact with their own government?