Evidence of meeting #3 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 take.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

We're not a court, but in order to make an intelligent decision we have to be familiar with the cases. I apologize. I remember the case distinctly. Jean-Guy Tremblay was a hard man to like, to say the least. But I can't comment intelligently, because I haven't read through the case. If it is acceptable to the other members of the committee, can we set this one aside and return to it later? We might have a chance to actually read the case and have an intelligent as opposed to a completely uninformed position on this. Right now, I'm uninformed about this decision.

Would that be acceptable?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

The analyst has a comment to make.

11:50 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

Just with respect to the Constitution and the nature of the motion, it's an instruction from the House of Commons to one of its committees to proceed to study. The Constitution actually protects the House of Commons from outside interference because it's part of its privilege. The House of Commons could ask one of its committees to study any subject. Also, with respect to the Tremblay v. Daigle case, my recollection of the case is that it was not a criminal law case, but a civil case. The legal dispositions which were at play in this case were an expression of the Civil Code of Quebec.

I would also like to draw the attention of members to the last paragraph of the motion, which is a question to be instructed to the special committee: “...what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court to affirm, amend, or replace” the section of the Criminal Code.

I just wanted to bring this to—

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Thank you.

Mr. Dion.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

That's exactly my point.

I am sorry, Mr. Toone, I share your outrage, but in this case the motion asks for the creation of a committee to examine a problem. Nothing comes before the right Parliament has to debate issues. Parliament is a forum for debate, by definition. I fail to see on what constitutional basis we could prevent the House of Commons from debating issues, even things we don't like.

This does not concern seeing whether Parliament can invalidate a court decision; nothing in the motion asks for that. It is asking Parliament to study, to create a committee, to examine an issue, to make a recommendation. I don't see how we can oppose it.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Okay.

Go ahead, Mr. Reid.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

I appreciate, as I always do, Monsieur Dion's comments. I personally do think that setting this aside so that we can base this on something other than a recollection of what might have been in the subject matter of Tremblay v. Daigle would be the only circumstance under which I would feel comfortable casting a vote one way or the other. I guess once again I am.... Actually, maybe before I do that, I have one other comment to make, which is that it's not Mr. Woodworth's fault that it got introduced today. It really wasn't, you know.

I guess I'm going to move again that we delay this to give me the opportunity and others the chance to read that case so I can feel confident in making this decision. That's the motion I'm proposing, that our decision be delayed until that has occurred.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Is there discussion on the motion?

Mr. Dion?

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

I'm ready to vote on it. The motion is very clear.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

I'm the Chair, so I can't comment.

All in favour of Mr. Reid's motion? Those opposed?

(Motion tied).

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

I'm curious....

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

I'm going to vote against it.

All in favour of making this motion votable, please indicate so. Everybody in favour of allowing this to be votable, indicate. Those opposed...?

It is carried.

We are on motion 370.

11:50 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

The purpose of this bill is to change the name of the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada to “Thousand Islands National Park of Canada”.

This bill appears to concern a question that falls under federal jurisdiction; it does not appear to clearly be unconstitutional; no similar private member's bill has been voted on in the current session of Parliament; no government bill concerning the same question is currently on the Order Paper.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Okay. All in favour...? Are there any comments?

Motion 370 will proceed.

Now we have motion 314.

11:50 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

The motion reads as follows:

That the House acknowledge that Canada lags behind international search and rescue norms and urge the government to recognize the responsibility of the Canadian Forces for the protection of Canadians, and to take such measures as may be required for Canada to achieve the common international readiness standard of 30 minutes at all times, from tasking to becoming airborne, in response to search and rescue incidents.

The motion appears to be a matter of federal jurisdiction; it does not appear to clearly violate the Constitution; no private member's bill that is similar to it has been voted on in the current session; no similar bill is currently on the Order Paper.