House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was highway.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that the three commissioners were the ones who agreed that this was within the preamble and the precepts of the act.

Having said that, our government has taken EI premiums down from $3.07 to $2.40, a reduction of close to $5 billion a year. Unlike the Reform Party we made those cuts for the workers, not just for the employers alone the way it has advocated.

Institutes Of Health Research
Oral Question Period

December 17th, 1999 / 11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has introduced a bill to create the Canadian institutes of health research.

The Bloc Quebecois has always been in favour of increased investment in biomedical research. In the case of the institutes of health research, however, the government has just created additional structures that will reflect its health research priorities.

Can the Minister of Health make a commitment before this House that no institute of health research will be designated in Quebec without its government's consent?

Institutes Of Health Research
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, anything that has to do with Quebec and the improvement of health care will be discussed with the province of Quebec.

Parks
Oral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The panel on ecological integrity of Canada's national parks will be creating a picture on the devastating effect of program review on national parks in this country. The situation across Canada has deteriorated from a lack of research and interpretative personnel to threats of a lack of buffer zones around our cherished national parks.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage commit the support from the cabinet and support our national parks in the new millennium?

Parks
Oral Question Period

Noon

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, undoubtedly.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister of agriculture and high seas hijinks wants to hallucinate further.

It is obvious that the demands for a $4 million jet are not enough for CSC commissioner Ole Ingstrup, he needs to hobnob on the high seas. The jet-setting Mr. Ingstrup is living the lifestyle of the rich and famous while taxpayers foot the bill.

The solicitor general must take responsibility for this lavish corrections commissioner. Did he know or did he authorize such a waste of taxpayers' dollars? And if public safety is such a number one priority as we have heard ad nauseam, what will the solicitor general do to ensure that this type of accountability occurs against such appalling folly?

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

Noon

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, since it will be Christmas very shortly, I would like to take advantage of this question to deplore once again the overtones of the lack of confidence from my colleagues toward the civil service in Canada. It is one of the most trained and dedicated civil services in the world. It is one of the most loyal civil services in the world.

I wish them and their families the very, very best for the Christmas season and next year.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

My colleagues, this is the last question period in this particular session.

I wish all of you would take some time in the next few weeks to be with your families and to reinvigorate yourselves. In a specific way, I wish all of you a happy new year. I wish for this institution a happy new century. I wish for the Canadian people a happy millennium. Enjoy your time off.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

Noon

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, Del Hoffman and his wife Bev were killed in northern Mexico this week by four American bank robbers. The semi-retired couple were vacationing in Mexico. They were brutally murdered for their RV, credit cards and cash. The generous couple were also carrying clothing and bicycles for poor Mexican children.

Both Del and Bev were big-hearted loving people and their warmth was infectious. Their family and friends are devastated.

On behalf of my constituency and my colleagues in the House, I offer our deepest sympathy. Bev and Del Hoffman will be greatly missed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, during question period the parliamentary secretary who answered the question with respect to the leaky condos in British Columbia quoted from a document. She said she was quoting a civil servant. I am assuming that this was some sort of an official document she quoted from, given that she cited a civil servant as being the source of the quote. Would she table what she was quoting from for the benefit of all of us who are concerned about the leaky condos problem in British Columbia?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Yes, Mr. Speaker, a document will be tabled shortly.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege for which I have already given the Chair notice.

My question of privilege arises from news reports on Wednesday, December 15 in the Ottawa Citizen , Edmonton Journal and National Post each of which made reference to the report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled Thursday, December 16 in the House.

I draw the Speaker's attention to the following quote which appeared in each of these newspapers cited. It stated:

To accommodate the treaty right the government should encourage native participation in the fishery through a program which provides native fishermen with a down payment on a licence and vessel and a competitive loan to cover the outstanding value of the assets purchased.

Each newspaper identified that statement as one section of the report.

I would draw to the Speaker's attention the recommendation section of the Reform Party's minority report as appended to the committee report. In that section there appears a quote on page 43 which is identical to the one I have read.

I further point out that even I as chair did not have access to that minority report until Thursday, December 16 and that appeared in the paper on Wednesday, December 15.

I would draw the Speaker's attention to the fact that in two of the newspaper accounts, the title of the report for which that quotation was supposedly extracted was provided to the media as “The Marshall Decision and Beyond: Implications for the Management of Atlantic Fisheries”. That title as provided to the media is of course the title of the report as tabled in the House.

Neither the title of the report nor the contents of the Reform Party's minority report were disclosed in any way by the committee in public session. Both of these were provided to the media without the consent of the committee and therefore in violation of the rules of the House.

It is my contention that providing the media with what was attributed as being part of the standing committee's report has violated the privileges not only of the members who dedicated themselves to the work of this committee but to all members of the House.

My remarks are not directed toward the contents which were contained in the Reform Party's minority report. My concern is that someone provided the media with that minority report and obviously implied that what they were providing was part of the committee's report. That was done, I would submit, intentionally and maliciously.

I conclude by saying that this unfortunately is not the first time a report of the standing committee on fisheries has been leaked to the media prior to its being tabled in the House. The difference this time is that there appears to be little doubt, in fact absolutely no doubt, as to the source of the violation of the privileges of the members of the House.

If the Speaker finds that I have a prima facie case of privilege, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, on this particular point that is being brought forward, I notice that no member is named in this question of privilege. As such, we cannot get any response from one of our members.

I have said a few times in the House and outside that the House itself and its members must look to each other with the type of respect so that this type of thing will not happen, as in any other leak of documents. Unless and until the procedural committee or indeed the House informs me as to what can be done about this generally, we have to rely on the members themselves to police themselves to see that this does not happen.

Once again, I appeal to all hon. members that if they are on committees and there are reports, that if they have possession of these reports they should not be releasing them until the committee that they are with approves the report so that it can be released hopefully in the House, but at least not prematurely.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the same question of privilege, I do not want to be too cute about it, but on the same day that we are talking about leaky condos, we call attention once again to the leaky parliamentary culture that we have here.

I just want to make the point that it is not just committee reports that are being leaked, that is reprehensible enough, but there has also been a persistent strategy on the part of the government to leak its own proposals before parliament gets to know about them. We get a kind of tit for tat culture here. It is not good for the institution. It is not good for anybody.

I just wanted to agree with you, Mr. Speaker, that everyone has the responsibility not to behave in this particular way, whether they are members of committees or whether they are cabinet ministers who leak things to the press before they tell parliament about it.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I see the member for Elk Island is on his feet. I assume he wants to add one or two sentences to this point and then I will close it down.