House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order which I will make very brief. I know there is a very important debate on Bill C-33 before the House.

This point of order is relative to the business of the House tomorrow and concerns the private member's motion in the name of the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, which is listed as Motion No. M-2 on today's Order Paper. This motion is scheduled for debate tomorrow during private members' hour and I believe that you should rule it out of order.

Beauchesne's sixth edition states that the conduct of a member may only be discussed in the House of Commons by way of a substantive or a distinct motion, that is, a self-contained proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision to the House.

That is a very key point. This is the first time that a motion charging another member with contempt has been scheduled for debate under the new rules governing private members' business.

Before the rule change, all private members' items were votable. If a member attempted to use a private members' motion to charge another member with contempt under the old rules, the motion would be automatically votable.

The situation in which we find ourselves today is a first. It will be the first time that the House receives a non-votable motion that charges another member with contempt. If allowed, it will set a dangerous practice because there is no conclusion at the end of the process.

If a member is going to make a charge against another member, then he or she had better present the House with a votable motion. If you are going to make a charge you had better put your money where your mouth is. Anything else would be unjust, improper and against the practices of the House.

If this motion is allowed to come forward, we will be engaging in an unfair and dishonest hit and run attack on a member. It is unparliamentary and unethical because of a loophole.

When the rules changed, no one considered the point I am raising today regarding a charge of contempt. The subcommittee on private members' business, or the committee it reports to, does not have the power to deny debate on this motion. Also, it is not obliged to automatically deem such motions votable. That is why it is up to you, Madam Speaker, to decide whether or not it is right to deal with this matter. I ask for your guidance.

Charging another member with contempt of Parliament is not something we in this House take lightly. Considering that every reference and every precedent of a charge of contempt against another member from Erskine May, Beauchesne, Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada , without exception, take the form of a votable motion, we should not now break with this practice and allow a motion charging a member with contempt to go forward if we are not prepared to take action.

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There are a few things wrong with what we just heard.

What we are discussing is whether or not the motion in reference to the Reform Party, wanting itself to be designated as the official opposition, is the whole issue to which we are referring to. I have not heard that party, particularly this week, asking that it be designated as the official opposition.

That is a debate for another time. The facts are that, first, the clerk of the private members' business was informed yesterday-it can be verified-that I am unavailable to debate the motion tomorrow. That is a matter of record. The notice was sent yesterday and that can be confirmed.

Second, the proposition brought to your attention, Madam Speaker, as a point of order this morning is irreceivable because the matter is not before the House at the time we are having this conversation.

Third, I find it rather ironic that someone is complaining that my motion has not been designated by a committee of which I am not a member to be votable.

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

It is my understanding that tomorrow the motion in question will not be debated because the clerk has received advice that the hon. member is not available. I will take your point of order under consideration and will come back to the House with a ruling.

Government's Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed 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 16 petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations in relation to its study of the Senate's main estimates, 1996-97.

The report requests that a message be sent to the Senate inviting their honours to give leave to the chair of the standing committee on internal economy, budgets and administration, to appear before our committee in relation to the Senate's main estimates.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the first report later this day.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration relating to the Canada-U.S. agreement on the review of refugee claims.

This is the first time the government has allowed copies of an agreement to be circulated before final signature. On behalf of a majority of members of the committee, I would like to commend the government for allowing interested parties to come before the committee to discuss the agreement before final signature.

I am confident that the minister will take into account our 12 recommendations.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I am also tabling a dissenting report on this proposed Canada-U.S. agreement relating to refugee claims.

I wish to point out that, during the previous legislature, the Liberals were opposed to this proposed agreement and that nearly all the organizations that have appeared before the committee, including the representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, levelled some very harsh criticisms against this agreement, which, I think, goes against Canada's open-minded practices.

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

May 9th, 1996 / 10:10 a.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-35, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (minimum wage).

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

Food And Drugs Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-281, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and the Narcotics Control Act (trafficking in a controlled or a restricted drug or narcotic within five hundred metres of an elementary school of high school).

Mr. Speaker, the impact of drug use on youth is a significant problem of ongoing concern to Canadians that must be addressed. Protection of our youth is a primary concern. By increasing penalties on pushers who deal drugs near schools we will deter criminals from trafficking drugs in and around those schools.

This bill amends the Food and Drug Act and the Narcotic Control Act to impose minimum prison sentences of one year for the first offence and two years for a further offence in cases where a person is convicted of trafficking a controlled or restricted drug or a narcotic within 500 metres of an elementary school or a high school.

Drug related crime was estimated to be the source of 85 per cent of all criminal activity in Canada in 1992. This bill will address those concerns. I hope the House will support the bill.

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

Equal Treatment Of People Cohabiting In A Relationship Similar To A Conjugal Relationship Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-282, an act providing for equal treatment of people cohabiting in a relationship similar to a conjugal relationship.

Madam Speaker, for the second time in this House, I am pleased to introduce a bill aimed at recognizing same sex partners. This bill would ensure that 53 definitions in Canadian legislation are amended so as to include homosexual relationships in the definition of conjugal relationship.

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

Department Of Labour Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-283, an act to amend the Department of Labour Act (eligibility for assistance for long-service employees).

Madam Speaker, I wish to introduce a bill aimed at modifying the POWA, or Program for Older Worker Adjustment, so as to change the rule of 100 that applies to cities whose population exceeds 500,000.

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

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East, ON

Madam Speaker, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Kent:

That the first report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to.)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Stormont—Dundas, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I present a petition on behalf of residents of Winchester, Williamsburg and Chesterville.

The petitioners request that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the human rights code to include in the prohibited grounds of discrimination the undefined phrase sexual orientation.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I have petitions presented by constituents in the Lac du Bonnet and Steinbach areas.

The petitioners state that whereas the privileges society accords to heterosexual couples should not be extended to same sex relations, and whereas societal approval including these privileges would be given to same sex relations if amendments were made to the human rights code, they therefore pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights act to indicate societal approval by including the undefined term sexual orientation in the proposed amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from constituents in and around my riding asking that the phrase sexual orientation be kept out of the human rights act.

They pray and request that Parliament oppose any amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act or any other federal legislation that will provide for the inclusion of the phrase sexual orientation.

The second petition is along the same lines. People in and around my riding pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights act or the charter of rights and freedoms in anyway that would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to include the prohibited grounds of discrimination of the undefined phrase sexual orientation.