House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to documents from public accounts there are eight numbered companies that received $3.9 million, yet these companies do not even appear to exist.

Can the minister please tell us who owns these companies and where the money went?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It is not in our rules to answer questions as specific as this. I find the question out of order. I saw the hon. Prime Minister on his feet. If he wishes to address what was said I will permit him to do so.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a minister cannot be asked to give information about one of the thousands upon thousands of cases that are handled by a department. The order paper is there for these requests. The minister will appear with officials before the committee tomorrow, which is also the place to ask these questions.

Yesterday the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough talked about contributions and about the RCMP. I would like to tell the House that there is a company, C. F. Dickson Forest Products, which gave $1,000 to the PC House leader during the campaign, but did not give a cent to the Liberal Party.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, $3.9 million—how could anyone be expected to know about something as insignificant as that?

It is the tradition at this time of year to ask a very specific question of the Minister of Finance. Now, we know that the Prime Minister really tried to upstage the finance minister; a little leadership rivalry perhaps.

Can the finance minister tell us when he will deliver the budget?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to get in practice.

It is true that there was a bit of speculation last week from an unknown source as to the date of the budget, and I am pleased to announce that speculation was accurate.

It is my pleasure to announce that the budget will be tabled in the House on Monday, February 28, at 4.00 p.m.

House Of Commons
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw the attention of all hon. members to a very special moment in the history of our Chamber today.

It is my pleasure and indeed my honour to table a new and original reference book entitled House of Commons Procedure and Practice—La Procédure et les Usages de la Chambre des Communes .

Most members, and this is why it is important to us, are accustomed to using certain procedural reference books at our disposal here at the table, for example Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada which was written in the 1880s, and Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms , written in the 1920s.

Starting today we, the members of Parliament of Canada, will be able to have at our disposal a multitude of references to the rules, precedents and practices of our own House, explained in a clear and thorough manner.

This new book reflects our current procedures and practices, and has been written by procedural experts working at the House of Commons. They were headed of course by our own Clerk, Mr. Robert Marleau, and our Deputy Clerk, Mr. Camille Montpetit.

This reference book includes 24 chapters, 15 annexes and 5,800 footnotes. It deals with issues such as parliamentary privilege, speakership, rules and conduct of a debate, the legislative process, committees, private members' business items and many more.

The main rulings and statements made by Speakers are reviewed, and the numerous customs, interpretations and precedents that apply to the House of Commons of Canada are clearly explained.

This is our own book. I am sure it will be used not only in the House but throughout Canada and the Commonwealth. I invite all of you to use it with pride. I do thank our clerks and all those who were involved in the writing of this magnificent new book which will be sent to all of you. I table it in your name.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to which I trust you will give serious consideration.

Over the last number of days questions have been asked of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Human Resources Development over the misuse of funds at HRDC. In several instances members of the official opposition, and I believe other parties, have used specific examples of the misuse of funds that they have uncovered. You have ruled their questions out of order because they deal with specific examples of wrongdoing that they cannot be expected to know anything about.

When questions are asked in a general sense, the government shoots back with specific examples of where money has been spent in an effort to discredit and embarrass members of parliament. I find that to be entirely objectionable. I am asking if you would rule those kinds of answers out of order as you have ruled the questions out of order.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

This has been our practice and our tradition if a question is so specific that a minister or the government cannot be expected to know. Let us say there are 500 of anything. I do not know if the minister can be expected to know the 500. However, when a member asks a question I presume, and I think most members do, that the hon. member wants to get as much information and details that he or she can when the answer is forthcoming.

You may argue that on one side you are getting too much detail, but from what hon. members have been saying to me they are not getting enough details. We have to have that fine balance that the question has to be general enough that you can get a response, but if it is too specific I think we are expecting the impossible from our ministers. That is why we proceed in the way that we do.

Order In Council Appointments
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments recently made by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(1) these are deemed referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

February 9th, 2000 / 3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee 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 10 petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of the legislative committee on Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference. This report is deemed adopted on presentation.

In addition, I have the honour to present the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the associate membership of the liaison committee. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 15th report later this day.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I want to be sure that I heard the hon. member correctly. I think he said he was tabling the committee report dealing with Quebec only.

He referred to Bill C-20 as being for Quebec, while the Prime Minister is telling the House that Bill C-20 concerns all of Canada.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

If I am not mistaken, what the hon. parliamentary secretary did is read the title of the bill, which contains the word “Quebec”. I believe that is the answer.

Export Development Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-421, an act to amend the Export Development Act.

Mr. Speaker, the Export Development Corporation is exempted from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Access to Information Act, and the provisions of the Auditor General Act requiring all federal departments and some agencies to undertake sustainable development strategies and implement them. As a result, the Export Development Corporation has supported certain projects that are harming the environment and even human rights in nations in which Canadian companies operate.

For example, the EDC has helped fund mining companies responsible for massive mine tailings spills. Do hon. members remember the Kumtor cyanide mine spill in Krygyzstan, the Omai gold mine in Guyana and the OK Tedi copper mine in Papua, New Guinea.

It is not only very desirable but also urgent that the policy of the Export Development Corporation be guided by sound environmental principles, and this bill aims at ensuring such a goal.

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