House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. opposition House leader wanted to intervene last Thursday on this exact matter. I will recognize the hon. House leader of the opposition, but may I put into context what we are talking about.

To reiterate, as I understand it, last week we had an hon. member alleging that another hon. member made a statement about some of the things that were discussed in a meeting of a subcommittee. We are honour bound not to repeat anything from meetings which are held in camera and we take all hon. members at face value.

Today the hon. member who was alleged to have spoken has made a statement in the House of Commons. He says, and I want to be corrected if I do not understand it, categorically that he did not make any statement of any material forthcoming from this meeting. That is my understanding. Is that correct?

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is correct. I would also like to point out for the House that these meetings were not in camera. They were public meetings.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The issue here is: Was this information leaked or not? We have one hon. member alleging that it was leaked material. We have the hon. member who is alleged to have leaked the material saying categorically that he did not. We at all times take the word of hon. members of parliament and we are honour bound in that way.

With that in mind, and before I render a final decision, I will hear very briefly from the opposition House leader if he has anything to add.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, what we have facing us is something a lot bigger than this particular incident.

A report from procedure and House affairs on leaked documents that was supposed to resolve the issue of confidence and confidentiality within the House of Commons was tabled in the House, but that was it. It was not even concurred in. We as a House are supposed at least to concur in that report, at least agree to it so that we could get some guidance from the Chair. That has not happened.

Since that document has been produced by the committee, there have been at least three such incidents which have been matters of complaint by members here.

It seems to me this will not go away. I think the onus is on the Chair to make some decision. Obviously the procedure and House affairs committee could not make the decision. The House in its entirety is incapable of making the decision because it will not make any decisions on this matter.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to set some standards and guidelines, to set some rules and to provide some sanctions for those who show contempt of the House and abuse the privileges of the House.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member of course is not addressing himself to this specific issue.

With regard to the specific issue that I am dealing with now, which is the allegation that the hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges leaked information, I accept and I want the House to accept the hon. member's word. I consider the matter closed.

With regard to the other matter that the opposition House leader has raised, this was put into the hands of the committee on procedure. We are awaiting its report. It has not been concurred in.

If it is before the House I would tend to be informed about it, but if it is not brought to the House in very short order I want you to know that I do not feel it is the personal responsibility of the Chair to make the rules for this House. It is up to the House to decide how it will conduct itself. It is up to the Speaker to see to it that the rules of the House are adhered to.

I do not believe that this parliament or any other parliament should be subject solely to what the Speaker of the day wants to introduce as the rules. I believe that the Speaker is the servant of the House, and he or she will take direction from the House when the time comes.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have often had occasion in the House to raise the problems of leaked committee documents and reports. I have brought numerous problems to your attention. The need to find a solution to these problems has become so great that even the report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which was to analyse these cases and propose sanctions, has itself been leaked. It is ridiculous beyond belief.

Given what has gone on here for the last two or three years or so, with more and more of these leaks taking place and members saying they are not responsible for releasing documents to be tabled in the House before they are made public, now we are wondering whether the rule of confidentiality still applies in the House and in committees, which are an extension of the House.

We in the Bloc Quebecois are wondering whether these parliamentary rules and traditions should be taken seriously in future, because the situation is becoming ridiculous.

A solution must be found because I, as a parliamentarian, have the feeling that my rights and privileges are slipping away from me. In case after case, no solution has been proposed to prevent documents from being leaked before they are tabled in the House.

It is too easy for a member who is quoted four times in an article to say that that was not what he said. At a certain point, people should stop taking us for idiots.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, it is not usual for the Chair in any way to give directions of this type to the House, but I suggest to all hon. members that any member of the House can move concurrence in a report from committee. When this is done, this could trigger a full-fledged debate about this particular report to which we are referring.

Hon. members could get the specific rules from the table officers, but I believe we need to know 48 hours ahead of time. If it is the wish of the House to have a full-fledged debate on this particular matter, then it is a decision which will be taken by the House. I as the Speaker will react as soon as the House decides what it wants to do.

I am going to put that aside for now and I am going to go directly to a point of order.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, during question period the solicitor general referred to a review of drugs in prison in 1995 and again in his supplementary he said last year. I assume that is 1998.

According to the rules of this House, through you, Mr. Speaker, I ask the solicitor general to table those reviews.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Although the solicitor general referred to a report, I will review the blues but I do not think that the solicitor general referred to this. However, I will hear some advice.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, citation 495(3) of Beauchesne's states:

A public document referred to but not cited or quoted by a Minister need not be tabled.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I think this is clear. I did not hear the hon. solicitor general quote directly from it. I will review the blues and if it is necessary, I will come back to the House.

During the 35th Parliament, the last parliament, one of our colleagues, Mr. Hugh Hanrahan, who was a very respected member of the House and of the Reform Party took ill. Just recently he passed away and today we are going to have tributes. We will begin with the leader of the Reform Party.

The Late Hugh Hanrahan
Oral Question Period

June 8th, 1999 / 3:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join with others in paying tribute to Hugh Hanrahan, the former member of parliament for Edmonton—Strathcona who passed away on May 19.

Hugh served in this place from 1993 to 1997. He was particularly active as a member of the House of Commons industry committee and as an advocate for the interests of small business and for the research and development community.

Hugh's voyage through life, like that of so many Canadians, took him from eastern Canada to central Canada, to western Canada and then back to central Canada as a member of parliament.

He grew up in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in a family of five boys. He obtained his undergraduate degrees in arts and education from St. Francis Xavier University. Hugh then came to this city where he obtained his master's degree in education from the University of Ottawa. He then moved west to pursue his career as a teacher. He taught in the Edmonton Catholic school system for some 20 years. He was recognized as teacher of the year for his devotion to teaching high school students something about economics.

In 1993 Hugh returned to Ottawa as the Reform member of parliament representing the constituency of Edmonton—Strathcona, a constituency which includes many students, faculty members and employees at the University of Alberta.

I personally feel that one of the measures of the accomplishments and progress of ourselves as human beings is what the younger generation thinks of us. Perhaps that comes from being a father of five children. Do we inspire confidence, hope and aspirations on the part of younger people or do they see in us particularly as we grow older a wet blanket, an obstacle or an impediment to their dreams and aspirations?

Hugh Hanrahan had a gift for inspiring the confidence and hopes of young people which in the final analysis is a greater tribute to the positive aspects of his life than anything that I could say.

It was Hugh's students, some of whom had yet to cast their first ballot in a federal election, who persuaded him, their teacher, to run for public office. It was Hugh's students and former students who helped him win the Reform nomination in Edmonton—Strathcona and formed the heart of his successful election campaign.

Hugh was never happier in pursuing a public issue than when it was related to the hopes, aspirations and success of young people. It is no coincidence that when he retired from political life because of ill health his constituents chose one of the youngest candidates in the 1997 federal election to follow in his footsteps as the member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

On behalf of the official opposition, we pay tribute to our former colleague, Hugh Hanrahan, today. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife Dianne, to his daughter Margaret Ann and his four brothers. We thank them for encouraging Hugh to share his life with young people and to share his life with us.

The Late Hugh Hanrahan
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the government to offer tribute to the former MP from Edmonton—Strathcona. Hugh Hanrahan was a fellow Edmontonian and someone I got to know when we were both elected for the first time to the House in 1993. In fact the points of coincidence between Mr. Hanrahan and myself do not end there.

As the hon. Leader of the Official Opposition has pointed out, the University of Alberta was in Mr. Hanrahan's riding and I had the opportunity and pleasure to teach at the University of Alberta for over 13 years before becoming a member of the House. Mr. Hanrahan and I on our frequent flights back and forth from Edmonton to Ottawa often sat beside each other. We had the opportunity to talk about our shared love and commitment and at times concern for the University of Alberta.

The hon. Leader of the Official Opposition is quite right that Mr. Hanrahan carried a very deep commitment to the University of Alberta and the research and development and intellectual life of that institution. He did all that he could to ensure that it was nourished and fostered.

As the Leader of the Official Opposition has pointed out, Mr. Hanrahan, like myself, was born in Nova Scotia. We then made our way west. Mr. Hanrahan was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia where he earned degrees in both education and arts from St. Francis Xavier or as Mr. Hanrahan would say, St. F. X. Later he obtained a master's degree in economics from the University of Ottawa.

He did make his way west where he accepted a teaching position first in Calgary. Soon afterward he moved to Edmonton where he taught economics and earned a reputation in and out of the world of education as a man of commitment and thoughtfulness.

Mr. Hanrahan spent over 20 years teaching in the Edmonton Catholic school system. He was honoured as teacher of the year in 1998 by the Alberta Foundation for Economic Education. Many of his students have commented on how influential Mr. Hanrahan was in their lives. I thought as a former teacher myself it was very fitting that on the night of his election Mr. Hanrahan commented on how influential those students had been on his life. He acknowledged that it was through the encouragement of his students that he actually for the first time seriously considered running as a member of parliament. His lifelong advocacy of fiscal restraint and reducing the national debt provided him with a strong and obvious platform. His bid at federal politics was successful.

Among other duties he served on the industry committee where he developed an expertise on small and medium size business and research and development. Mr. Hanrahan worked diligently in the service of his constituents until ill health required his retirement from elected office.

Mr. Hanrahan was a religious man and one who found intellectual stimulation and comfort from the works of philosophy, religion, politics and history.

On behalf of the government, I am pleased to recognize the work of Mr. Hanrahan and his commitment to the public service of this country. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife Dianne, his daughter Margaret and other family and friends.

The Late Hugh Hanrahan
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are paying tribute to Hugh Hanrahan, who was the Reform Party member for the riding of Edmonton—Strathcona between 1993 and 1997.

Hugh Hanrahan passed away on May 19. He was only 52.

Mr. Hanrahan was considered a thoughtful man with a penetrating mind and a great ability to deepen the issues he believed in.

He had a BA and a bachelor's degree in education from St. Francis Xavier University and a master's degree in education from the University of Ottawa.

He taught economics at a Catholic school in Edmonton, where he was known as a wonderful teacher. This was perfectly natural, since teaching was a real passion for Hugh. His curiosity was great and he never stopped learning, always wanting to think more about things.

He won his election in 1993 in the riding of Edmonton—Strathcona. He got involved in politics through, among other things, the encouragement of his students who knew how their teacher's interest in and concerns about tax administration and problem of the national debt.

When he won, Mr. Hanrahan took time to warmly thank his students for their encouragement.

He even mentioned at an event that for him one of the nicest compliments he got as a teacher was that his students had influenced the direction of his life. That shows just how much he cared for and respected his students.

My colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois and I offer our most sincere condolences to his wife Dianne, his daughter Margaret Ann, and to all his family and friends.

The loss of someone dear is always very difficult to accept. The only consolation lies in knowing that now he will be watching over those he loves.

The Late Hugh Hanrahan
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise on behalf of my leader, the member for Halifax, and the New Democratic Party caucus to pay tribute to Hugh Hanrahan, the former member of parliament for Edmonton—Strathcona. I was very saddened to learn that Hugh had passed away at such a young age, the age of 52.

We were both elected to the House of Commons in 1993. On occasion we had the opportunity to talk about certain issues and certain values that we shared. As a matter of fact we had the opportunity because we sat at the far end of the House of Commons where the Speaker could not keep track of us. We were able to share our common experiences.

Mr. Hanrahan was a teacher for 18 years in the Catholic school system in Edmonton. He taught social studies, economics and psychology. He was such a good teacher and such a fine gentleman. I could see why in his previous life before elected politics he was honoured with the teacher of the year award in 1987-88 by the Alberta Foundation for Economic Education.

Mr. Hanrahan not only loved Canada and Alberta, he loved Nova Scotia where he was born and educated. He often visited Nova Scotia and would talk about his visits there.

One of the things I wanted to raise with the House and his family is the fact that we would talk about why we came to the House of Commons. We also shared our various hopes and aspirations about Canada, in particular western Canada.

It is my view that Mr. Hanrahan sought elected office because he felt strongly about the good fiscal management that was necessary for our country. He was concerned about the problems of the national debt. He was also very concerned that we should be focusing our energies on building Canada as opposed to tearing it apart.

He was encouraged by young people to seek elected office. They energized him in his job throughout his duties and career as a member of parliament. He was somewhat discouraged and saddened by the fact that he could not seek elected office for a second term because of his illness. I shared his very serious thoughts in that regard.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party caucus and my leader, I wish to offer my very deepest sympathies to Mrs. Dianne Hanrahan, their daughter Margaret Ann, his brothers and other family members and friends.