House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:40 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Kindersley-Lloydminster has raised a point which I submit is not a point of order.

The government is entitled to call whatever business it wishes on any given day with or without notice other than notice that has to be given at six o'clock to prepare the documents. It can be changed at the last minute, right up until the time it is called. That has been the invariable practice in this House.

I recognize that the hon. member is new to this place. Had he been in the last House, he would know that it was quite common for the government to call business without proper notice, with very limited notice and frequently to change the business overnight, having announced one day what it would be to change it for the next day. We were in a constant state of flux trying to know what kind of business we conducted.

The problem is that the hon. member and the members of the opposition have been spoiled in this House because the government has been so careful in giving extensive notice in almost every case of the business it is calling.

Unfortunately today the government was not in a position to proceed with Bill C-18. It is proceeding instead with Bill C-34. I admit that it was only introduced yesterday, but it is not a complex matter. It is thick but it is not complex. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will soon give a speech that will elucidate every nook and cranny of the bill, and I invite the hon. member to remain for that speech.

There is no point of order here.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask all hon. members to refer to Chapter VI of the standing orders at page 23:

40.(1) All items standing on the Orders of the Day, except Government Orders, shall be taken up according to the precedence assigned to each on the Order Paper.

Then it says:

(2) Government Orders shall be called and considered in such sequence as the government determines.

Therefore I would rule that there is no point of order in this case.

I would like to make a ruling.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:45 p.m.

The Speaker

During Private Members' Business on Wednesday, May 11, 1994, the hon. member for Restigouche-Chaleur raised a point of order concerning Standing Order 73 and Bill C-216, standing under his name on the Order Paper. At that time I stated that the terms of the standing order are unambiguous. It reads in part:

Immediately after the reading of the Order of the Day for the second reading of any public bill, a Minister of the Crown may propose a motion that the said bill be forthwith referred to a standing, special or legislative committee.

Clearly, the prerogatives of Standing Order 73 are for ministers of the Crown. For this reason, backbenchers cannot exercise them. Therefore the Chair cannot accept the hon. member's argument.

The hon. member raised a very interesting point by drawing a parallel between Standing Orders 68 and 73, definitely suggesting that an amendment to Standing Order 73 could give backbenchers the same prerogatives as the minister.

The Chair has taken this matter under advisement and is now ready to make a ruling.

Let me say at the outset that having looked at the text of Standing Order 73 and examined its context, the Chair has no doubt that the ministerial prerogative it grants applies only to government public bills. While I must concede that the phrase "any public bill" might lead to ambiguity, the Chair could not accept as appropriate the application of Standing Order 73 by a minister with reference to a private members' bill. In my view such an approach would have the practical effect of transforming a private members' initiative into an item of government business and so violate the spirit that underlies our standing orders and our practice, namely, the absolute separation of government business and private members' business.

However the suggestion of redrafting Standing Order 73 to grant to the sponsor of a private member's bill the same prerogatives with regard to that bill that a minister of the crown enjoys with regard to a government bill seems to merit further consideration. It would, as I see it, offer a means for making an item votable that would create an alternative to the existing procedure, an alternative which many members might welcome. I would therefore suggest with respect that, under the terms of this ongoing mandate to study House operations and procedure and notably, its existing responsibilities vis-à-vis Private Members' Business, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs take this matter under consideration.

I wish to thank the hon. member for Restigouche-Chaleur for raising the subject and thus reminding the House of the obligation which all members have to ensure that their rights are maintained, while taking an innovative attitude to the evolution of these rights.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am not certain whether this is a point of order or not but I stand as a duly elected member of the House of Commons to ask for your guidance with respect to the previous point of order on which I had wished to speak.

I understand you ruled that there would be no more speakers on it. However it is my sense, being a duly elected member of the House of Commons from the constituency of Regina-Lumsden, on a matter of a point of order that is important to my constituents and to me and to others in Canada, that I should be allowed to express the insights I have on the issue.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Is the hon. member referring to the point of order presented by the member for Winnipeg Transcona?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Yes.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

The Speaker

That being the case, the Chair had heard very lengthy arguments about that particular point of order. The Chair made the ruling on the basis that the Chair felt it had heard enough argument to base at least an indication that the Chair would look into this matter further.

That is why I made that ruling. With all respect to the hon. member I am sure that he will recognize that at one point there is enough debate on a particular point of order for the Chair to make that kind of a declaration. I would ask that the hon. member to respect this decision.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 24 petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 24th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding changes to the standing orders concerning publications of the Journals Branch of the House of Commons.

At the same time, I have the honour to present the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, concerning the selection of Private Members' Business. Pursuant to Standing Order 92(2) the report is deemed adopted.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Fundy Royal, NB

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Bill C-12, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts with amendments.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I move:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), concerning a review of the Citizenship Act, the House authorize the required personnel of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to travel from place to place for the purpose of preparing and holding video-teleconference sittings during the weeks of May 31 and June 6, 1994.

I think You Honour will find unanimous consent for the motion.

(Motion agreed to.)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

June 1st, 1994 / 3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Madam Speaker, these petitioners want to draw our attention to chronic fatigue syndrome which is not only a chronic but a disabling illness with no particular effective cure or treatment.

They point out that it is a complex illness particularly debilitating and often prevents employment and normal day activities. They request from the government and the health authorities recognition of its severity, extended public health response, more research, a co-operative approach among the

major players to finding appropriate treatments, more education to increase awareness of the seriousness of this illness, and for each province one CFSME assessment diagnostic study and treatment centre so that this particular illness can be dealt with appropriately.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I would like to present three petitions on behalf of my constituents, the first one asking that the human rights code not be amended to include sexual orientation; the second asking that Parliament ensure the enforcement of the present Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting assisted suicides; and the third asking Parliament to act to extend protection to the unborn child.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am tabling today a petition which calls upon the government to ban the importation, distribution, manufacture and sale of killer cards in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Jordan Leeds—Grenville, ON

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions, both from constituents in my riding.

In the first one petitioners are asking the government to maintain the present exemption on the excise portion of ethanol for a decade, 10 years, to allow this industry to establish itself.

We think the ethanol industry certainly in eastern Ontario would make a great contribution to the farm industry.