Evidence of meeting #2 for Subcommittee on Private Members' Business in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was senate.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

12:15 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

There's no subcommittee or committee in the Senate with a similar mandate.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Does that mean that this bill will be scrutinized by the House without any assessment of its constitutionality before it goes to the House, since the Senate is not doing it?

12:15 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

Well, there's not—

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Well, we should talk about that, colleagues, one day. It's not for today, but....

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Go ahead, Mr. Reid.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

I concur. I think there's a double standard here, at two levels.

First, you're right that if you want to pass something that might be unconstitutional, it's best to start it as a private member's bill in the Senate rather than in the House of Commons.

Second, this was something that bothered me in the last Parliament, because it's a long-standing problem. It would be nice if the Senate accorded us the same treatment we accord them. It's been a bit of a one-way street, and it is a bit frustrating.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Yes.

Back to the issue at hand, Bill S-206, we'll ask our analyst to comment now on the one criterion that exists for Senate bills coming to the House.

December 8th, 2011 / 12:20 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

With respect to An Act respecting World Autism Awareness Day, the House of Commons has not already voted on a similar bill in the current Parliament. Therefore, I see no reason to recommend to the subcommittee that it be designated non-votable.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Monsieur Dion.

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Did we decide that this very day should be allowed to be something else? We have so many days for this and that, and there are only 365 days in a year.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Mr. Dion, the purpose of this committee is not to determine those kinds of issues. That will be debated, with all due respect. I would say this whether or not I were actually sponsoring this bill. We have to stick to the substance at hand and the criteria that we've been briefed on. I think it's a legitimate point for debate--

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

It would be at some time.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

—in a future House, in a future spot.

Are all in favour of Bill S-206 proceeding? Seeing no objections, so ordered for Bill S-206.

Next is Bill C-377. I'll ask our analyst to comment on it.

12:20 p.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

This bill will require that labour organizations provide financial information to the minister for public disclosure.

You may recall that a similar version of this bill was examined by the subcommittee when we first met in the current session. The Speaker made a ruling to the effect that the bill should have been preceded by a ways and means motion, because there were some taxation provisions in the bill. The bill has been modified, and all the provisions pertaining to taxes have been removed and replaced with a fine. The bill was designated as votable by the subcommittee when we first looked at it. Therefore, I have no comment in respect of the four criteria. I see no problem with them. It is within federal jurisdiction. It is not unconstitutional. And there's no similar bill currently on the order of precedence, either from the government or a private member.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Okay.

Is there any discussion?

Do you have a question, Mr. Toone?