Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law
This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.
Opposition Motion--Omnibus Legislation
Business of Supply
October 16th, 2012 / 4 p.m.
Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my very distinguished colleague, the member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.
I could not help but listen to the comments of the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, giving us advice as to which motions we should actually be drafting for discussion in opposition day motions and which other ones would be better than the one we are putting forward. He believes this is such a trivial technical subject that no one could possibly be interested in it.
In fact, the Canadian public is very interested in it. It is interested when a majority government systematically abuses its power and takes a decision of 20 years ago to use as justification for having a 450 page piece of legislation that we have to swallow whole, forcing the House to vote on amendment after amendment, moving closure after closure and making a farce of ministerial accountability. It put pensions in with environmental legislation, with all kinds of other measures that were added into the bill, then it realized in its own administration that it had to amend the law because it had made mistakes because the bill was so mammoth in terms of what it represented.
Therefore, the notion that this is somehow a technical question, a tiny issue with respect to how Parliament operates, is completely false.
Also is the Conservatives' adulation of various Speakers' decisions of the past. The House is master of its own regulations, of its own rules and every Speaker has an obligation to be the defender of the rules of Parliament. However, it is up to Parliament to change its rules when it sees the way the rules are abused by the government of the day. The House needs to change its Standing Orders so members are able to do their jobs, so we are able to hold the government accountable and so we are able, as a Parliament, to do what our constituents expect us to do.
This government loves to tell us that we voted against the measures in Bill S-3, against employment measures and against important government investments.
When the Prime Minister was in the opposition, he said the same things and asked why that was the case and why it was difficult. When so many elements are included in a single measure, the opposition has no choice but to vote against it.
That is why the member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville clearly said that we were prepared for changes to the MP pension plan. We have no problem with that. However, we must insist that, as members of Parliament, we have the right to vote on a measure that changes legislation. But the government's mindset and actions do not allow for that.
The government has taken a tiny exceptional provision, in which governments for purposes of consolidating a discussion on issues that came together but which in fact affected different legislation, which is one thing, to justify wholesale changes to every piece of legislation in the name of saying that it is all part of its economic action plan.
This is the triumph of propaganda over truth. This is the triumph of twisting words and interpretations to justify the unjustifiable. That is why Parliament has no choice but to debate this question. Yes, of course we are going to debate it in a way that demonstrates how two-faced the government is being. When it was in opposition it recognized the impossible position that these kinds of bills could put members of the opposition into. We were asked to consider not one piece of legislation that dealt with one particular matter, but an entire book of laws and amendments and changes that flowed from the overall economic plan of the government. It in fact demolished environmental regulation, changed entirely rules with respect to how many aspects of government legislation would work and brought it all together in the name of one simple, single matter.
This is what happens when governments abuse their power. When the Prime Minister was in opposition, he spoke up against what he saw as an abuse. Since he has become Prime Minister, he has taken zero action to limit the power of the executive in the ways in which he wanted to do. His government has attacked the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The Conservatives failed to listen to the Auditor General of Canada when he criticized their behaviour. The Prime Minister has shown a singular lack of respect for the rule of law outside the purview of executive diktat. He forced the House last session to vote in favour of one bill which should have taken many different bills and the House to have serious discussion on all the matters that were put before us.
Now we know the son of omnibus is about to come before us. We wanted the House to have one opportunity to say to the government, “enough is enough”. When the editorial writers of every major national newspaper and other commentators independent of Parliament say that parliamentary rights and privileges are being abused and that these are terrible practices in which to carry out accountability and transparency, we in this party are going to continue to push this point. If it means embarrassing the government by forcing Conservatives to swallow the words of their leader whole, fine, let them swallow the words and let them understand how two-faced their standards have become as they moved from opposition to government.
November 29th, 2011 / 5 p.m.
The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton
Order, please. I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
Rideau Hall Ottawa
November 29, 2011
I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 29th day of November, 2011, at 4:15 p.m.
Stephen Wallace Secretary to the Governor General
The schedule indicates the bills assented to on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, were Bill C-22, An Act to give effect to the Agreement between the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada concerning the Eeyou Marine Region, Chapter 20; Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law, Chapter 21; and Bill C-16, An Act to amend the National Defence Act (military judges), Chapter 22.
Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
November 23rd, 2011 / 3:20 p.m.
Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
He said: Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe you would find consent for the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practices of the House, Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.
(Bill S-3. On the Order: Government Orders:)
November 16, 2011—Second reading of Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law—The Minister of Justice .
Federal Law--Civil Law Harmonization Act No. 3
November 16th, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.
Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
moved that Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law be read a first time.
(Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)
Message from the Senate
November 15th, 2011 / 3:55 p.m.
The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton
Before we resume debate, I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill:
Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law.
Resuming debate, the hon. member for Brandon—Souris.