House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the first day back after the break. I am not fully familiar with the situation of Question No. 33 but I assure the member that I will look into it.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, on December 2, 1997, I asked Question No. 56, again concerning the Oak Bay Marine Group.

On March 26 the PCO reported that the response was complete, that it had been signed off by the minister a few weeks previous to that and that it was with the government House leader for tabling.

On April 16 the PCO simply said that it was still with the House leader for tabling. I would like to know where that question is.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my response is the same. I apologize to the member. I am sure what he says is true. I will also look into the whereabouts of Question No. 56.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 51 concerning the aboriginal fishery was asked on December 1, 1997.

On March 26 the PCO said that from the department's point of view the answer was complete and that it had gone to the minister to be signed off.

On April 16 the PCO said that it had yet to receive it from the department. I would like to know where my question is.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, again I have noted Question No. 51.

The member has obviously kept very careful track of the responses he has had at various stages of these questions. I urge the member and others to approach me at any time and I would be glad to look into these matters.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would similarly inquire as to where the answer is to Question No. 21.

Some information was received although it was not the information we were looking for. I again ask the representative of the government when we might expect to receive an accurate answer to our question.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank this other member. With respect to Question No. 21 he says that he has received some other information. I am always glad to respond to these points. I am available. From time to time if members would care to approach me, I would be glad to follow up on these matters fully.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Shall the remaining questions stand?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

April 20th, 1998 / 3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I have received two letters asking for an emergency debate. The first one I received is from the hon. member for Qu'Appelle.

Both these letters deal basically with the same subject matter, so I will first give the floor to the member for Qu'Appelle. Then I will give it to one of the co-signers of the other letter, the member for Prince George—Bulkley Valley.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. This morning I sent you a letter seeking leave under Standing Order 52(2) to seek an emergency debate on the two megabank mergers we have been hearing a lot about recently.

Four of our six big banks have plans now to merge. This will completely transform the financial services industry in our country. It will impact on the constituents of all members of Parliament. It is a very fundamental change, perhaps the most fundamental change in the Canadian financial services industry in the history of Canada.

The government said again today that it plans no parliamentary action until the report of the MacKay task force some time in September. That is about five months down the road, which is a long time to go without dealing with the issue in the Parliament of Canada.

I submit that an emergency debate is needed now. The financial markets have reacted starting back in January. They are still reacting to these announcements. It is about time we had some democratic parliamentary reaction from the floor of the House of Commons.

For those reasons I submit to you that this is a legitimate case of a request for an emergency debate on a very important issue that we as elected parliamentarians should deal with here in this House in a truly democratic manner. We owe it to our constituents.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat is going to put the case for the other one.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, to some degree I want to echo the comments of my colleague from the NDP.

I point out that we have two parties asking for this. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, quite honestly that we did not get together to make this happen. I think it reflects the concern of the people of Canada over the possibility of a bank merger in what a lot of people would argue is a policy vacuum left by the government.

I want to point out that Canadians are facing the possibility of seeing our six big banks reduced to four, two of which will have the resources, really, to overshadow all of the competition.

My friend has pointed out that the government has no plan to deal with this issue, except to say that there is a group that is studying this right now, but it will not be reporting for several months.

We are very concerned that because many shareholders are involved in this and because the international investment community is watching this closely the banks will be allowed to drive the agenda to the point where the government will be forced to make a decision in their favour without proper public input.

Therefore, I am also asking that you give serious consideration to our request to have an emergency debate on this issue. We think it is one that Canadians are very concerned about and, again, the government has no policy on the issue.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

As I said earlier, both of these requests are in order. There is no question that you were discussing it between the parties before. That is not part of it at all.

In my view, they do not meet the requirements for an emergency debate. I would not suggest outright that perhaps some consideration be given to another vehicle for discussing this particular matter. Perhaps something could come up this Thursday when hon. members could consider another way of venting their opinions on this particular matter.

Business Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and I think you will find there is unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 51, on Tuesday, April 21, 1998, the first spokesperson for each recognized party during the debate pursuant to the aforementioned standing order may speak for no more than 20 minutes and may split their time.