House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

West Coast Ports Operations Act, 1995
Routine Proceedings

March 15th, 1995 / 3:35 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-74, an act respecting the supervision of longshoring and related operations at west coast ports.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

West Coast Ports Operations Act, 1995
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

When shall the bill be read the second time?

West Coast Ports Operations Act, 1995
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Later this day.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, I was looking at Standing Order 53, the provision under which the motion was presented to the House. I believe the motion presented is actually in contradiction of the intention of Standing Order 53.

Standing Order 53(3) says:

Proceedings on any such motion shall be subject to the following conditions:

(a) The Speaker may permit debate thereon for a period not exceeding one hour;

The intention of Standing Order 53, when it was passed by the House was not to allow debate to exceed one hour. The minister and government have proposed we ignore the intent of this regulation and continue debate until such time as a minister of the crown deems the day is over.

I believe this is specifically against the intention of the Standing Order. I would like the Chair to review this before we proceed any further along these lines.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, as I understand the provisions of Standing Order 53, this is a matter of a very urgent nature in which the normal rules of the House are suspended.

In this instance clearly we are talking about overriding collective bargaining rights and moving directly to a bill. As I understand it, before the question is put on the motion, members of the House should at least be given an opportunity to be heard on whether this matter is of sufficient urgency to should proceed under the extraordinary provisions of Standing Order 53.

This is a very serious matter. I spoke with the president of the Longshoremen's Union Local 514, Doug Sigurdson. He indicated they are currently in conciliation on this matter. The government wants to short circuit the collective bargaining process and move directly.

If that is to happen, the Chair should allow members of this House the courtesy of being heard under the provisions of Standing Order 53. That was not done and I would appeal to the Speaker to reconsider his position and to give us an opportunity to be heard.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

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, with the greatest respect, what has happened is perfectly proper.

On the motion the government introduced, there seem to be two points raised by the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway and the hon. member for Battlefords-Meadowlake. The points are separate and so I will try to deal with them separately.

The first one is that somehow the motion proposed extends the debate on this motion which has been disposed of by the House for more than an hour. That is not correct. The debate is over. No one who rose to debate the motion when the motion was put to the House.

The Chair put the motion to the House and everyone was sitting in their seats. I looked around to see if anyone was rising in debate and not a soul rose.

The hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway was glued to his seat. He did not want to debate this matter. Then he suddenly realized he made a mistake by not getting up.

The debate is over. The question has been put. There could have been a one-hour debate. The hon. member knows this. No member rose to speak. Therefore the question was put and disposed of by the House.

The motion simply allowed the introduction of the bill which has now been introduced to the House. It has received first reading in the House. We have an additional order that says the House may continue to sit this evening past the ordinary hour of adjournment until a minister of the crown moves adjournment.

That is all we have and that is the way the matter sits at the moment. Members should be content. We will see what develops in the course of the afternoon.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish I could say I am completely blameless in all of this. When I put the motion, I paused after the word "and". I did not see anyone rising in their place for debate.

It could be said that I should have called for debate. I did not but I understood that if there was going to be debate, hon. members would have risen at that time. That is why I went on to the second part of the motion. I put before you that I am sort of caught in a bind here. Perhaps I should have said the word debate, but I thought I waited long enough.

If an error has been made it surely has not been made by anyone but your Speaker. I do not know what the resolution of this should be. By the rules we have, the motion is deemed to have been adopted and carried and the matter cannot be reopened.

I would hope hon. members would give enough leeway to the Chair. I wish I was blameless. I wish I had used the word debate. I understood that hon. members would rise if they wanted to debate, so in the absence of anyone rising I am going to rule in favour, that the motion is now carried. I am going to rule that the matter cannot be reopened. I am hoping for the understanding of hon. members. Perhaps you would give your Speaker a little leeway.

I do not want to prolong this. If the hon. member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake has something to add, I know it is probably against the rules but I will hear him out.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, I certainly understand the dilemma you are in because I face a similar dilemma at this end of the House. With all due respect, I believe you are aware that this is the first time in this Parliament the government has seen fit to utilize this section of the Standing Orders.

Therefore, when the minister rose to state that he was rising under section 53 of the Standing Orders, I immediately reached into my desk, pulled out the Standing Orders I have here, and was reading the Standing Orders as you were reading the motion.

It took me a couple of moments to realize that there was a debate on the motion itself. I like many members of the House take some time to understand the full implications of every standing order. With respect, I think it would have been appropriate had the word debate been used to prompt individual members to their feet should they have wished to debate the issue.

Having said that and understanding your position, Mr. Speaker, and given the nature of the debate, the fact that there is much information about the dispute the government is introducing legislation on, perhaps members may wish to reflect upon it.

I would ask for unanimous consent of the House to allow for this hour of debate to carry forward and therefore allow some of this to be discussed prior to putting the motion itself.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, consultation taking place at the moment on the issue to determine whether or not this would be advisable. If and when the House decides to revert to that, this would be no reflection upon the excellent ruling of Mr. Speaker. It would only be because of unanimous consent of the House to revert to that, should the House decide to do so.

While consultation is going on I reiterate for the Chair a further point. On reflection of the issue raised by the hon. member some moments ago, there seems to have been confusion about the fact that the motion as proposed by the minister discussed provision for the hour of adjournment tonight. That seems to have given way to some confusion between that and the one hour to debate the motion itself. I believe that was perhaps the cause of the confusion in the hon. member's mind.

Nevertheless, consultation having been achieved, I am pleased to report that we are prepared to consider unanimous consent.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, on second reflection we will have to wait for that to happen.

Points Of Order
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

Mr. Speaker, having done the negotiating, I think you would find, in light of what has happened, that we are quite prepared to ensure when the bill comes up for debate that time be permitted to the New

Democratic Party to participate in the debate on the bill which otherwise might be jeopardized by some other arrangement.

I undertake to ensure in all negotiations about the debate on the bill that time be permitted to the NDP to participate in the debate. I think that will solve the problem. We need not reopen the issue.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, in light of what has taken place here, I think out of consideration we would accept the offer put forward by the hon. member.

However I wish to stress that the point of the intervention was that the use of the standing order in this case was not introduced properly either by the government or in our understanding of the ability to debate early.

We realize even in the event of the debate carrying on through the evening that New Democrats would likely have an opportunity to speak. However the problem that exists is that the legislation the government is bringing forward, which the government is scheduling to pass this evening, may not be necessary given what is happening on the west coast. Therefore we should debate that process prior to debating the motion itself.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The dilemma that we face in the House seems to have at least a reasonable chance to be resolved without reverting in any way.

The hon. member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake has made his point clear. I personally thank him for his understanding. I probably should have said the word debate. I assure him that the next time I will use the word debate.

My ruling would be that the motion is carried. I want to put the matter to one side, understanding of course the agreement of the governing party that hon. members will have a chance to fully participate in the debate. It would seem that there is unanimous agreement. Is there unanimous agreement?

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.