Evidence of meeting #4 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 voted.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

I'd like to call to order this meeting of the subcommittee on private members' business.

We have 15 items under consideration today. We will be proceeding through them as the order on your sheet indicates. Do you all have the worksheet?

11:05 a.m.

An hon. member

Yes.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

We have the worksheet and the actual bills accompanying them.

Let's begin with Bill C-399.

We'll ask our analyst to comment on the four criteria, and then we will proceed with an indication of our wishes on allowing it to be votable.

11:05 a.m.

Michel Bédard Committee Researcher

This bill would amend the Income Tax Act to provide for a tax credit for travel expenses for volunteers.

The bill is not outside federal jurisdiction. It does not appear to violate the Constitution, including the charter. It is not substantially similar to a private member's bill already voted on in the current session, and it is not similar to a government bill already voted on in the current session.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Are there any concerns?

Mr. Reid.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Actually, I agree with all of those criteria, but am I not right that a tax credit would run afoul of another problem about votability and the royal recommendation?

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Mr. Reid, normally we allow bills that may require royal recommendation to proceed. They may be stopped at another point down the road; I think it's prior to third reading.

Our analyst can confirm that.

11:05 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

According to section 54 of the Constitution, and the Standing Orders, the House of Commons cannot adopt a bill that requires a royal recommendation, but it may debate it. During the process the Speaker will be called upon to rule on a bill if there's an argument, a point of order, to the effect that there might be a need for royal recommendation. Even when there is a ruling, the bill could continue through the process until the question is put at third reading.

There's always a possibility that the bill will receive royal recommendation during the process, as happened a month or so ago with one bill.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

That answers my question.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

Great. Thank you.

As I see no opposition, we'll consider the motion on Bill C-399 votable.

Moving on to M-381.

11:05 a.m.

Committee Researcher

Michel Bédard

This motion concerns various measures with respect to asbestos in the industrial sector. It would, among other things, call for the implementation of an industrial restraint plan for the communities, depending on the asbestos.

This motion does not appear to be outside federal jurisdiction. It does not clearly violate the Constitution, including the charter.

With respect to its similarity to another motion, there was a motion on asbestos that was already negatived by the House of Commons in the current session, on November 1. I have asked that the motion be distributed to all members of the subcommittee.

The subject matter of asbestos is the same, but there are some differences between the two motions. The motion that was just distributed was negatived on the opposition day, November 1, 2011.

If you look at Motion M-381, I will bring your attention to paragraph (b), which is about public consultation; paragraph (c), which is about the publishing of a comprehensive list of public and quasi-public buildings containing asbestos; and also paragraph (e), “stop financially supporting the asbestos industry within six months...”.

These paragraphs were not part of the motion that was negatived on November 1 of last year. So there is some distinction between it and the motion already voted on by the House of Commons.

I looked at the precedents. The only precedent I could find in recent history was the motion by Mr. Dion that was deemed non-votable in 2007. The motion called for the restoration of the court challenges program. It was seen as non-votable because there had already been a report of a committee, substantially the same, restoring the court challenges program.

So this is the only precedent that we found with respect to this motion before us.

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Harold Albrecht

We've heard the comments of our analyst. There seems to be a fair number of differences with the previous opposition day motion. However, I'm at the will of the committee.

Are there any comments?

Mr. Reid.

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

I know it's a bill and not a motion. We dealt with Candice Hoeppner's bill regarding the firearms registry. It was somewhat similar, was it not? There was a push, which I opposed, to make it non-votable on that basis. Sebastian, you were there.

11:10 a.m.

Sebastian Spano Committee Researcher

That meeting could have been in camera, so I'm reluctant to—

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

No, in part only. It was in public.