House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Points Of Order

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I am now ready to render a ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Langley—Abbotsford on February 2, 1998 concerning Bill S-3, an act to amend the Pension Benefit Standards Act, 1985 and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act.

First of all, I would like to thank the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona, the whip of the official opposition, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House as well as the hon. member for Nanaimo—Alberni for their helpful contributions in this matter.

In his presentation, the opposition House leader expressed concern about the introduction of public bills in the Senate. He went on to state that Bill S-3, which had been introduced and passed in the Senate and was now on the order paper of the House, should be considered a money bill and that, as such, it should have originated in the House of Commons.

Before proceeding further I would like to make two points of clarification. With regard to the introduction of bills in the Senate, may I respectfully remind members of a ruling I delivered on October 9, 1997, following the question of privilege raised by the same honourable member on this very subject. At that time I indicated that according to our practice, bills may originate in the Senate or in the House.

Second, allow me to make a very small correction to a remark made by the hon. House leader of the official opposition. He reminded the House that Bill S-3 had been originally introduced as Bill C-45 in the previous Parliament. In fact the similar bill from the previous Parliament was Bill C-85 and not Bill C-45.

I will now deal with the substantive procedural issue before the Chair. The hon. member alleged that both bills were essentially the same. Thus, he argued, since a royal recommendation had been attached to Bill C-85, one should also be attached to Bill S-3.

In reply to this argument, the government House leader stated that Bill S-3 does not—and should not—contain a royal recommendation since it is not a money bill.

So-called money bills refer to those bills which raise taxes or bills which appropriate money, whether based on annual supply votes or on bills which authorize statutory expenditures. Bills appropriating public funds must be accompanied by a royal recommendation which establishes “the objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications” as explained in citation 596, page 183 of Beauchesne's sixth edition.

I have carefully examined Bill S-3 and find that there are four components to this legislation, none of which in my opinion either imposes a tax or appropriates money for any purpose.

In the 1987 legislation creating the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions, responsibility for supervising federally regulated private sector pension plans was provided for. It seems fairly evident that the powers of the superintendent would be extended by Bill S-3. It may well be that additional expenditures would be incurred because of those enhanced powers of the superintendent.

Should an increase in resources be necessary as a result of these new powers, the necessary allocation of money would have to be sought by means of an appropriation bill because I was unable to find any provision for money in Bill S-3.

For these reasons I have determined that Bill S-3 does not require a royal recommendation and does not contravene the provisions of Standing Order 80(1). I rule therefore that Bill S-3 is properly before the House.

In making this or any other ruling, the Chair examines the arguments raised in light of the standing orders of the House and our precedents and practice developed over time. Although I may not always come to the same conclusion as a member raising a point of order, I share with all of you the common objective of having deliberations in this House unfold in a fair and orderly fashion according to our rules and practice.

I do not rule for or against a member or a party. The Chair rules to uphold the standing orders and the practice of this House. In this task I continue to depend on the vigilance and assistance of all hon. members and I wish to thank the hon. opposition House leader for raising this particular matter in defence of the privileges of the House.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

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

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-312, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (percentage of gifts that may be deducted from tax).

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce a bill entitled an act to amend the Income Tax Act, percentage of gifts that may be deducted from tax. This bill will put charitable donations on the same tax footing as political donations for the first $1,150. Thereafter any tax credits for charitable donations would remain the same.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a number of Canadians, including Canadians from my riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that police officers and firefighters are required to place their lives at risk in the discharge of their duties on a daily basis and that the employment benefits of police officers and firefighters are often insufficient to compensate families for those police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.

They also point out that the public mourns the loss of police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty. They wish to support in a tangible way the surviving members of their families in their time of need. The petitioners therefore ask Parliament to establish a public safety officers compensation fund to provide benefits to families of public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce several petitions today.

The first petition is signed by 124 Canadians from British Columbia. The petitioners are concerned about the government's handling of herbal remedies. They feel that these remedies have been dealt with in a heavy handed manner.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition concerns the age of consent. I would like to present this petition on behalf of my former colleague, the former member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, who was a key player in initiating the move to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16.

The petitioners request that Parliament affirm the duty of parents to responsibly raise their children according to their own conscience and beliefs and to retain section 43 of Canada's Criminal Code.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the final petition which I wish to present, the petitioners request Parliament to amend the Criminal Code to increase the minimum and maximum penalties for the offence of joy riding and to impose financial responsibility on the offenders and/or their parents or guardians whose negligence contributed to the commission of the offence.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present two petitions to the House this morning.

The first petition has to do with the multilateral agreement on investment. The petitioners state that the MAI is fundamentally flawed in so far as it seeks to protect the rights of investors without seeking similar protection for workers through binding core labour standards and that the MAI is anti-democratic in so far as it would be binding for 20 years, thus tying the hands of several Parliaments and future governments.

Therefore the petitioners call upon Parliament to reject the current framework of MAI negotiations and instruct the government to seek an entirely different agreement by which the world might achieve a rules based global trading regime which protects workers, the environment and the ability of governments to act in the public interest.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this petition concerns a ruling by the international court of justice on July 8, 1996 wherein the court stated unanimously that in accordance with article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

Therefore the petitioners pray and request that Parliament support the immediate initiation and conclusion by the year 2000 of an international convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today.

The first petition deals with amendments to the Criminal Code and requests that the age of consent for sexual activity be raised from 14 years to 18 years of age. This petition is signed by 231 individuals from my riding and indeed from across Canada, Ontario westward.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by 115 people who are calling for amendments to be made to the Food and Drugs Act dealing with herbal remedies and other nutritional supplements. The petitioners call for increased personal freedom without government interference to use herbal remedies and supplements.

The petition is signed by citizens from the area of 100 Mile House and Lac La Hache.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present three petitions to the House today.

The first one concerns the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is signed by citizens who are calling on Parliament to support the immediate initiation and conclusion by the year 2000 of an international convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by citizens who are calling upon Parliament to rescind Bill C-2 which imposes massive CPP premium hikes while reducing benefits and changes the CPP financial arrangements to provide a payout to the Bay Street brokers and bankers.

The petition also further calls on the House to institute a national review for a retirement income system in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

The third petition, Mr. Speaker, concerns the multilateral agreement on investment. It calls on Parliament to reject the current framework of MAI negotiations and instructs the government to seek an entirely different agreement by which the world might achieve a rules based global trading regime that protects workers, the environment and the ability of governments to act in the public interest.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in which citizens of Canada draw the attention of the House to a fundamental flaw in the MAI in so far as it seeks to protect the right of investors without seeking similar protection for workers through binding core labour standards. They also point out that the MAI is anti-democratic in so far as it will be binding for 20 years and ties the hands of several Parliaments and future governments.

The petitioners call on Parliament to reject the current framework of MAI negotiations and instruct the government to seek an entirely different agreement by which the world might achieve a rules based global trading regime that protects workers, the environment and the ability of government to act in the public interest.