House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was reform.

Topics

Employment Equity
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the public service, it is incorrect to say that women are being discriminated against in terms of numbers. The percentage of availability of women in the workforce is 47 per cent. For this year our report indicates that women make up 48.7 per cent of the public service, more than their actual number in the labour force.

In the public service in the last few years of downsizing we have been careful to maintain the number of women to at least what they were as a percentage of the total labour force and we have more than succeeded.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Benita Maria Ferrero-Waldner, State Secretary in the federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the country of Austria.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Before I hear the point or order I have notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Laurier-Sainte-Marie.

Is the question of privilege related to something which happened during oral question period?

I will take the question of privilege first.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

March 10th, 1997 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during Oral Question Period, the Prime Minister called members on this side of the House, members of the Bloc Quebecois, racists and fanatics. I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw these unacceptable and unparliamentary terms.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, the Prime Minister is not here right now. I did not hear him say that, but I will review the blues and, if necessary, I will get back to the House.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly hope it is in the blues, the Leader of the Opposition and I asked the Prime Minister on three occasions to repeat what he had said, and he did. You might want to ask the Prime Minister himself.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

As I told the member, I will review the case. I will look at the blues and the video tapes to see what happened. If necessary, I will get back to the House.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with regard to the hopefully raised questions of my hon. colleagues from Crowfoot and Calgary North. The point of order I want to raise is with regard to consistency in judging how questions can be asked and what the content of those questions can be.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I explained to the hon. member for Crowfoot the decisions that were taken today and the dilemma I was having because of the specific nature of his question. At that point-

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

What about the tobacco bill? What about that? What about fairness?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I hope I did not hear the words "what about fairness" because if I did, and if they were directed to me, then that is another matter altogether. However, I am going to let that pass.

I permitted the hon. member to rephrase his question and he withdrew. He decided not to go on with his question. I proceeded to another member from the same party. I thought the preamble to the question was going down the same road, but I permitted the question to go ahead. I thought the question was marginal but permissible. But then I got into the answer and the answer dealt directly with that subject matter which is going on today.

I want to give members as much room as I possibly can in formulating questions at all times and I want to give the government as much room as possible to answer the questions that are put because I think they are important.

However, if we are dealing with that precise subject matter and it is not general enough, in my view, then I would hope that members in turn would be fair enough to accept my decision that the question is out of order. I judged the questions to be out of order and that decision stands.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, a point of order.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

If this is on another point of order, I will recognize the hon. member for Fraser Valley East. Is this another point of order? It is.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, in trying to formulate when an answer from the government side makes us out of order, you can see the dilemma this places us in.

When we were discussing the tobacco bill last week, the government answered in terms of amendments proposed for the bill being discussed that day in the House, specific amendments, and that was okay. But now when we have asked questions and the answer comes back in such a manner that you, Mr. Speaker, consider that answer out of order, then it rules everything we are doing out of-