Evidence of meeting #28 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was question.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • John Hollins  Former Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario, As an Individual

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Yes, I have, very briefly.

Mr. Guimond, thank you very much. You, sir, are a long-serving member of the House, and I will put on the record that in my twelve and a half years as an MP I have received ten percenters from the Liberal Party, I have received them from the former PC Party, I've received them even from myself.

12:20 p.m.

An hon. member

And it was critical.

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

As you know, I'm sometimes critical of my own party in a very open way too.

But I will put on record, and I say this with the greatest respect for the Conservative Party, that I hadn't noticed the level that I've seen since 2006. Since 2006 I have noticed that the rhetoric has been heated up. It's a little bit nastier—I don't know another word for it—than I had ever seen in the past.

I don't know why that is. I would recommend, if I were advising any party—Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc—to tone it down, to talk about the positive things you do, and to lay off the attacks on individuals. Mr. Cotler, for example, a personal friend, a long-time human rights advocate, has received more awards from Israel than I think everybody in Canada combined, and to link him in any way—even to suggest that he and his party may be that way—is beyond the pale, and it needs to stop.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Joe Preston

Thank you.

Monsieur Godin.

November 26th, 2009 / 12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

A little earlier, we heard about Mr. Vellacott's apology. I was there in the House of Commons. You can check the blues, but if memory serves, he basically said that had he read the ten percenter carefully, he might not have signed off on it and that it did come across his desk. He said it came from somewhere else. Do you recall what his exact words were? It was not really him who wrote it, and it was as if he did not give any thought to the importance of the document that came across his desk.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Godin, I don't recall precisely. I know that he said he would be discussing with the party information that goes out in the future.

I will also put on the record that Mr. Vellacott cannot have been here as long as I've been here and not have wonderful qualities. He is a decent member of Parliament. He's a decent guy. I just think his name happened to be on a ten percenter, which I think, if he had it to do over again, he wouldn't do.

As to the words he actually said, he apologized without reservation and said that he would be talking to his party regarding the content of what goes out in the future. Now, whether he actually saw the one going out, I don't know.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Talking to his party on the content means it's not his content. If it was his content, why should he go to talk to his party?

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

To be completely frank with you, sir, I can't put words in Mr. Vellacott's mouth. My suggestion is that if you wish to speak to him directly, I'm sure he'd be happy to explain it. I really don't know what he was—

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

The bill he was talking about on the firearms registry was a private member's bill. It was not a Conservative bill.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Bill C-391 comes from Candice Hoeppner, yes.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

It was from a member of Parliament; it was a private member's bill. The party was writing a ten percenter that was sent across the country by one of their members on what was a private member's bill. It was more on events of the government, then, because it is coming from the party.

You said you were more or less satisfied, and I want to hear more about that. Was it a ten percenter?

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

In my riding, it was, yes.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

When a ten percenter goes out, how many people do you think get it?

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

I know I got calls from people in Musquodoboit Harbour, in Fall River, in Eastern Passage, and in Preston. Those are the extremes of my riding, so an awful lot went out, because 10% of the riding would be Musquodoboit Harbour. It must have gone out to more than just 10%.

It's called a ten percenter, but you can send out more. We could send out a ten percenter every day.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

How do you know that people in your riding are pretty happy with the apology? The only place they could have seen it, if they had been in front of a television, was on CPAC.

Was it on the national news, after that, that he was apologizing?