House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

The House resumed from March 3 consideration of the motion.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:05 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Madam Speaker, it is certainly a pleasure for me to talk about this issue which stems from an awful disaster that happened in 1992 in Nova Scotia not too far from my riding. I remember it well. I was the member of parliament for Cumberland—Colchester at the time. I represent an area that has a large number of coal mines and we have seen our share of coal mine disasters in Springhill, River Hebert, Joggins and all those places that thrived on coal in the early years. This motion is very dear to my heart.

The father of the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough who initiated this motion was the member of parliament for that area. I remember going to the scene of the disaster and the Hon. Elmer MacKay was there virtually 24 hours a day until it was determined that there was no more hope for the 26 miners lost. He worked with the people hand in hand and was always present to help them.

I want to congratulate my colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for working so hard to ensure that workplace safety is a top priority of the Government of Canada as well as the business community.

We will be voting on this motion. It will be interesting to see which members are in favour of amending the criminal code to protect workers in Canada from coast to coast. I am confident this motion will gain the support of the entire House or at least one would certainly hope so considering the ramifications.

This morning on the airplane coming to Ottawa I happened to open the Globe and Mail and there was a story that reminded me of the Westray incident. The article stated: “Ashen-faced relatives stood in silence watching rescuers coated in coal dust drag up the bodies of the people killed in the Ukrainian mine disaster”. That just happened hours ago and it sounds exactly like what happened in Westray. The draegermen were bringing up the bodies. It was such a sad thing and to think it could have been avoided.

I would like to take a moment this morning to read the motion. It is important that we remember what we are talking about. I will read the motion into the record so that everybody is clear about what we are dealing with. Motion No. 79 states:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Criminal Code or other appropriate federal statutes should be amended in accordance with Recommendation 73 of the Province of Nova Scotia's Public Inquiry into the Westray disaster, specifically with the goal of ensuring that corporate executives and directors are held properly accountable for workplace safety.

What could make more sense than that? The awful thing is that the study to which the hon. member refers was started in 1992 and was just tabled in 1997. His motion stems from that study.

The need for a rational standard of business behaviour goes without saying. However it is every bit as important that once the laws are established, provisions are created to ensure that bureaucrats do not tokenize the enforcement of those laws. There can be no double standards.

Enforcement administrators often give way to political influences that persuade them that enforcement of workplace legislation will sacrifice jobs and scare away industry. Enforcement apathy is often rationalized by the political suggestion that by giving a company the right amount of time the problem will be fixed. This is often proven blatantly untrue.

Those people who have been persuaded that jobs and votes are higher priorities than life enter into a clear conflict of interest and it must stop. Many well-intentioned business executives agree with this motion because it provides safety legislation in the workplace. However there are still some who do not. Sadly the benefits of their behaviours accrue only to those executives and those people involved, while the workers, their families and ultimately the Canadian taxpayer pay for their gain. In fact current tax credit laws favour non-compliant employers.

Collectively workers represent the wealthiest group of people and consumers in the country. It is from these workers that taxes are collected which in turn fund the infrastructure which stimulates an environment that creates additional wealth, so long as the workers and employees remain healthy.

When injured, taxpayers often pay the financial costs of rehabilitation, death benefits, retraining and lost productivity that exceeds $16 billion annually. Every day through their efforts Canadian workers earn the right to be protected with enforceable legislation.

As an investment it is good business and cost justified to protect Canadian employees. A small number of executives still escape liability because their lawyers show them how to hide behind jurisdictional boundaries. Even if convicted of violating the occupational health and safety statutes, existing provincial penalties are minimal compared to the rewards generated by their violation. This motion would require total accountability of executives with no loopholes.

Unfortunately we have seen many examples of occupational safety in the workplace taking second spot behind the bottom line, especially in the mining industry where the very nature of the work involves a great deal of risk. It is the duty of company officers to ensure the work is done in the safest possible conditions.

I again refer to the newspaper article about the Ukrainian explosion which so mirrors the Westray explosion. The article said “a preliminary investigation suggested that Saturday's accident was a methane explosion caused by a violation of safety standards”. That is exactly what happened at Westray.

Ukraine's energy minister also said that safety violations were likely at fault. The miners usually blame accidents on the unwillingness of officials to spend money on maintaining or upgrading safety equipment. History certainly has repeated itself there.

Often corporate executives sometimes seem less interested in the merits of workplace safety in pursuit of the bottom line. This is a very dangerous scenario. We must be mindful of it and do everything we can to prevent it.

In the case of the Westray tragedy, labour safety standards, in particular minimal safety standards, were not adhered to to the extent they should have been, much like we have read about regarding the Ukrainian explosion.

Looking at this issue in the larger context, there must also be recognition of the role of government to ensure proper standards are met, not only set but met. It stands to reason that when weighing business goals versus those of safety, sometimes businesses find themselves pulled in many ways. They have to meet production deadlines, outperform competitors, increase bottom lines, et cetera. That is where the human element and the safety issue must be exercised.

Far too often businesses and indeed heads of corporations are obsessed with financial gain leaving the safety of their workers neglected. That type of short term gain often results in long term pain, as was the case at Westray.

One thing that really struck me was the name of the study. The report that was done on the Westray mine disaster was entitled “A Predictable Path to Disaster”. That is a sad commentary on safety in the mining industry and the executives involved in that industry. A predictable path; they could have predicted that the disaster was going to happen, yet it still did.

Safety regulations, management and government all failed in their duties to those miners. Tough economic times which exist in the country put further pressure on workers. That is why this is so timely. The economic impact of having to shut down a corporation affects everyone in that company. The employees, management, board of directors and anyone associated with that business are going to feel a negative impact if there has to be an operational shutdown as a result of a potential breach of safety.

That is the cost of doing business and we have to do everything to ensure that those safety practices are followed. In the case of Westray they were almost trivial things which were overlooked: sensors shut down, alarms disconnected, comments from the miners disregarded, and things like that.

Companies must ensure the avoidance of hazardous or illegal practices such as those which cannot be condoned in any capacity. If companies have not already done so, they should do everything within their power to implement safe and ethical work practices. Ethics such as these should be studied and followed everywhere in places of employment, especially in upper management. If this is not the case, action must be taken to demonstrate the importance and seriousness of the issue. Business executives must promote and nurture safe work ethics and have an open and approachable attitude toward all employees.

As Nova Scotia experienced with the Westray disaster, senior bureaucrats within the provincial workplace and enforcement agencies became compromised by regional politics and vested interests. This practice is suspected to be occurring in other provinces even today, almost eight years after that explosion.

I want to wind up my comments by saying that I hope the whole House will look at this bill for what it is. It is a motion to protect workers in a very unsafe situation. It addresses a terrible safety record. It is time now that we in the House pull together and do something to address those issues.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to address this motion. For me, one of the most profound and distressing events that occurred in Nova Scotia during my 14 years of serving as leader of the New Democratic Party in that province was the Westray disaster, which absolutely avoidably and unnecessarily cost 26 miners their lives and cost their families the loss of loved ones.

I have always taken seriously the request that was made to me by some of the widows of those Westray miners that I, along with every other elected politician in office, pledge to ensure that the fathers of the children of those Westray miners would not have lost their lives in vain because we would move to put in place the necessary legislation, the necessary protection, to ensure that no such disaster could ever occur again in Nova Scotia or anywhere in the country, and this is the subject of the motion that is before us.

I am torn by conflicting emotions as we discuss this motion. On the one hand I am filled with hope, and I think many Canadian workers will be, that health and safety is the subject of debate in the House. That is a very important thing and I want to commend the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for bringing forward this motion and other members of the House who have risen to support the motion that is before us. The needless loss of 26 miners still buried beneath the ground has not been forgotten, and that is a very important message.

As the previous member who spoke indicated, one cannot be unmindful of the chilling news of the death of 80 miners in Ukraine which has occurred in the last few days. Let us not be so smug in the House as to think that the same kind of unsafe conditions, the same kind of neglect by employers and governments cannot repeat itself in Canada. Until we take serious legislative measures to put in place the protections that are necessary, including an enactment in legislation of the sentiment of this motion, this situation can and indeed will occur again.

The disappointing thing at this point in the debate about this very important health and safety topic is that it would appear that it is the intention of the federal Liberal government to never really put this debate into action. The intention of the government is not only to try to forget the lost lives at Westray, but to ignore the simple, horrifying reality across the country that there are workers who continue to be put into unsafe working conditions and the people who put them there remain immune from criminal responsibility.

There will be, no doubt, Liberal members of parliament who will stand in protest and they too will proclaim their concern, their care about Canadian workers, how they hope a disaster like Westray will never again happen. However, until we enact legislation that embodies the spirit of this motion, then such speeches will be little more than empty rhetoric.

Motion No. 79 is just that, it is a motion. It has no legislative implications. Indeed we have seen in the past that this government will from time to time support such motions, only to ignore the issue in its entirety when it comes to enacting legislation to express the intent of the motion.

However, in this case the government will not be allowed to fool the Canadian people so easily because it is our responsibility to ensure that the government is forced to act upon this.

At issue in this motion is recommendation No. 73 of the exhaustive Westray report. That recommendation would establish criminal responsibility for decision makers who knowingly put their workers at undue risk. It is the basis for this motion and the basis for my private member's Bill C-259.

Supporting the motion which is before us would tell Canadian workers that their representatives will stand for them. Supporting Bill C-259 would show Canadian workers that their representatives will stand for them. Unfortunately, the government appears determined to send a very different message.

I bring to the attention of the House where the Liberal government stands today on workplace safety. I will quote from letters written by members of the government in response to my requests for support for Bill C-259. What did the Minister of Labour say? She said that it falls under the jurisdiction of the justice department. The translation of her statement is that worker safety is not the labour minister's problem.

What about the Minister of Justice? She said:

I share your concern that people in Canada should not be able to hold themselves above the law...my officials are giving this recommendation every consideration.

The translation of that statement is “We have had three years to do something about this, but don't hold your breath”.

I think the clincher comes from the Prime Minister's office:

I share your concerns about the Westray Mine explosion...that is why the government has a comprehensive range of programs to promote workplace safety.

The translation of that statement is “Despite everything that the Westray inquiry documented, despite the recommendations coming out of the Westray inquiry, despite the fact that workers continue to be put in unsafe working conditions, there is no real problem. The existing regime does the job”.

If the existing regime did the job, then there would not have been 26 miners' lives lost in the Westray explosion.

I plead with members of the House to recognize that this is not a partisan issue. We all know that every member elected to the House of Commons has constituents who, at this very moment, as we speak about the motion which is before us, are working in unsafe conditions, who are forced to work in unsafe conditions because of the inadequacy of the legislation that exists in the country.

Whether to stand for those working Canadians is not a choice. Standing for those Canadians working in unsafe health and safety conditions is our obligation and I urge every member of the House to vote in support of the motion which is before us.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to Motion No. 79. I commend the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for his commitment to this issue and his foresight in introducing this motion in the House of Commons for debate.

It is unfortunate that an issue of this importance—the issue of accountability for corporate executives and occupational safety—is not taken more seriously by the government. It is very frustrating for individual members of the House to pursue public policy issues with such vigour, initiative and vision on behalf of Canadians when they are continually shut down by the government. Instead of focusing on the types of important public policy initiatives that Canadians need into the next century, it is only focused on next week's polls.

The Westray disaster of May 9, 1992 continues to resonate as a beacon of what should be done to improve worker safety, not just in Canada but around the world.

Earlier today I heard the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester speak of the recent mine disaster in Ukraine. Canada can play a role in introducing changes to our criminal code that would be world leading in terms of their impact on occupational health and safety issues and corporate accountability, not just in Canada but around the world.

I remember the time of the disaster in 1992. I was on business in New York when I heard the news. It was one of the few times I listened to national public radio in New York. I was running in Central Park when I heard the news. It was one of the few times that I ever heard about Nova Scotia in the U.S. national media. It was a sad moment because, of all the positive things that we understand about Nova Scotia and Canada, it is often this kind of disaster that captures the U.S. media. The sadness continues to affect those families, whose lives have been forever changed by the disaster.

I am not surprised that the government is opposed to improving corporate accountability on occupational health and safety issues. This is the same government that ignores issues of accountability even for its cabinet ministers. One of the fundamental tenets of our democratic system and of parliamentary democracy is the accountability of ministers of the crown. The government ignores even the accountability of ministers in its own cabinet. For example, the debacle with the HRDC minister has focused the attention of Canadians on issues of waste in government in recent weeks. I guess it is consistent with this government that it continues to ignore issues of accountability, whether it is corporate accountability in the case of Motion No. 79 or ministerial accountability in terms of the government's malaise in effecting positive change with respect to the accountability of its own ministers.

The chilling message that came from the Westray disaster was that even today, in this day and age, occupational health and safety issues continually are ignored by companies, particularly, it would seem, in the coal mining industry, but in other sectors as well.

Increasingly executives are compensated based on stock options. While that can be very positive in terms of creating a synergistic relationship between the goals of the executive from a compensatory perspective and the goals of the shareholders by encouraging executives to maximize shareholder value, it can also focus the efforts of executives on very short term results which can often have a negative impact on the long term results of a company, whether it is corporate and financial, or in this case the safety of workers.

We cannot put a price on life. It is impossible to value human life on a balance sheet or on an earnings statement. Often companies are so focused on the bottom line that they forget the basics of humanity in terms of providing a safe work space for workers who, every day of their lives in the coal mining industry, in this case, risk their lives.

Government needs to provide a role in overseeing and ensuring that on an ongoing basis these workers are protected by changing the criminal code as recommended by the Westray inquiry. With this legislation we would ensure that government continue to play the very important role that only government can play to ensure that the corporate sector does its part to ensure the safety of workers in what is a very dangerous industry.

Part of the issue as well is temptation. Far too often in areas like Atlantic Canada that have seen significant economic issues and a downturn over the last 30 years, in the haste to attract and to maintain industry there is a tendency to turn a blind eye to some of the health and safety issues. That very short term focus is going to have some very negative long term results.

The Government of Canada can play a proactive role in the same light that the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough is playing a proactive visionary role in introducing this motion. The government can play a proactive visionary role in actually supporting legislation to ensure that there are not different sets of health and safety standards for different regions of the country. Just because a region has some economic downturn issues, the workers in that region should not have to suffer with poorer occupational health standards.

The legislation proposed in the motion would effect change in the criminal code which would actually ensure that across Canada corporate executives faced the same stringent level of accountability. Atlantic Canada would see, whether it is in the coal mining industry or another industry, a greater level of protection for workers. They go to work every day and struggle to make ends meet, to try to build a better future for themselves, for their families and for Canada. They should not have to live under the pall of a daily unnecessary threat to their lives and their safety because of corporate negligence.

I encourage all members of the House to support Motion No. 79. I commend the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for proposing very sound legislation in the motion. We need to ensure that occupational health and safety issues are dealt with in the same way that environmental issues are dealt with strongly by the criminal code.

Corporate executives must be responsible not just to their shareholders but to Canadians at large, to the workers who toil in the mines, to the wildlife that depend on a clean environment. We need to ensure that environmental standards, health and safety and occupational health issues are dealt with appropriately.

The only way to deal with these issues in the economically driven and globally competitive society we live in today is through strong changes to the criminal code to ensure that all workers are safe in their workplace. All corporate executives must do everything they can to ensure that Canada has the highest standards in occupational health and safety in the world.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, it was not my intention to speak to the motion. However because the previous three members who spoke have more or less moved away from the generalities of the motion and directed their attention solely to the Westray disaster, I would like to make a contribution. I am a mining engineer by profession and I have worked many years underground in many parts of the world. I would like to give the House my particular take on this disaster.

The last member who spoke made specific reference to the negligence of the regulatory system. He did not use those words but I will use them. I believe that the heart of the problem at Westray was that there was such enormous political pressure to open this mine in the first place, when there was good advice from mining experts that it was not a viable operation, that the shaft should never have been sunk, that they had had methane problems in that area historically every time they tried to mine there. There was definitely a recommendation that the mine not be developed. However, because of provincial and federal pressures and the huge amounts of government money put forward to get this thing going, there was also pressure on the regulatory system. As I understand it, and I stand to be corrected, I believe the mine inspector was under considerable pressure not to shut that operation down.

When I was working in the mines, I never ever encountered a situation where line management was anything but safety conscious. Line managers would do whatever was necessary to keep a mine safe. They had the advantage of having the mine inspectors behind them. In other words, even if management in Toronto said they had to get production up, line management could still do whatever was necessary to keep the mine safe. They had the full weight and force of the mine inspector behind them because the mine inspector could shut them down. They had that power.

We are perhaps shooting at the wrong target here. The problem at Westray was not governance. The problem at Westray was safety enforcement. Perhaps we might say that line management was guilty but the mine inspection system failed. Any mine inspector should have been able to spot the violations which have been described here which took place in that mine.

Because there was this one particular disaster, let us not talk about revamping a law which has served us well over the years. That is the law which exempts directors. I am not talking about executives or line management; I am talking about directors. Who in the devil would want to be the director of a company if he or she was going to be held responsible for things that are happening out in the field? The directors do not make managerial decisions. They have nothing to do with it.

A man would have to be insane to accept a directorial position for which he is paid a very small amount of money with most companies. There are directors of multinational companies who are well paid, but the directors of most companies work for an honorarium. They get paid so much a meeting and that is it. Who would take on a position like that? Not me, not if I were going to be held responsible for something that happened 2,000 or 3,000 miles away that I did not know anything about and had no input into.

The problem here is government, government, government. The government failed. The civil servants failed. A group of miners was unnecessarily killed because the inspection system did not work. The inspection system did not do its job. We rely on regulators in industry in this country to keep everyone honest and they did not do it.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Madam Speaker, first of all, I wish to congratulate the hon. member sponsoring this motion for his tenacity, since I recall this motion being discussed in a previous session. He has now been faithful to himself and introduced it again, in light of the seriousness of the issue it raises.

A mine explosion in Nova Scotia raised the question of whether the legislation was or was not equal to the task of properly handling a similar situation. The government of the province mandated Justice Peter Richard to carry out a public inquiry in order to cast light on all of the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.

An extremely sizeable report, released in November 1997, provided a chronology of all of the events and a highly detailed analysis of the legislation. The judge primarily addressed provincial labour law, however, in keeping with the Nova Scotia ministerial order.

Hon. members will realize we will set aside that part of the report that addresses provincial legislation, because this is the federal level and we do not want to do what the federal government is generating complaints for doing, namely meddling in jurisdictions which are not ours.

The judge did make some comments on the Criminal Code and call for certain things. We should perhaps act on his observations in view of what he asked and show how seriously we take the report.

I repeat this, because I think it important: we support the motion of the Conservative member, but we would like it to be examined in the light of federal legislation. In order for this to occur, the motion has to be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for consideration.

With what I heard today, members will understand, there is nothing much left for me to say, except to move an amendment to Motion M-79.

I move:

That the motion be amended by adding the following between the words “amended” and “in accordance”: “following study by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights”.

Once this study is complete, federal legislation may be really focused accordingly and in appropriate response to the judge in the matter.

I will quote what the judge said in this regard and more precisely recommendation 73 of the report, which the Conservative member's motion refers to. Recommendation 73 of the Richard report reads as follows:

The Government of Canada, through the Department of Justice, should institute a study of the accountability of corporate executives and directors for the wrongful or negligent acts of the corporation and should introduce in the Parliament of Canada such amendments to legislation as are necessary to ensure that corporate executives and directors are held properly accountable for workplace safety.

This recommendation gives us the opening I mentioned earlier to intervene in this matter and especially to do a detailed study of all aspects of mining safety. I therefore move this amendment.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Prior to the expiry of private members' hour I wish to advise the Chair that following consultations with my colleagues from all parties, I believe you will find there is unanimous consent to defer the vote on Motion No. 79 until Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at the end of government orders.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:40 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Is there unanimous consent of the House to proceed in such a manner?

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House as a member from Nova Scotia to discuss the merits of Motion No. 79 put forward by the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, one of my neighbouring ridings.

I want to thank the hon. member for bringing the motion to debate in the House of Commons. I believe that health and safety is something that should be debated in the House of Commons on a regular basis.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party, and on behalf of workers across the country, I would like to offer a solemn prayer and hope in our hearts for the wives and children of the 80 miners who were recently killed in a blast in Ukraine. I believe I speak on behalf of all members of the House of Commons in sending our sincere condolences to everyone in Ukraine.

This motion works in conjunction with Bill C-259, a private member's bill which the hon. member for Halifax, the leader of the New Democratic Party, introduced concerning workers' health and safety rights and bringing those who are criminally responsible to justice.

What happened at Westray did not have to happen. Miners and their families are very concerned about their loved ones who go underground on a daily basis to earn their bread, and to pay their taxes so that we in the House of Commons can put forth legislation to protect them. For us to ignore their demands and wishes is a dereliction of our responsibilities and our duties. We simply cannot allow this to happen any longer.

There was an exhaustive Westray report which made some very serious and admirable recommendations, but that report is now three years old. What has the government done? Absolutely nothing. I wonder if it is waiting for the next mine disaster before doing something. Is it waiting for an election to be called before it enacts legislation? It seems that is the only thing that will make the federal Liberals move.

After a balanced and exhaustive report which was done to improve the lives and the health and safety of workers in the communities, especially in the extremities of the country outside Ottawa, the government sits on the report and does absolutely nothing.

Our party was founded on the principles of workers' safety and workers' rights. We started in the CCF, with J. S. Woodsworth, right up to the NDP led by the hon. member for Halifax. We have been fighting day in and day out with our provincial counterparts and our friends in the labour movement, with the CLC, to fight for and protect workers' rights throughout the country.

On average, three workers lose their lives on a daily basis. Three workers is three workers too many.

When I was growing up in Vancouver, 15 workers lost their lives working on the Portmann Bridge.

On behalf of all Nova Scotians and working people throughout the country, I encourage all political parties, especially those in government, to take heed of this very special motion, as well as the bill of my leader, Bill C-259, to take very seriously the recommendations for workers' rights and safety and to ignore the concerns of people like Clifford Frame and Peggy Whitte who have absolutely no moral leadership in the country, who want to extract wealth at the cheapest price possible, including that of labour, and who leave the country when a disaster happens. There was absolutely no moral leadership, and for any government to support those two people over workers' rights is absolutely disastrous and scandalous.

I encourage the entire House to support Motion No. 79 put forward by my hon. colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The amendment moved by the hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm is in order.

It being 11.50 a.m., the time provided for debate has expired. Accordingly, the question is on the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those in favour of the amendment will please say yea.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Pursuant to order made earlier this day, the recorded division stands deferred until Tuesday, March 21, at the end of the time provided for Government Orders.

Westray Mine
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

Before I hear a point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary, I would inform the House that I have received two letters this morning.

I received a letter from the hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes, chief whip of the Bloc Quebecois, and another from the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis, deputy leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

These letters have to do with the question of privilege raised earlier by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis.

If these are new questions of privilege, I will hear them. If this is about the question of privilege that was raised earlier by the hon. member, I will hear members on new facts surrounding that question, since I am now in the process of preparing the ruling regarding this question of privilege.

I am told also that another letter was sent by the Bloc Quebecois leader regarding this issue and I am sure that the hon. Bloc Quebecois leader also wants to address this issue.

If there are new facts, I will hear them.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely important that I raise this question of privilege regarding what I told you about on March 1, and regarding the point of order raised by the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry, on Friday, March 3.

At the time, I asked you to examine a serious violation of the privileges as parliamentarians of Bloc Quebecois members in this House.

I gave you proof that the deputy principal clerk had rejected amendments that we had not even tabled with the Journals Branch, since he based his decision on the legislative counsel's data bank, rather than on the amendments actually tabled by the Bloc Quebecois.

I demonstrated to you that the freedom of speech of the members of my party and their right to confidential dealings with the legislative counsel had been violated.

Not only had the House staff usurped the right of the Bloc MPs to select the amendments they intended to propose, but it also committed a breach of confidentiality by consulting the body of amendments the Bloc Quebecois had had the legislative counsel prepare.

At the time I raised this question of privilege, I expressed serious misgivings about the decision making process surrounding the receivability of the amendments at the report stage. In fact, certain amendments that were declared out of order were amended in accordance with the comments by the Deputy Principal Clerk in order to render them in order. Yet they were again deemed to be out of order.

This new decision was then made the object of a point of order by my colleague for Beauharnois—Salaberry who expressed, on behalf of his colleagues, his dismay about this new refusal by your staff. These events, which occurred during the week prior to last week's parliamentary recess, have a negative effect on the debate at report stage on Bill C-20, which was begun on Friday, March 3 and is scheduled to resume today.

Some amendments will be neither debated nor voted on, while we have serious reservations about the grounds on which the staff based the decision that they were not in order. The very process by which amendments were selected might be questioned, as it seems to be tainted by a number of defects and irregularities.

On these grounds, Mr. Speaker, you have a duty to bring down your decision on my point of privilege of March 1 last, and on the point of order raised by my colleague for Beauharnois—Salaberry, and to do so before resuming the debate at report stage and before beginning today's voting process, because the government House leader is obviously preparing to propose a time allocation motion, which will force the House to decide on the motions at report stage starting at 6.30 this evening.

The Bloc Quebecois will have great difficulty in taking part in a process of debate and voting which is a deviation from the rules and conventions of this House.

Do not treat this point of privilege lightly. The gravity of the situation imposes a duty to exercise diligence. The credibility of the institution that is the House of Commons is at stake.

I would remind you that I am still prepared to make the necessary motion to return this matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, particularly the one element—for my point of privilege involved two matters—relating to the examination of a motion of privilege, which would refer to that committee the question raised by the rejection of two never-introduced amendments.

Before the debate is resumed, or as promptly as possible, and especially before we vote, I expect your decision on the point of order raised by my colleague for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

What I have heard is simply a summary of what you said on March 1, before we left for the week's recess. I have heard nothing new at this point. I have heard no new facts at this point. I ask the members again, if they wish to intervene, to keep to the facts. The hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is new is that there will be closure in a few minutes and we want to know whether you will give a ruling on either the motion by the member for Rimouski—Mitis or on the question of privilege raised on the point of order before we vote this afternoon.

It is new, because as far as we are concerned, and I am speaking for myself personally and for all the members of my party, we would be put in a situation where we would feel the debate on Bill C-20 would not be impartial here. That is a serious matter.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

Noon

The Speaker

What the hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois has just said is very serious. It questions the position of the Speaker of the House. We must absolutely be impartial. We must manage as the rules we have here require. I hope the impartiality of the Speaker of the House of Commons will never be challenged.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if we were to vote without hearing a decision or a ruling on what was raised, which is very serious, my colleagues and I would be in such a situation.

I want to know whether the ruling will be given before we vote.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois just presented in a very eloquent way the problem that confronts us.

A question of privilege was originally raised by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis, who just reminded you of its nature. There is at least one new development, namely that the government is about to impose closure, with the result that we will likely begin to vote this evening, at 6.30 p.m., on the various amendments proposed at report stage of Bill C-20.

This creates two problems. The first one, which was raised by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis, is that two of our amendments, on which we worked with the legislative counsel, were deemed out of order before even having been tabled.

This greatly affected our ability to actually table these amendments later on, since they were deemed out of order before even having been tabled. This is not to mention the much more fundamental issue of the confidentiality that must exist between each member of parliament and the legislative counsels.

As for the voting process that will likely begin this evening, you will agree with me that it poses a problem.

The second problem concerns the amendments that were first deemed to be out of order. Explanations were provided to us by the Deputy Principal Clerk, who told us why these amendments had been deemed out of order.

We went back to the drawing board. We rewrote these amendments by taking into account the points raised and, surprise, these amendments were again deemed to be out of order.

You will agree that, if you were to rule in favour of the question of privilege raised by my colleague, it would then be necessary to include in the various groups of amendments all those amendments that were deemed out of order for a reason that we feel totally unjustified. It would be necessary to include these amendments in the various groups, so that they could be voted on this evening.

You will agree that we cannot possibly begin the debate on the amendments to Bill C-20. Moreover, we cannot begin to vote on these amendments if the Chair has not rendered its decision.

I want to stress what the Bloc Quebecois leader just said. If we were faced with the prospect of beginning the debate and, worse yet, of voting on the amendments proposed at report stage of Bill C-20, without the Chair having first made its ruling, we would have no other choice but to conclude that Bloc Quebecois members are not treated impartially.

Privilege
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

You are facing me with a dilemma. I intend to render my decision before the voting this evening.

It is a bit of a concern to me that an hon. member is questioning the impartiality of the Chair of this House. I know that the matters we are going to discuss, debate and vote on today are very important ones.

As I have said, I intended to bring down my ruling before the votes, but I do not know when the voting will take place. The hon. member may know, but I do not. Perhaps it will be this evening, as he said, at 6.30 p.m. Perhaps it will be next week. I do not know at this point, because I have no document or opinion before me indicating how we are going to proceed.

It is troubling, however, that the Chair be asked to tell when this will be done, or face having his impartiality questioned. It is my intention to bring down my rulings before today's voting. If that is what the hon. member wanted to know, that is my intention.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That in relation to Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage of the bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill and, fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the day allotted to the consideration of the report stage and on the day allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the state of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 760
Government Orders

1 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

Points Of Order
Government Orders

1 p.m.

The Speaker

I am now prepared to deal with the point of order raised by the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry on March 3, 2000 relating to certain motions in amendment to Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference, which were found out of order.

I would like to thank the hon. member for bringing this matter to the attention of the House.

The hon. member stated that the motions in amendment submitted to the journals branch were intended to clarify the working of clauses 1(5) and 2(3) of Bill C-20 and did not go beyond the scope of the bill. He maintained that, because the amendments were ruled out of order, not only was he prevented from debating them but that this action interfered with the rights of all members of the House and constituted a restriction on his freedom of expression and that of other members.

I can assure the hon. member that the scope and substance of the amendments submitted by him were carefully considered.

I also want to underline to the hon. member and the House that, while preliminary assessments about such matters may be taken by officials of the House, the review and approval of such decisions remain the responsibility of the Speaker.

It is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

I have myself re-examined all of the amendments ruled out of order, not in relation to their substance, but from a strictly procedural perspective and I remain convinced that those amendments the hon. member referred to do in fact go beyond the scope and alter the principle of the bill as already agreed to by the House.

I refer the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry to page 666 of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice . I wish to reassure the member that the decision is purely procedural and not based in any way on whether the subject matter is worthy of debate. It was made in accordance with the traditions and practices of this House.

For these reasons, I must conclude that the matter does not constitute a valid point of order. I thank the hon. member for raising this issue and trust that this ruling has been helpful to him and to other hon. members.

Further to the question raised by the member for Rimouski—Mitis on Friday, March 3, 2000, I wish to inform the House that there was an error in the table for the voting on Bill C-20. The vote on Motion No. 70 will apply to Motion No. 71. A revised voting table is available from the table. I regret any inconvenience this may have caused the hon. members.

Privilege
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The deputy House leader of the Bloc Quebecois raised a question of privilege on March 1, 2000 relating to the rejection of two motions in amendment to Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference.

These motions in amendment, declared out of order by the clerks involved with the bill, were never forwarded to the journals branch for inclusion in the Notice Paper.

Before beginning I would like to thank the hon. member for raising the matter. I also want to acknowledge the contributions of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes, as well as the House leader for the Reform Party on this subject.

The acting House leader stated that on Tuesday, February 29, 2000, the Deputy Principal Clerk of the legislative unit forwarded a letter to the office of the leader of the Bloc Quebecois presenting the procedural details for rejecting some 700 motions in amendment to Bill C-20. These motions in amendment were appended to the letter. The Bloc Quebecois had, in fact, never forwarded two of the motions in amendment bearing the reference numbers 5180 and 5163 to the journals branch for inclusion in the Notice Paper.

After inquiries by the office of the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, it became clear that the clerks working on the bill had made an error by including reference to those two motions in the covering letter. The acting House leader argued that the privileges of the Bloc Quebecois members and all members of the House have been breached because of the actions of these clerks involved in the performance of their duties, namely consulting a database that the member contends is intended for the exclusive use of the legislative counsel.

The member went on to assert that the relationship of confidentiality that must exist between the legislative counsel and those members who request the drafting of amendments had been breached and that this action constituted a contempt of the House.

On behalf of all members of the House, I have looked carefully into the actions and events related to this matter. Hon. members should understand that House legislative counsel do not work in isolation.

They are part of an operational team that supports the legislative work of the Chamber and its committees. This group is comprised of procedural clerks as well as legal drafters who are assisted in their functions by text processing operators and administrative support staff. The confidentiality to which the acting House leader refers is shared by all staff within this group for operational purposes.

There is no separate database for legislative counsel as the hon. member suggests. The legislative database supports the work of all persons having duties within the field of legislative support operations.

Members should also understand that with respect to report stage, there must be interaction between the staff of the legislative services group, the clerk of the committee to which the bill was referred, and the staff of the journals branch.

All staff of the House working in support of members in their legislative function are governed by strict confidentiality with regard to persons outside their operational field and, of course, vis-à-vis other members.

In this case, I note there is no mention of any breach of confidentiality whereby the text of proposed motions of the hon. member or her party has been made known to persons working outside the field of legislative support operations or to other members. Confidential information proprietary to the Bloc Quebecois and several of its members remained completely and absolutely confidential. Consequently, I am unable to find that this constitutes a prima facie question of privilege or a contempt of the House.

I thank the acting House leader of the Bloc Quebecois for bringing this matter to my attention and permitting me to make this clarification to the House.

The House resumed from March 3 consideration of Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at this point I will use the three minutes I have remaining to remind the House of why we are here and why we will end up in the position we seem to be inexorably heading toward tonight.

After the 1995 referendum there was a decision to ask the supreme court what we might do in the event of another referendum. The court said very clearly that in a democracy like Canada, should there be a clear expression of the will of a population in a region of Canada on a clear question about the secession of that province, the Government of Canada would be obligated to negotiate. The government has come forward with a piece of legislation that puts that decision into law and nothing more. It adheres very closely to the decision of the supreme court.

From the moment it was even hinted that we might undertake to do that, at every opportunity the Bloc indicated there would be no co-operation, no discussion, no debate and no attempt to work together to improve legislation as is often done in the House. That is the purpose of this Chamber. I note that the New Democratic Party and its House leader, who was a member on the committee, worked hard to review the bill and put forward amendments. I note that even the Reform Party came forward in support of the bill and also looked at ways in which the bill could be improved.

Unfortunately, we end up where we are, responding to the unending stream of statements and actions by members of the Bloc who say “It does not matter what the debate is. It does not matter what the logic is. We are going to do everything we can to stop this”. Therefore, we end up in a very sad place, a place where it is no longer possible to debate. I am sorry that we are here, but we are here. Let me be very clear on this. We are here because of the consistent and continuing actions of one party in the House.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, I appreciate having the opportunity to speak briefly to Bill C-20.

The clarity bill, as it has been called, is a bill which the official opposition supports in principle. I might say that we support it in principle because we think that confusion is antidemocratic.

However, we disagree with the haste of this process. We disagree with the imposition of time allocation. We disagree with the arbitrary nature that the committee used to decide who would appear as witnesses before the committee. I will not spend a lot of time on those things because that disagreement has been well documented.

We believe that a well informed public is better than a confused public. On an issue as important as the breakup of our country, to be well informed is very sensible.

It is not often that a politician makes a comment about his opposing politician. However, I would like to make a positive comment about the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs across the way. I believe that the minister has been forthright on this issue. He has been pretty straight-up on this issue. He has not changed his tune since he made up his mind that he was going to look for clarity from the supreme court and carry it through. I give him credit for that. He has been castigated in his home province. He has been called unpleasant things. He has been made fun of in caricatures. I would like him to know personally that I do not agree with any of those things. I think he has been at least honourable on this subject.

We can disagree with him, and I believe that it is fair to do do, but in this instance I do not disagree with him. I want him to know personally that I think the characterizations have not been accurate nor proper.

I will spend a moment on the committee hearings to talk about what I found most interesting. I attended all of the meetings and found the old politicians to be the most interesting people who appeared before the committee.

First, two of the witnesses I listened to opposed Bill C-20. Claude Ryan, who is a man with enormous prestige in Quebec, opposes Bill C-20, as well as Joe Clark, a politician who has had many years of constitutional battles. I will not make comments about the reasons they oppose the bill. They have reasons which I think are debatable and arguable. However, those two senior politicians both oppose Bill C-20.

I looked at those who came in support of Bill C-20. I found it interesting that some of them fought those constitutional battles with vigour themselves. I will list four of them: Claude Castonguay, le père de l'assurance-santé, the father of medicare in Quebec, is supportive of Bill C-20; Gil Rémillard, a senior politician who has had long experience in Quebec, supports Bill C-20 as well; and two politicians from outside Quebec, Ed Broadbent and Bob Rae, both came to the committee and said they support the bill.

I found it interesting when I asked them this question: “Did you ever during your time battling these constitutional battles ever say that a clear question was something that was valuable?” They admitted that they had not. They battled this without ever saying publicly that a clear question was important.

I also want to reflect on what Reformers think of the clarity bill. I had the opportunity to poll Reformers. It was not a poll which would reflect the views of every Canadian. It reflected the views of Reform supporters.

It is fascinating that when asked if a clear question was important, 98.7% of Reformers who responded said yes. When asked the question, “Should the majority level be spelled out?”, 96.2% felt that the majority level should be spelled out. This bill does not do that. That probably reflects my position that the majority level could and should be spelled out.

When asked about the majority level, as to whether 50% plus one was sufficient, especially if it also was to decide what part of Quebec would stay in Canada, the percentage dropped to 77.6%, still a pretty strong number of people saying that the level should be spelled out.

I tried to reflect, all the way through the committee hearings, on whether the question last time was clear. My way of deciding was not to listen to those who on one side or the other have an axe to grind, but to ask those who are experts in asking questions of the public, and to my mind they are the pollsters, those who do polling all the time. The pollsters told me that when asking loaded questions we cannot expect anything but a loaded answer. They ask “yes-no” questions, which of course the referendum did as well.

When I asked the pollsters if the last question asked of Quebecers was unambiguous or unconfusing, they said no, it was neither; it was both ambiguous and confusing.

I posed to the pollsters what kind of question they would ask. I received some uniformity in their answers, which I will distil by saying that if there are two issues, two separate questions would have to be asked. It would be something like the following: “Do you want Quebec to enter a new economic partnership” or whatever “with Canada?” To that question there would be a response, yes or no.

I think that most Quebecers would probably answer yes, that they would like to enter into a new partnership with Canada. However, if we wanted to go further we would ask: “If that new partnership is unsuccessful within a timeframe, do you want Quebec to separate from Canada and sever all legal ties, yes or no?” On that issue I believe that we would get a different response from that which we had in the last referendum.

My analysis is that there are lots of people within and outside Quebec who would like to have a new relationship with Ottawa, and that relationship with Ottawa could well reflect a country that was advancing, a country that was improving, a country with a vigorous future. However, when asked if that new partnership fails would they want to split up Canada, I think the response might well be different. I know that there is very little appetite for splitting up the country outside Quebec, and certainly not in my part of the country.

Bill C-20 is imperfect. It could have been improved. It is a step in the right direction. In principle it is supportable. The official opposition will be supporting the bill unamended. I think it literally will not be amended, unless there is some surprise awaiting us.

It has been a privilege to represent interests from the western part of the country on the bill.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to say a few words before this bill clears the House. In that respect, I want to reiterate my view that this bill has been rushed through in a way that has discredited the parliamentary process.

For the record, it has been one of the low points in my parliamentary life, watching the way this bill has been handled, both by the government and in some respects also by the Bloc Quebecois, because it has created a situation in which something as important as the legislative framework for the secession of a province from Canada has not been able to be studied in the way that it should have been studied. We were not able to hear from as many people as we should have. We were not able to hear from them in a context that was constructive and open to real change.

I see the minister in the House today and I am glad he is here. I would like to echo the complimentary, positive attitude of the member who just spoke, but I would find that difficult. I do not think the minister and the government have been open, unless I am wrong and I find out later today that they will be open to some amendments. They have not been open to building a consensus around the bill that would enable not just Liberals but others to go forward and claim this very important piece of legislation as their own, so that it would be clear that, with the exception of the Conservatives, there was some measure of federalist unity on this issue.

I have been part of this process before. Even Pierre Trudeau, who was noted for his determination and has been called all kinds of things, including arrogant, tried to do things in the early eighties which the NDP felt were important so that he could bring us on side.

That is related to what is happening today. At that time the NDP would not support the patriation package unless it was amended to recognize the inherent rights of aboriginal people. That had been left out. What did Pierre Trudeau do? On the basis of being urged by the NDP, the patriation package was amended. That is why we have section 35 today.

But nothing was learned. In fact, some things seem to have been unlearned. We have Bill C-20 before us, and we have a bill, insofar as it affects aboriginal people, that is pre the patriation package. It does not recognize them at all.

Then we have something which is pre the patriation package, or worse, because in this context we have made recommendations, in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations, the Grand Council of the Crees, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada and others, and pleaded with the minister to accept some of the amendments we have officially made and which aboriginal organizations have recommended. So far, nothing.

We will be voting later today and the word I get from the government is “no amendments”. So even the wisdom of that time, the early eighties, of Mr. Trudeau and others trying to build something that could bring people together, is not for this minister. No, he knows everything and the rest of us are just chopped liver, including the aboriginal leadership and everyone else.

This is constitution making, as it has to do with the possible breakup of the country or how it could be kept together in the event of a referendum, depending on how one looks at it. It needs to be approached with a far different spirit and a far different frame of mind from the way in which the current minister has approached it. Frankly, he has made it very difficult. Maybe that is what he wanted all along.

He is making it very difficult for myself and others in my caucus who supported the principle of the bill, who supported the idea that there be a legislative implementation or framework established pursuant to the supreme court opinion. We have supported the need for a clear question, which is absolutely fundamental to any referendum, the need for the rest of Canada to be able to pronounce on whether it was a clear question and would justify negotiations on secession, the need for a clear majority, the fact that democracy was more than just a simple majority and that there was a need for a qualitative judgment after the fact. All of these things we have supported.

All we asked was that what the Assembly of First Nations and others have identified as a fundamental flaw, to use the language which they used in a letter released this weekend, be addressed, that aboriginal people be listed as political actors, and that the government be obliged to take their view into account. Those are the two easiest amendments for the government. We have submitted about six or seven amendments having to do with aboriginal concerns, but the two easiest ones for the government were to simply list aboriginal people along with the provinces, territories and the Senate as people whose views the minister would want to take into account in determining whether there was a clear question and subsequently whether there was a clear majority.

The government will not do that. Why not? There is absolutely no good reason for not putting the aboriginal people on that list of people whose views need to be taken into account. There is not a person on the other side of the House who could stand up and give me one good reason why those two amendments could not be accepted, except for the unmitigated, titanic, bloody arrogance of that man over there, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs who thinks he knows everything about this country and that the rest of us do not have anything to say.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe that is unduly provocative and unparliamentary. I think it is uncalled for and the member should withdraw what he just said.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I believe that the member has gone overboard slightly this time. I will ask him to resume debate but to please choose his words more carefully.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I have no intention of apologizing because I did not say anything unparliamentary. All I did was speak the truth.

Further to what I had to say, the government is revealing an attitude toward this place that should concern the government backbenchers. They themselves should be as concerned as I am. They should be concerned about the way their own government is acting.

The government is bringing into disrepute the parliamentary process. It is bringing into disrepute a piece of legislation that those members say is very important and which we agree is very important. We said from the beginning we would try to take this process seriously, even though it was introduced surreptitiously on a Friday when the government said it would not come in until Monday, then closure was moved on second reading, then closure was moved in committee and we could not hear witnesses we wanted to hear. Now we have this process. All the way along there has been nothing but stonewalling, nothing but a totally closed door and not just to us.

In the end it does not matter what happens to the NDP or our amendments but it matters what happens to the ideas that our amendments embody. That is that there should not be a retreat from Charlottetown. There should not be a retreat from section 35. There should not be a retreat from all the things we have accomplished in the last 15 years to establish aboriginal people as constitutional and political actors in this country. That is what this bill does. That is what makes it so fundamentally unacceptable and regrettable.

I am here not just in sorrow but also in anger. I feel we could have done much better as a parliament. We could have done much better as a committee in spite of the fact that we had the kind of obstacles that were put in our way by the Bloc Quebecois. The government could have taken St. Paul's advice and tried to overcome evil with good instead of wrong for wrong, arrogance for arrogance, mistake for mistake, contempt for contempt. That is all we got. It is regrettable, truly regrettable.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, this is one of the last minutes in which we can speak of this bill. The way things are going at present with the government, this may be one of the last times MPs will be able to speak in this House. Having three gag orders on one bill is absolutely incredible. That is how the present government operates.

I will savour these next 10 minutes, because I am not sure whether the government will allow me to speak on behalf of my party for the rest of the session. That is how things are going at this time.

I would like to make two or three brief comments. First of all, one to my caucus. From the start, four members had decided to support the bill, because everyone agrees that having clarity on the question and on what constitutes a majority might facilitate things.

I am addressing them. I hope that the hon. members are going to see that the way the government is handling this bill is preventing the elected representatives and citizens of this country from being able to really speak out and reflect on this matter. I trust that my colleagues are going to see what is going on.

In a referendum process, after a yes vote of 50% plus one, imagine how we are going to have our cage rattled, how much the few rights remaining to the opposition will be trampled. The way the Liberals are handling things now is not a very good sign for the future.

I trust that our party will be the same as the country on Bill C-20—united.

I heard what the Reform Party critic had to say. Not to be disrespectful of the Reform, but I had a picture in my head. I do not know if hon. members are familiar with the Simpsons, but when people want to make fun of Homer Simpson, they stick a sign on his back.

The signs says “kick me”. I think the Reform Party has a sign on its back which says “Please kick me. I will love you anyway”. That is the problem with the Reform Party. It is so afraid of losing one vote on this issue in western Canada that it is willing to have a sign on its back which says “Please kick me. I will love you anyway. I am going to support the bill anyway”.

There has been closure three times. The Reformers say they do not agree with the process, but support the bill nevertheless. It makes no sense. The official opposition is going around saying that the government is wrong “No, you should not do that, you Liberals, it is wrong, but we like you all the same and will support you in this”. Such principles are not exactly cast in stone.

There is my NDP colleague as well, who is in fine fettle today and who said “It makes no sense the way they are treating the first nations”. He is right, but his party will support the bill in any case.

The member for Mount Royal, the expert on the committee, said to the first nations “Your message has been clearly heard, we will see there are amendments to have your thoughts taken into account. No more, however. It will be like the provinces. We will look after everything, trust us”.

The member for Winnipeg—Transcona had his show, of course, but according to the member for Mount Royal, the government will support the first nations amendment. But, what happens if the government does not support the amendment? There will be problems with the credibility of the member for Mount Royal, who, in committee, seemed to be speaking for the government. But, in addition to that, what is happening with the New Democratic Party's opposition?

What I would ask my colleagues in the Reform Party is to take off the sign that says “kick me” and say it makes no sense.

I say to our NDP colleagues that we will be pleased to support their first nations amendment. Our amendments were rejected for the most part, in any case. We wanted clarity amendments. We proposed clarity amendments and they were rejected in the process.

Do you know what amendments we moved? We proposed inclusion of the words province of Quebec and National Assembly in the bill. I base my remarks on what the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said when he spoke about Bill C-20. In his 16 page testimony before the legislative committee, the minister did not mention British Columbia, Prince Edward Island or Cape Breton. He spoke only of Quebec throughout those 16 pages.

During his whole testimony, he said how evil the sovereignists and the Progressive Conservatives of Quebec were. The government says “This bill is about clarity”. We want to help it make things even clearer. The title of the bill refers to Quebec, the preamble refers to Quebec and the minister, the Prime Minister and witnesses spoke of Quebec but the bill itself does not mention Quebec.

The word Quebec does not appear one single time in the text of the bill. Why? Because they were too afraid. The sensitivities of Quebecers could put the federal government at risk in the future. As a principle, it is rather feeble.

What we hope is that all opposition parties will send a very clear message: this bill is incomplete, it is a plan B bill, B as in baseball bat.

One does not run a country with a baseball bat. That is not the way this country should function. That is a big problem. These stem from baseball bats or batons.

I believe there should be much more openness. Canadians should be very concerned about the way this government is dealing with this bill. The minister, in all his good will—let us give him that—must be extremely disappointed that his bill had to go through the parliamentary process. This bill has to be passed. Why? So that the Prime Minister may say next weekend “We got it. Now, here is the good news: thanks to the wonderful work of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, of Cabinet and of the Liberal Party caucus and thanks to my political instinct, if you want to break the country, you will need to ask a clear question and to obtain a clear majority”.

It is a rather feeble excuse. They are happy, the country is saved. But no. They are being told “Well, now you are going to separate”. I remember one very interesting comment amongst all the relevant comments we heard. There were some good witnesses, not enough, however, because we did not have enough time, but some. This one was from a witness from British Columbia. In passing, it was not a Conservative, but a Liberal. He said that no matter what the question was, for example the question used in 1995 or in 1980, with a result of 50% plus one— You are now entering a new world.

He said “Whether there is any legislation or not, you are in a new political, economic and legal world”.

The legislation can be improved as much as they want, what will happen with a result of 50% plus one on a question like the one used in 1995 and 1980, will be something new. It is certainly not Bill C-20 that will solve everything, on the contrary. It prevents us from finding solutions or alternatives. We are stuck with a table of contents, a modus operandi. And they call that flexibility.

The ambiguity Mr. Clark was talking about is the same ambiguity that we were faced with when Mr. Trudeau said, back in 1980 “If you vote no, it means yes”. Now that is ambiguity. As far as flexibility is concerned, it remains to be seen.

I urge all the opposition parties and my colleagues in the Conservative caucus to stand up and to stand united as we want the country to be.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

Madam Speaker, you will appreciate that I was anxious to take part in this debate. We are not pleased, however, to have to speak to such an issue, to a bill on clarity which, I must say, does not provide any.

Instead, the bill before us creates confusion. It is unreasonable and undemocratic. It fails to respect the letter and the spirit of the opinion provided by the supreme court at the request of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The Bloc Quebecois certainly moved many amendments, but when the government wants to introduce a bill on clarity, it must be clear.

Let me read an amendment that I moved and which is part of Group No. 1. We were asking, in Motion No. 2, that Bill C-20, in the preamble, be amended by adding, before line 1 on page 1, the following—and this is very important. You will understand later:

Whereas when the Quebec people were consulted by a referendum in 1995, the winning choice was the one that obtained a majority of the votes declared valid, that is, fifty percent of the votes plus one vote;

The people on the other side won last time. If they participated and are still here, it is because we are democrats and we respect the result of the votes. But they are scared of the results, perhaps because the results were tight that time.

What did the government promise to us before the referendum? That it would recognize the distinctiveness of Quebecers. That was in the speech delivered in Verdun. We have already gone further. What about this declaration? The Prime Minister wasted no time in pushing through this House a motion on distinct society.

You are the Chair. A motion is not as powerful as legislation. When they want to tell Quebecers that they love them, they use a motion. It is barely worth the paper it is written on. When they want to clobber Quebecers, they use legislation. I am not inventing this. We have a bill before us.

I would also like to add to the four adjectives I used earlier an explanation on how this bill is confusing. It has to do with the arbitrary criteria the minister is trying to include. He wants to reserve the right to decide whether the question is clear.

You have visited all of Canada and know that some expressions used in eastern Canada are meaningless in western or central Canada. For example, there is one we often use in Quebec when it rains. We say that it is raining nails, whereas in English they say that it is raining cats and dogs.

Maybe the image is too simple, but how can they ask some different provinces to determine the clarity of a question when we have our own way of expressing ourselves in Quebec, as can easily be seen from the ads in Quebec. Sometimes we use a colourful language, but everybody understands.

The last time, the Prime Minister understood, but now he is not quite sure. The day before the referendum he said “To remain Canadian or not, to stay or to leave, that is the issue of the referendum”. If even he could understand the question, it means that the question was clear. Why should we waste the time of the House in a debate like this? During this time, the economic issues in this country are being ignored. In the finance minister's last budget, we do not find a single word about areas like mine which are hurting.

We are just back from a one week recess. People in Quebec and in the Gaspé peninsula do not need clarity. What they need is money to boost their economy. However, we never talk about that in the House. I would like the House to discuss reasonable initiatives, and give resources to people in our ridings.

This bill is unreasonable because it gives the federal government plenty of reasons to prevent any negotiation from taking place. Let us consider all the steps we have to go through. We have to consult the provinces and the first nations. I like the first nations, but let us not forget that what is at stake is the right of Quebecers to decide their own future.

When we joined confederation, there was no referendum. The fathers of confederation made that decision among themselves. However, the surprising thing is that, when more provinces joined the federation, we were never asked for our permission. We are nice chaps, we did not object in any way.

I know what I am talking about. I am come from the Gaspé peninsula, the eastern tip of Quebec. All the ships carrying settlers travelling to Upper Canada sailed in front of our homes, but today, they are highhanded with our economy and our future. People in my riding are fed up with such a government.

The bill is unreasonable because it also prevents Quebec from offering a partnership to Canada. They want us to look like the bad guys while they take away all the furniture including the kitchen sink. We want to be able to make the decisions concerning our future by ourselves, including the decision to say that we would have a brighter future outside of Canada. Every time we want to improve on things, we are gagged.

The bill is unreasonable also because it is contrary to the position of all political parties in Quebec. Even Jean Charest, the saviour, a former member of this House who was sent to Quebec, does not approve of Bill C-20. Quebec's consensus should be taken into account.

The bill is undemocratic because it subordinates the democratic will of the Quebec people to the will of the rest of Canada. It is our future. Let us decide by ourselves what we want. The bill is undemocratic also because the federal government is appropriating the right to reject the vote of Quebecers. The bill will give more weight to a federalist vote than to a sovereigntist vote.

The bill does not respect the letter and spirit of the supreme court opinion. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has made up requirements that are not mentioned in that opinion.

The bill does not respect the letter and spirit of the supreme court opinion because the government chose what it liked in that opinion and threw away all other democratic considerations. What this bill proposes is unilateral action when the supreme court condemned such a course of action.

In its opinion, the court insisted on the need to negotiate when the bill is geared to prevent any negotiation. I move:

That the French text of Motion No. 9 be amended by adding the word “un” after the word “donné”

As many members have said, after being gagged, censured and subjected to time allocation, as the member for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok, I will have had only 10 minutes to speak to a bill that could have an impact on the future of Quebec and of my fellow citizens. It is not normal that we were given only 10 minutes. If they want to claim to be great democrats, they should let people express themselves.

I understand that this is not the Chair's fault. You are there to apply the rules, but I believe that, for the people opposite, democracy does not mean much. When I see the minister's smile, I believe that he despises the people of my riding and of Quebec. When he returns to Quebec, he will have to answer for that smile.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, it is with great honour that I enter the debate today. What we are discussing is very important. It seems to underpin the very democratic process not only of parliament, but of the Canadian way in terms of how we do things and the importance of what it means to act in a democratic fashion.

I listened with great interest to the Reform Party and the member for Macleod. The one thing with which I agreed was his congratulations to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The minister has done a tremendous job in this whole process and deserves our congratulations, respect and thanks. Not only is he a great Canadian but he is also a great Quebecer. It bodes well for us as we move confidently into the 21st century to have a person of his calibre leading very positively in the way he is along with the Prime Minister.

The Reform Party really flip-flopped on this issue. It is always disturbing to see how it never stands for Canada when it counts.

I listed too to the NDP and the member for Winnipeg—Transcona. He got a little outraged and put on a little theatre for us in the House. Really what he did was quite trite. I assume he knows his constitutional history but he certainly did not show it today. If he knew his constitutional history he would know that the aboriginal peoples are covered off in the constitution. They will be very much at the table when it comes to making these kinds of decisions not only for themselves and for whom and what they represent, but for Canada as a whole.

I say to him and all Canadians, that process is in place and in hand and we will do it in a manner consistent with the values—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If the hon. member would understand the facts of what the member for Winnipeg—Transcona said—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

That is debate. That is not a point of order.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, I will tell you what I am saying. It astonished me, and the member reminds me of what the leader of the NDP did when we first brought in the clarity bill. Outside she was quoted as saying that the bill was stupid and provocative. Those were exactly her words. I find it shameful that the NDP would take that kind of attitude on such an important bill, the clarity bill which underpins the very importance of not only who we are but what we represent.

I say to my hon. colleagues in the Progressive Conservative Party opposite, the party of Sir John A. Macdonald and Cartier, imagine how they would be spinning in their graves. Imagine how they are today listening to the Progressive Conservatives not standing up for Canada, not being on the right side of history, being on the wrong side of history, and their leader Joe Clark saying the kind of nonsense he has been saying with respect to this all important bill. It is shameful that the party of Sir John A. and the party of Cartier has come to that. It is absolutely disgraceful.

I had to give my head a shake to really understand what the Bloc member who spoke before me was trying to say. Imagine having to bring in an amendment to an amendment. Imagine threatening, as Bloc members have now done, a thousand amendments on three clauses. Imagine getting up day after day in the House of Commons, in this great place of democracy, and reading 300 press clippings and always caterwauling away. They say they represent the democrats when in fact it is quite the opposite. They are undemocratic. All they are trying to do is stall the business of the House, stall what Canadians want us to do which is to bring clarity to the debate once and for all.

But what do they do? They keep stalling. Even at the committee they went on for five hours to try to talk it out so that the business of the committee could not take place. Imagine the disgrace and the shame. Quebecers and Canadians wherever they live want no part of that kind of nonsense because it is ridiculous. It undermines the very Canada for which we stand.

I cannot believe that they—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

2 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member has at least five minutes left to speak, but it is 2 o'clock and we will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Commonwealth Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I invite Canadians to celebrate Commonwealth Day, remembering our shared heritage and ready to work together to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

This year's theme, the communications challenge, is highly appropriate at the start of the new millennium. Recent advances in communications technology bring the challenge of ensuring that the advantages of modern communications are available to all and that they are used to bring us closer together.

Just a few months ago the Commonwealth held its heads of government meeting in a democratic South Africa. There leaders praised the role that the Commonwealth played in bringing an end to apartheid. Nigeria, fresh from its own elections, also expressed its gratitude for the Commonwealth's efforts to restore democracy there.

Clearly the Commonwealth is making a positive contribution in the world today.

Religion
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday protesters vandalized the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal. They were yelling against religion, spray painting and defacing the cathedral, and overturning the tabernacle and ripping up hymn books.

Seven people have been charged with unlawful assembly, assault against police officers and obstruction. Hate crime charges were not considered because “the elements were not there for charges of that kind”.

Anti-religious vandalism such as this cowardly act is a hate crime regardless of the religion, denomination or location, yet our justice system discriminates between religions. A National Post editorial notes:

What is missing is media and political outrage. Anti-Christian hostility is one of the last acceptable bigotries in Canada. It is observable not only in the bigots and thugs who attacked the cathedral, but in federal bureaucrats, for example, who instructed Swissair crash site mourners to make no mention of Jesus Christ.

We would never accept an attack on other religious groups. We should not remain silent when Catholics are the targets of intolerance. Where is the outrage?

Dan Doyle
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 6 at 10.30 a.m., Dan Doyle of Woodstock, Ontario demonstrated great generosity and selflessness when he jumped between a car and a baby stroller, saving Brenda Craig and her 22 month old son, Barry. In the resulting collision, Dan Doyle suffered a fractured leg and rib while the mother and her child were unhurt.

Police and public alike are calling Mr. Doyle a hero. Mr. Doyle's wife commented that his actions did not surprise her as he is always watching out for other people and lending a hand whenever possible.

We are not often faced with life-threatening situations. It is heartening to know that there are some citizens who are not afraid to put themselves in harm's way to save the life of another.

I am proud to acknowledge the heroism of Dan Doyle. Thank you, Dan, for your heroic example.

Seniors
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Alliance of Seniors to Protect Canada's Social Programs represents 25 organizations with a combined membership of over 500,000 seniors.

The alliance has declared Toronto the most diverse city in the world. It has noted that seniors reflect this diversity racially, ethnically and culturally. Many seniors who are immigrants are socially isolated due to limited language skills, cultural inhibitions and discrimination. This makes accessibility to social programs and services more difficult particularly in the areas of health, community care access, housing and education.

The Government of Canada and the Alliance of Seniors to Protect Canada's Social Programs recognize the importance of funding for health care, the specific needs of seniors, and the special linguistic and cultural requirements of minority communities.

We are committed to working with seniors toward programs and services consistent with cultural backgrounds and needs of our diverse and aging population. Together we will maintain and enhance Canada's social programs in keeping with Canada's reputation as the best country in the world in which to live.

Mining Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, RSW-Béroma of Val-d'Or will operate the first small scale mine in the Abitibi, with a modular plant for ore concentration.

The unique features of this concept, compared to a conventional plant, are its investment costs, its quick installation and its mobility.

This initiative was made possible thanks to the leadership of Laurent Bérubé and his team at the Val-d'Or plant, Charles Veilleux, Gilbert Rousseau and Roger Jolicoeur, and the involvement of the National Research Council of Canada and of the Secretary of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Liberal member for Outremont, through his IDEA-SME program.

The project is located at the Granada gold deposit, northwest of Val-d'Or, in the Abitibi.

Tara Sloan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay respect to Tara Sloan, one of Canada's top swimmers. Ms. Sloan passed on two days ago in Calgary after being involved in a tragic car accident.

Tara was a five time Canadian breaststroke champion and set the women's 100 metre breaststroke national record in the short course pool. She was a great competitor with a passion for life who proudly represented her country at the world championships, the Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games. She won 17 international medals.

At the national championships this weekend her Calgary teammates dedicated their events to Tara. Her teammates won. They won the men's and women's overall team titles.

Today our sympathy and the thoughts and prayers of this House join with those of the family, friends, teammates and competitors of this wonderful young Canadian, Ms. Tara Sloan.

Fight Against Racism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the launching of the week against racism is taking place today, at the Cinémathèque québécoise. This year's theme is about the faces of racism in Quebec.

We must lead the fight against racism on an individual and collective level.

We must always appreciate the opportunity that we have to share our values of support and solidarity with cultural communities.

As individuals, we have a responsibility to apply these values in our daily lives, so that those who settle in Canada feel at home here.

However, the fight against racism is far from over. We must eliminate the resistance that still exists, to ensure that all new Canadians have access to a certain quality of life.

I call on all governments and organizations to work together to ensure the best possible future for those who decide to come to live in Canada.

Bill C-20
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Chairman, for the past few days, the government House leader has been suffering from proceduritis, and has been trying to change the rules of Parliament through trickery.

Not content to have limited the debates on Bill C-20 in committee, and not content to have rammed Bill C-20 through, the specialist in dirty tricks and double-dealing has added insult to injury with Motions Nos. 8 and 9, in order to change the rules of the game in the midst of the debate.

How shameful, particularly for the Liberal members, who do not want to voice their opinions on Bill C-20. We can understand that the sole intent of the latest trick of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons was to allow his colleagues to avoid their duty as parliamentarians.

When the voting on Bill C-20 takes place, the people of Quebec will finally know who is prepared to stand up to defend its rights and who is prepared to stand up to defend democracy.

Farm Safety
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, with National Farm Safety Week about to end, let us resolve to reduce farm related injuries throughout the year.

Farming is a way of life for over 200,000 farm families from coast to coast to coast. It is also a profession with one of the highest risks of on the job injury and death. Close to 700 Canadians died of farm related injuries between 1990 and 1996. Most of these could have been prevented. Working with tractors and other self-propelled equipment remains the leading cause of death and injury with rollovers and runovers a serious concern.

Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture along with other farm safety groups are urging farmers to equip their tractors with rollover protection structures and seatbelts. That is what National Farm Safety Week is all about, getting farmers and their families thinking about how they can protect themselves from what are often needless injuries on their farms.

Curling
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of British Columbia I would like to declare that B.C. now stands for “Best Curlers”.

Yesterday skip Greg McAulay of New Westminster completed the trillium of champions by capturing his first Brier championship against the formidable Russ Howard.

British Columbia will be representing Canada at the World Curling Championships in three categories: men's, featuring Greg McAulay's rink of Brent Pierce, Brian Miki, Jody Svestrup and Darin Fenton; women's, featuring Richmond's Kelley Law's rink of Julie Skinner, Georgina Wheatcroft, Diane Nelson and Elaine Dagg-Jackson; and junior men's, featuring Kelowna's Brad Kuhn's team of Kevin Folk, Ryan Kuhn and Hugh Bennett.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Saskatoon who organized and supported the Year 2000 Brier, setting a new attendance record.

Curling has long been one of Canada's favourite sports and now British Columbia leads the way. Congratulations and good luck to all at the world championships.

Chief Joe Mathias
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lou Sekora Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Chief Joe Mathias passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 10. He was a strong advocate and defender of the treaty process.

I knew Chief Mathias personally. He was a man greatly respected by his people, myself and many other people. Our blessings are with him and his family.

Overseas Development Assistance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the recent federal budget comes as a major disappointment to Canadians who care about the poorest of the poor in our world.

The Prime Minister talks big when he travels abroad but under his watch, Canadian overseas development assistance has fallen off dramatically. Canada's target was to provide .7 of 1% of the gross national product to foreign assistance. Under this government we have slipped back to about one-third of that target and the budget does not improve things.

The Canadian Council for International Cooperation tells us that we will be spending a smaller and smaller percentage of GNP on foreign assistance through to the year 2003.

The development needs are enormous in the areas of food, nutrition and agriculture, for basic education and health care, especially for women.

In the budget the government has lost an opportunity to do something really constructive for the poor and the vulnerable in other countries. Canadians are a generous people but the government has not matched their generosity.

The Late Marcel Pépin
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 6, we lost Marcel Pépin.

Marcel Pépin left his mark on Quebec and on his era, first as President of the CSN from 1965 to 1976, and then of the World Confederation of Labour. After studying under Father Lévesque at Laval University, he went on to contribute greatly to making the CSN, a labour federation that was as combative as it was democratic, the spearhead of the Quiet Revolution.

The “society built for man” which he sought could only come about as the result of a fight to the finish between the workers and all those with power. The union movement needed to unite andopen up a second social front in order to constitute a counter-balance to prevent workers from being crushed, dominated and deprived of their voice.

His texts and moral reviews, containing such sayings as “There is no more place for Quebec in the present system” or “Our own means are all we can count on” have marked Quebec in general, but have had far more impact on the public sector coalition, which would never have existed without him. With his great experience as a negotiator, Marcel Pépin had the knack of obtaining the best settlements, always in favour of the little people above all.

Thank you, Marcel Pépin.

Job Creation In Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 9, Statistics Canada released encouraging news about Canada's employment situation.

Based on its labour force survey, Statistics Canada determined that the unemployment rate was at 6.8% in February 1999, the lowest rate since April 1976.

Moreover, in February, 36,000 new jobs were created, thus continuing a pattern that began three years ago.

Finally, 1.9 million jobs were created since we came to office, in 1993.

In short, all Canadians are benefiting from economic conditions that promote job creation. These conditions were largely created by our Liberal government.

Refugees
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from a refugee camp in the northern part of Kenya. The camp has over 120,000 refugees, mostly Somalians, displaced for over nine years, living in conditions we could not even dream of.

I have to commend the people working in these camps, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and all the NGOs, such as Médecins sans frontières, the World Food Organization and all the dedicated church groups.

I want to thank the Canadian High Commissioner in Nairobi and all of his staff for setting up the details for this very important visit. I want to thank our immigration officers and staff in Kenya and London for letting our group sit in during interviews which included the minister of immigration and the member for Mississauga West.

Last but not least, I want to thank the minister's staff for setting up this on the ground experience of looking at how we determine refugees, immigrants and visitor visas.

Juno Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night we all celebrated with Canada's best at the 29th annual Juno Awards in Toronto. The quality and diversity of Canadian artists nominated at these awards reflects the excellence of our country's musical creators and performers. The awards they won are a prestigious national recognition of their talent.

Congratulations to Bryan Adams and Chantal Kreviazuk, for winning best male and female artists of the year.

Let me congratulate Paul Brandt for winning best country male artist and Shania Twain for best songwriter. Let me also congratulate SKY for winning best new group and Sarah McLachlan for winning the international achievement award.

I also want to congratulate Diana Krall—she is my favourite—for winning best vocal jazz album, the Quebec group La Chicane, for winning best-selling francophone album, and all the other Juno winners. We cannot name them all today, because we do not have time.

Canada can be proud of its musical talent and of the recognition it receives from both Canadian and international audiences.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in August the human resources department prepared a communication strategy for the minister. The aim was to manage the release of an internal audit that pointed to gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by the minister. The document suggested three options for releasing and communicating the results of that audit: a reactive approach, a low key approach, and a proactive approach. Each came with suggested advantages and disadvantages.

Why did the minister choose the reactive approach as outlined in that communication strategy?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear that the communications plan was a draft. It was prepared before the audit was even complete. It is usual for departments, particularly communications officials, to prepare this kind of information. It was not forwarded to me, nor would I have expected it to have been.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. We have a copy finally of this communications brief. It outlines three distinct approaches, going from the most transparent, the proactive approach, to the least transparent, the reactive approach. The reactive strategy suggests carrying on business as usual and not releasing the results of the audit until forced to do so by an access to information request.

We are talking about an audit dealing with gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Why did the minister choose the least transparent strategy for handling that internal audit?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again let me say that this was a draft report.

If the hon. member wants to talk about fact, let us look at what we did. It was this side of the House, it was me, as minister, who made this report public. Quite frankly, it had nothing to do with an access to information request by that party.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us go over it again. The minister had an internal audit on her desk revealing gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Her departmental spin doctors presented her with three options for releasing the information to the public. The words “demonstrates transparency” were only used in connection with one approach, the proactive approach. The approach the minister chose was described as simply “demonstrating business as usual”.

Again, how can the minister claim she is being transparent when she rejected the one communications approach her own departmental people said—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we came clean with the Canadian public. We made the internal audit public. We presented to the House 10,000 pages of projects. I wonder when members of that party will come clean with the Canadian public and say that they were wrong when they said $3 billion was missing, that they were wrong when they said $1 billion was missing, that they were wrong when they said it was an access to information request—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me just tell the minister that we are getting close with all of these investigations going on. It will be surprising how much money they actually do come up with.

I would have thought that with a week away from the House she could have come up with a better strategy than that.

In August her officials had a plan to release the internal audit. They chose three strategies: a transparent one, a semi-transparent one and a hide and seek version. The so-called reactive strategy involved the department carrying on business as usual until it got caught.

Why did the minister choose a “let us not get caught” strategy?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where that party has been, but it is me and my department that made this internal audit public. It is my department that chose to implement a six point plan that is now making a difference.

From the point of view of the work of the Human Resources Development Department, we are taking this very seriously. We have said that over and over again and I, quite frankly, do not know where these questions are coming from.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you where this party has been. We have been filing access to information requests because this minister was not forthcoming.

Let me also add that the minister continues to say that she came forward with her little six point plan and everything was going to be all right. The only reason she made this plan public was because she knew she had been caught in the act.

Was the minister gambling that this little plan would be uncovered before the next election?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I categorically deny that it was an access to information request that made this report public. It is very clear from letters between myself and my deputy that I took this very seriously. It is clear that the approach which we have taken is one of transparency and openness.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, HRDC it will be recalled appointed Mr. Champagne, the lawyer of Claude Gauthier, to be trustee of the $1.2 million grant to be paid to the same Claude Gauthier once the Placeteco purchase had been completed. In the light of these facts, the minister said job creation was important.

Accordingly, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development justify the fact that her department's grant to Placeteco was in fact used by its new owner, Claude Gauthier, to pay off a million dollar loan the company had with the National Bank?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat for the umpteenth time that in these transitional jobs fund grants we are but one partner. Over and over again it was the Government of Quebec that also accepted and supported these programs.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Human Resources Development Canada and the Government of Canada are administering and managing the funds.

A trust was set up, contrary to the opinion of Treasury Board. The lawyer, Claude Gauthier, acted for the company and for the trust, which seems normal to the minister. He is a friend of the Prime Minister and this must be why. It is also contrary to Treasury Board directives. Using $1 million to not create jobs is irregular and abnormal.

Could the minister tell us if the reason is not because there was pressure from the Prime Minister's office to help his friends and pay back the National Bank with the money that was supposed to be used to create jobs?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member yet again that these undertakings were part of a partnership. They were community economic development strategies that were supported by the communities themselves, by the private sector, by the Government of Quebec and in some small way by the Government of Canada.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to continue with the Placeteco affair.

When Placeteco had placed itself under the protection of the bankruptcy protection act, Mr. Gauthier purchased the company for one dollar, with a commitment to invest $200,000 in it. Now that we know where the first $1 million went, we are still trying to find out about the other $200,000.

Can the minister tell us whether her department really knows what this $200,000 was used for?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what I am glad to confirm again to the House is this. Placeteco has just signed a three-year collective agreement with its employees and it has signed a five-year contract for $8 million with a major aeronautical company.

This partnership, which has been agreed to by the local community with the Government of Quebec and with the federal government, is creating jobs for people in a region of high unemployment.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not all that surprised at the minister's response. What became of the $200,000 is still not known. Giving that kind of answers seems to be the only thing she knows how to do.

Will the government finally initiate a public and independent inquiry into all of her department's activities, or will she launch a fourth RCMP investigation in the Prime Minister's riding?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again, as part of our undertakings we have implemented a plan that will make a difference.

I want to remind the hon. member that the auditor general will be completing a full review of grants and contributions in the Department of Human Resources Development Canada. As an arm's length agent of this body, I am sure the hon. member would appreciate that he is the one who can best review and advise in this regard.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Federal neglect and the NAFTA mean that Alberta's retreat into two tier Americanized, privatized health care may soon be forced on all Canadians. Why will the current health minister not stand to be counted, as some previous health ministers are doing?

Why will the current health minister not just oppose Alberta's health privatization law clearly and unequivocally? What is he waiting for?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we are looking at the legislation—and, indeed, I would like to see the regulations as well—to determine whether it complies with the Canada Health Act.

I was in Alberta last week and took the opportunity to say to Albertans and all Canadians that we do not believe private, for profit hospitals is the way to go. They are no less costly, they have longer waiting lists and there are issues of quality.

We have urged the Alberta government to reconsider. Private, for profit is not the answer to problems facing medicare.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is unbelievable. Rome is burning, health is in crisis, and the minister continues to fiddle.

Canadians do not want a two tier health system. Nor do they want Americans to play doctor with their health. That is clear.

Is the minister going to follow the advice of his predecessors? Is he going to clearly oppose privatization in Alberta?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what I find puzzling is why the New Democratic Party will not join with us in the work we are doing to renew medicare within the principles of the Canada Health Act.

What the NDP governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. and the federal NDP are doing instead are playing into the hands of the Reform Party, those on the right who do not want the Canada Health Act.

The real enemies of medicare are over there on the right in the Reform Party. If they think those people are bad, wait until they hear the views of Stockwell Day on the subject.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, for months questions concerning the unprecedented mismanagement of millions of taxpayer dollars have gone unanswered in the House. The minister and Prime Minister have taken pains to minimize the enormous case of fiscal irresponsibility.

Almost daily now we have been advised of more RCMP investigations. We know of at least 19 grants now currently under investigation, three in the Prime Minister's riding, and one where charges have been laid.

Will the minister now restore some faith in her department by disclosing the full number of grants which she is aware of that are under investigation, active, completed or pending?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I have been as transparent as is appropriate to the House with regard to this particular issue.

The hon. member knows that these issues are before the police and therefore the question should be addressed to the police.

Indian Affairs And Northern Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister is so transparent, we can see right through her.

We know that there is systemic mismanagement present in other government departments, such as CIDA and now Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In 1971 the Prime Minister was the minister of Indian affairs and he stated:

—we cannot spend millions of dollars without developing some criteria and rules for the administration of those moneys.

And yet, in an audit released while parliament was not sitting, as expected, why is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development still doling out money to native chiefs if they are refusing to account for their spending?

Indian Affairs And Northern Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, that is not the policy and it is not what we are doing.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the human resources minister told the House on February 7: “I am not trying to hide anything. I made the report public”.

But new documents show the truth. Last fall the minister deliberately chose not to make the audit public unless she was forced to do so. How can the minister square her claim to transparency with her choice of the so-called reactive strategy?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I counter it with fact.

The fact is, it is our department that made the audit public. The fact is, it is our department that has provided over 10,000 pages of information to members of the House.

We have gone well beyond the most proactive strategy suggested in what the hon. member is referring to. Quite frankly, that was only a draft report.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that this so-called draft report was an extensive plan which showed that in August the department was ready, willing and able to release the audit.

Even the minister admits that she was finally clued in in November, but it was only after an opposition access request in January that the virtues of transparency suddenly became apparent to the minister.

Why did she stick to the strategy of hiding the audit as long as she could?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I reject everything that the hon. member has said. Her thesis is completely wrong.

I had the pleasure of going to Calgary last week and visiting some very important projects which received grants and contributions in the member's own backyard: programs to get young prostitutes off the street, programs to help young people who have not had the chance to get a full time job to get a job.

Perhaps since the hon. member will not go to visit those programs she would come to my riding. She would understand then why Mr. Marshall of Duchess Foods said: “I believe the attack of the Reform Party is strictly based on political considerations and not—”

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Québec.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Claude Gauthier, the owner of Placeteco, told an official he did not need to account to Human Resources Development Canada on what he did with the $1.2 million grant.

What measures has the minister taken to get Claude Gauthier to account not to the National Bank, not to lawyer Champagne, not to the office of the Prime Minister, but to the Department of Human Resources Development?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have reviewed these projects on a number of occasions in the House.

I reiterate that these projects have created employment for people in areas of high unemployment. I reiterate that the Government of Canada is but one partner in these projects and that it was strongly supported by its kissing cousins in the Government of Quebec.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, under Treasury Board rules, once Placeteco came under the protection of the Bankruptcy Act, the $1.2 million grant should have been returned to Human Resources Development Canada, and not put in trust.

How does the minister justify the grant to Claude Gauthier being considered an inheritance rightly going to the new owner, who bought Placeteco for a dollar?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again in the House we talked about the issue of the trust funds. I made it clear that there was an inappropriate administrative strategy undertaken by my department. Those trust funds were closed. The programs are still functioning and people are working.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a while ago the Prime Minister said this whole affair was about $251.50. “No big deal” he said.

Now this rot has spread to ACOA, Indian affairs and CIDA. Today there are 19 separate police investigations, three in the Prime Minister's riding alone, all over a missing $251.50.

That is the government's story. Is it sticking to it?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, speaking of stories, the hon. member ought to get his story straight because he is totally wrong in what he is asserting.

The Prime Minister was talking about 37 cases that had been referred for further inquiry. These arose out of the 459 in the initial audit. He was talking about the information he had at that time when he spoke about money that needed to be recovered. He was totally correct when he spoke of $259, based on the reviews that had been carried out, until that point, of the 37 cases.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, rumour has it that the Prime Minister recently got a parrot. The only thing it can say so far is “Open up, it is the police”.

There are now 19—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are now 19 police investigations, three in the Prime Minister's riding. The minister says she wants to be transparent. Here is her chance. My question for the minister is: How many police investigations are under way, how many have already taken place and how many are pending?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, with reference to the Department of Human Resources Development Canada, I have been forthcoming with this House. Other than the press release that was issued by my department last Monday, things are as they have been.

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned that, following the payment of royalties of close to $1 million to Érika Alexandre, a fictitious name, a repayment agreement was signed by CINAR and the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques. Quebec authors are not pleased with this agreement, far from it. Now, the revenue minister recently suggested that CINAR might be able to avail itself of the voluntary disclosure program.

Will the Minister of National Revenue, who is surely aware of the sanctity of copyright and will therefore want to prevent this whole matter from being discreetly stifled, pledge to ensure that CINAR cannot avail itself of the voluntary disclosure program?

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, when I was asked about this issue, I said that when we are referring to a specific case, namely CINAR, we must respect the fundamental principle of Canadian taxation. The file at Revenue Canada—and this is important for all taxpayers—is a confidential file.

As for the issue of voluntary disclosure, there is indeed a voluntary disclosure program at Revenue Canada. As suggested by its title, disclosure must be voluntary. I invite opposition members to contact the department for more information on what is a voluntary disclosure. They will find out.

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue seems to be have been hit by the same virus as his seatmate, the Minister of Human Resources Development. He is hiding behind the argument of confidentiality so as not to answer the questions from the opposition.

I will therefore direct my supplementary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Given the scope of incriminating facts that keep accumulating in the CINAR affair, what is the minister waiting for to order a public, independent inquiry?

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the very first day that allegations were made, I went straight to the RCMP. They are conducting the investigation.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, under access to information we received an extensive communications plan developed by HRDC to handle the release of the internal audit on the billion dollar boondoggle. It includes strategic considerations, story lines, media strategies and timelines. It was dated August 30, 1999.

After a week off to consider the facts, why is the minister still spinning the same story?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, because our story is the truth.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the department-wide action plan in August dealt with the controlled release of the internal audit if an access to information request was received. Communication plans talked about release strategies and the need to equip the minister with questions and answers, question period cards and media lines.

Does the minister honestly expect us to believe that she only learned about this audit on November 17, as she stated in the House?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us review the facts again. This was a draft communications plan. It is normal for the communications officials in a department to prepare communication strategies.

This was being prepared and the audit was not even completed. It was not forwarded to me and, as I have said earlier, I would not have expected it to be.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 3, the Minister of Human Resources Development received the report she had commissioned from a Toronto firm in the matter of the redirecting of a grant from the riding of Rosemont to the riding of the Prime Minister.

How can the minister, who boasts of her clarity in this matter, continue to refuse to make public this investigation, which was paid for by the public and out of the public purse?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes reference to the Rosemont files. As he knows, on Monday last the department issued a press release saying that this had been referred to the RCMP. As such, the questions would be presented to them.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The floods in Mozambique have taken their horrific toll in recent weeks and now we have reports that heavy rains and mudslides have displaced land mines in what is already one of the most heavily land mined countries in the world.

What is Canada doing about this threat to the lives of so many distressed people?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore for raising this very crucial issue in the House.

It is absolutely true that added to the enormous suffering which the people of Mozambique have experienced is the new danger caused by the dislodgement of thousands of land mines which had previously been demarcated or carefully mapped. What we now face is an urgent request from the Mozambique Mine Action Centre for help.

I am pleased to announce today, with the co-operation of the Minister of National Defence and the Minister for International Cooperation, that we are the first country to respond by adding half a million dollars to the already $12 million we put into mine action programs in Mozambique.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I quote from a letter from the deputy minister of human resources which says “Since June, when the interim audit report became available, we have devoted intensive and sustained management attention to this file”.

The minister claims that she was completely ignorant about the interim audit, but we have to wonder what she thought everyone in her department was actually doing during this period of “intensive and sustained management attention”. Perhaps there was an extended fire drill. Or, how about a 911 exercise? Maybe there was a crisis management therapy session.

Either the minister did not have a clue what was going on in her department or she has not been telling Canadians the whole story. Which is it?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, when I received the results of the internal audit, without question I took them seriously. I advised the department to strengthen its management report and when the whole audit was completed we made it public.

The six point plan that we are now implementing, which has had the benefit of advice from the auditor general, from outside third parties, is being implemented. I have had the pleasure of going to talk with departmental officials in Calgary and Toronto and in other parts of the country and they are doing their job.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, they may be doing their job, but it is the minister we are asking about.

The communications plan and the strategy were ready to go in August, but the minister waited until January to release the information on the audit and only after she received an access to information request. We have been giving the minister the benefit of the doubt. We thought she was simply not up to the job, but now we see something even worse. It appears she followed a plan down to a t , which was to hunker down, batten down the hatches and hope that no one asked about the audit until it was old news.

Why did she try to hide the fact that she mismanaged $1 billion in her department?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member cared to pay attention he would know that even the data collection for the audit was not completed until the early part of the fall. He would understand in the course of an internal audit that once the data is collected the management team has to prepare the response. He would understand that as minister, when I received this information, I took it seriously and I said that the management response was not strong enough. It was strengthened and when the whole report was completed we chose to make it public.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is now day 10 since Ralph Klein launched the most concerted and comprehensive attack on medicare in the history of this country and the health minister says he is still studying it. He says that they do not know what they are going to do at this point.

One thing we do know is that this government paved the way for privatization by signing a secret 12 point deal with Alberta in 1996, and went so far as to fire a former health minister for trying to stop the deal.

The minister says he does not know what to do, but today he can start by rescinding the deal and saying no to Ralph Klein. Will he do that?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we know exactly what to do. It is to work with other governments to renew medicare. That is exactly what we are doing with the NDP governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. We are working constructively to do things that will help. We do not believe that private for profit hospitals are going to help. The experience so far is that they have longer waiting lists and higher costs and there are real questions about quality.

I would like to know why will the NDP not join in the effort to renew medicare instead of aligning itself with those who would destroy it?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, first of all it is unbelievable that the government after 10 days is in no position yet to say no to Ralph Klein and the destruction of medicare. It is unbelievable that he pretends that a deal his government signed in 1996 does not exist when in fact section 11 of that deal is the forerunner to Bill 11 now before the Alberta legislature.

If the government is serious about doing something about medicare, it would rescind its own deal and say absolutely no to Ralph Klein. Will the minister do it?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is unalloyed nonsense. There is no deal between governments. There are principles that the Alberta government proclaimed. They will not stand in the way of the enforcement of the Canada Health Act.

The real issue is why is the NDP the defender of the status quo? We want to work to renew medicare. It thinks that simply pouring billions into the old system will work. It will not. Why does it not join with us toward constructive change?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, spring is just around the corner and right now many farmers are trying to find cash to put the crop in. Many of them are not being very successful.

The AIDA program has been like a mirage to a dying person. Right now, today, only $500 million of that money has been distributed and put into farmers' pockets.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stand today and admit that he has failed Canadian farmers for the 2000 crop year?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is a slow learner, but the applications after the 1999 business year have to be submitted by the farmers. As soon as those applications are submitted, we will begin processing them so that the farmers can get the cash.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the slow learners come from that side of the House. Only $500 million has found its way to farmers' pockets. The crop has to go in this spring.

Of the $500 million that has been distributed, $35 million went to administer the program. Can the minister tell me why bureaucrats and bean counters can get their money that quickly but not our farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, farmers could have applied for an interim application on their 1999 business year as far back as September, last fall. Only about 500 or 600 of the farmers chose to do that. The rest of them obviously have chosen to wait until they finish their business year, their book work and paperwork as a result of the 1999 business year and submit that. I can assure the hon. member that as soon as they do submit those, we will deal with those forms very quickly.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this year's budget the Government of Canada committed a further $2.5 billion of health care transfers to the provinces. However some of the provincial premiers have suggested that the government is not doing its fair share.

Can the Minister of Health confirm to the House and to all Canadians the actual level of financial support provided to our health care system?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, over the last four budgets transfers to the provinces for health have increased. The result is that overall transfers are higher today than ever. Of the $60 billion spent every year on health by governments in this country, $20 billion is spent by the Government of Canada either directly or through the transfers to the provinces. Some $20 billion of $60 billion is from Ottawa.

The truth is that of all public health spending in Canada this year, fully one-third is contributed by the Government of Canada.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that a sock company in Quebec received $8.1 million under the transitional jobs fund in 1997. This is more than what the entire province of Manitoba received, yet the Minister of Human Resources Development stands up in the House and says the program was about creating jobs in a fair manner.

When will the minister stop socking it to the Canadian taxpayers and step down?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me again give the hon. member the real facts. Indeed with Bas Iris the original plan was to be worth $8.1 million but because of production losses the moneys that were transferred were $5.9 million. In fact 1,400 jobs were created, not only 1,400 jobs but an additional 40 jobs. This has been an important industrial, economic and social advantage to the area.

Public Works
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Public Works Canada agreed to transfer a building to Inter-Loge, a community group working in the field of social housing in my riding.

The department was to completely clean up the site and is now demanding that Inter-Loge finish the task at its own expense, which it cannot afford to do. So now, the department is threatening to take back the building and cause the group to lose its deposit of $62,000.

I would ask the Minister of Public Works to tell us what is happening in this matter and whether he has taken steps to protect Inter-Loge from losing its deposit.

Public Works
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would begin by telling the leader of the Bloc that there is no question of Inter-Loge's losing its deposit. If the agreement, which has already expired, cannot be renewed, negotiations will continue. Of course, the group will get its deposit.

In the meantime, I have asked my officials to continue negotiations, see if an agreement can be reached and come up with a solution to this problem. The problem is complex because the environmental impact is bigger than we first thought. So the situation needs to be reassessed, but already good—

Public Works
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the price of gasoline is at a ten-year high, and this is bad for Canada's truckers and for Canadians in general. On Friday, the Minister of Labour asked her colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, to do away with the federal tax on fuel.

Is the Minister of Natural Resources going to heed his colleague and all of the people of Canada and show some leadership in connection with the oil crisis?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the issue of gasoline pricing, obviously any issue related to taxation would need to be referred to the Minister of Finance.

I think it would be important for the petroleum industry to take note of the level of public concern and to be very transparent in its pricing practices including the price of crude oil, the price for refining, processing, wholesaling, retailing and taxes. I think the public is entitled to know when those prices change, exactly by how much and why.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is not for the RCMP but for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

In 1995, there was an agreement between Alcan, its labour unions, and the provincial and federal governments. In recent months, the federal government has decided to withdraw from the program, while we are well aware that hundreds of jobs have been created and the government is getting its money back in taxes.

I am asking the minister why, since this is a worthwhile investment, she has pulled out of the partnership program with Alcan and its unionized workers.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I will take the hon. member's question under advisement and apprise him of a response.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, twice today the human resources minister told this House that she made the audit public when it was completed. How does this square with the facts?

The interim audit was available in June. The Liberals breathed not a word of its explosive contents. The audit was formally signed off in October. She asked the PCs to destroy that evidence. The minister was briefed in November. She kept telling the House all was well. We asked for the audit in January and finally she becomes transparent. How can she stand and tell Canadians—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again I must categorically reject the assertions of the hon. member. Perhaps if instead of reading interim draft reports members would read the final report, they would see that we have taken this audit seriously. They would see that we have a plan of action that is working. We are training our employees. We have got a national auditing structure that is going office by office and monitoring reports—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Davenport.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, from a recent publication by the Department of Natural Resources we learn that the fossil fuel industry's greenhouse gas emissions are increasing dramatically and will have grown by 64% by the year 2010.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources inform the House when Canada's national strategy will be ready and what he intends to do about the fossil fuel industry's skyrocketing emissions?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of energy and the environment will begin meetings later this month. They will continue with meetings through this year on a national implementation strategy with respect to climate change.

We hope by the end of this year to have made very real progress in getting that strategy into place. What it might include could be greater measures for energy efficiency, energy conservation, energy diversification, more alternative and renewable fuels, co-generation, district energy systems and cleaner industrial processes. Underlying all of that is new technology. Our budget most recently put $600 million into that very important effort.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Last week, the Prime Minister was in his riding. Since then, everyone claims that he is as pure as the driven snow, even though the RCMP is conducting at least three investigations in his riding.

Out of solidarity with the Prime Minister, who seems to be in deep trouble with this scandal, should the minister not immediately order an independent public inquiry to protect him from his political buddies in his riding?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again I would remind the hon. member that the auditor general will be doing a study, a review, of the grants and contributions in my department. I look forward to his recommendations.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, even the banks have walked away from the Canada student loans program because even they recognize the mess of huge debts facing students. Students are cheering that news. But the bad news is unless the government addresses the root causes of this crisis, debt loads will still be enormous.

Will the minister now commit to work with the provinces to lower dangerously high tuition fees by restoring public funding that put them up in the first place? Will the minister do that?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again I would remind the hon. member that as of the most recent budget two weeks ago, an additional $2.5 billion has been made available to the provinces for health care and education.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can understand why the minister would want to pause for a moment before answering me. Does she realize that she said no to a project that was profitable to the government, which was recovering its investment through the creation of tens of jobs?

Does the minister agree with the principle of work sharing in plants throughout the country, particularly in outlying regions?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again as I said earlier, I will look into this project and provide an undertaking to the member.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the human resources minister should have one more opportunity to explain why an audit which her department had a whole plan to release at the end of August in fact was not released until after an opposition access request in January. How does that square with her claim of transparency? I invite the minister to explain that.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to say again to the hon. member that there was no access to information that forced us to make the audit public.

I want to say that I have resented personally the accusations that the member has made against me, calling me a liar outside of the House, because she is wrong.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I have notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Surrey North. I read what he sent to me today. I know he was busy this morning, but I rendered a decision on a similar case. Did he have occasion to hear what the decision was that I gave this morning?

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Yes, I did, Mr. Speaker.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Are you still going to raise a question of privilege?

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Yes, Mr. Speaker. As you know, I provided you with notice on March 3 of this question of privilege. While my notice detailed much of the concern, I believe that it is only appropriate that I outline the issue in the House so that all members will be aware of the present situation, as we are all equally affected by these recent events.

I believe this question of privilege is related to one similar, which was heard by the Speaker in October 1997. I say related because the breach of my privileges as a member of parliament has also arisen over the functions of our legislative drafters.

In 1997 you ruled that the matter be resolved by the Board of Internal Economy. My issue does not concern the administrative matters, such as the number of legislative drafters available to assist us in our work, and it does not concern just who is assigned to assist us in drafting legislation. My question of privilege has solely to do with solicitor-client privilege and breach of confidentiality.

First, I will relate the facts of the case. Over the past number of weeks I have been dealing with our legislative drafters on a number of amendments to legislation presently before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The drafting of legislation is one of the most important aspects of this place. It is imperative that confidentiality of information be maintained until each member decides to make his or her work public by introducing it either in committee or here at report stage.

Mr. Speaker, you can imagine my surprise and outrage when I learned from the clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that he was in possession of my amendments before I had even decided which of them I would be introducing at committee.

I was informed that it has now been decided that solicitor-client privilege does not attach itself to work completed by our legislative drafters and that the material will be made available to the clerks.

I do not know who else will have access to this work. I do know that the clerk did seek my permission to release my proposed amendments to the Department of Justice lawyers. I denied him the permission to release them to anyone.

Let me make it clear that I do not call into question the integrity of the clerk of the committee, but if he was able to gain possession of my amendments, who else has them?

It was my understanding that members of parliament are operating with our legislative drafters in a solicitor-client relationship. These drafters are lawyers who have been tasked by the House as a whole to assist members in their legislative initiatives.

It is a competitive market in this place for political reasons, for representing our constituents and for ensuring that our laws effectively achieve what we as individuals perceive to be in the best interests of the country.

You will remember, Mr. Speaker, how concerned members from all political stripes became in October 1997 when the issue was raised over the lack of sufficient and proper resources to provide members with adequate legislative assistance. As I have stated, my concern today is not an administrative function. It goes to the essence of the relationship between our lawyers and ourselves to fulfil our duties as members of parliament. These lawyers work for us both on private members' legislation and on amendments to government and Senate legislation. Without protection of confidentiality, our parliamentary work is severely impacted. We become disempowered from carrying out our duties.

This work was released to others without my consent, which I believe is necessary under the law. Legislative counsel come under the precinct of the Speaker of the House of Commons. It is my understanding that they have been ordered to release this information contrary to the protection of the solicitor-client privilege.

To sum up, I believe that the release of confidential work in progress to the clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights without my consent is a prima facie case of privilege. It has happened in my case and may well be happening or could happen to almost anyone in this place. It must be addressed. Should you find that a prima facie case of privilege exists, Mr. Speaker, and with your permission, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

If I understand the hon. member correctly, what he is saying is that there has been a breach of confidentiality because the clerk of the committee had the information.

I invite the hon. member to review my ruling of this morning. With all due respect, I would suggest to him that the clerk of the committee is a member of the team that has to work together so that members can be served.

If the hon. member is saying that someone other than a person on the team that I described this morning has access to the information, I would like to know about it. But the team itself, the drafters, the lawyers, the people who put it into the information system, they are all part of that group. As for anyone outside that group, if the hon. member is alleging that someone else had that information, then I would like to hear more about it.

I would like to review everything the hon. member has said today. Barring anything that I have missed, my decision of this morning, I believe, would apply. However, I will have a look at it in detail to decide what is necessary.

I would like to let this matter sit at this point, unless someone has something to offer which is in addition to what the hon. member has said.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I think the point is something a bit different from a team and who in the team has access to certain information.

The point is solicitor-client privilege. The point is whether we are entitled to rely on legislative counsel to work for us in a privileged way. In other words, nobody else knows what we are discussing, what we are planning or what we are doing because these lawyers are giving us advice solely for our own purposes.

If the clerks are getting this information, then it is on the instructions of someone, Mr. Speaker, and that someone clearly is not us, the members. That someone clearly is directing legislative counsel to give information without our knowledge and consent. In other words, these legislative counsel do not work for us.

This even goes beyond solicitor-client privilege because if legislative counsel are getting instructions and are following orders from someone besides us, then how can we be confident that they are doing their greatest and best work for us if their responsibility is to someone else? This is very serious, Mr. Speaker.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member reiterates a point that was brought up earlier. The fact is that the legislative counsel, the lawyers who are there, do not have in the traditional sense the client-lawyer relationship only because there are other people involved.

That has been the way. It has been our tradition since the beginning. I would invite the hon. member to please have a look at my ruling of this morning to understand why we arrived at this decision.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must inform you of an important decision that has been reached by the members of the Bloc Quebecois, in connection with this morning's decision.

We would have preferred not to have been forced to such a decision, and I mean that most sincerely. It is, however, a matter of democracy, as evidenced by the matter of privilege that has just been raised. It is a matter of confidence. In the next few minutes, therefore, I shall be introducing a motion of censure of the Speaker of the House, which reads as follows.

That this House resolve that it no longer has confidence in the Speaker, since it is of the opinion that the Speaker exhibited partiality in determining that the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis on Wednesday, March 1, 2000 was out of order and in rejecting the point of order raised by the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry, to the detriment of the rights and privileges of all of the members of this House.

I shall be tabling this motion in the next few minutes. I would have preferred not to have had to do so. However, as I said, our rights and our privileges are at stake, and so is democracy and the confidence everyone must have in the Chair.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

This is the first time in a long while that the Speaker has had to deal with such a motion. The motion is out of order at this time. The hon. member must give notice. He may do so at his leisure.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

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

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

George Proud Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House in both official languages the fourth report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association which represented Canada at the meetings of the defence and security committee held in Washington, D.C. and southern California from February 1 to 8, 2000.

Parliament Of Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-450, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to present a bill on behalf of constituents and Canadians right across the country. It tries to prevent the merry-go-round that members of parliament do once in a while when they decide to cross the floor and join another political party.

I have never agreed that a member of parliament can just up and leave a party and right in the middle of a term join another political party. That decision should be in the hands of the Canadian people. This legislation says to a member of parliament that if he or she has a falling out with the party and wishes to leave and join another political party, then step down, run in a byelection under the new political banner and let the people in the riding decide whether or not the member is capable of flying under the new political banner.

It is a great privilege to thank the seconder of this wonderful bill. I am sure the bill will sweep across the country and be endorsed by all Canadians of all political stripes.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present on behalf of my constituents and residents in British Columbia. The first is a dated petition concerning the NATO actions in Yugoslavia calling upon parliament to do what it felt was fair.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is one that I can wholly support. It calls on parliament to provide more funding for the national highway system in the 2000 budget. Unfortunately they are a little bit late in expressing that sentiment. I certainly think they are going in the right direction in asking the government to provide more funding for the highways program.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lou Sekora Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I present 277 signed ribbons from the annual white ribbon against pornography campaign. This campaign was held from October 24 to October 31, 1999 by the Catholic Women's League of Canada. The use of pornography must be stopped.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I assumed the hon. member was presenting a petition and not ribbons to the House. I hope it was a slip of words in his description because of course ribbons would not be in order.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to present four petitions today.

The first one is a very important petition with several hundred signatures from members of my riding. It says that whereas the majority of Canadians consider unborn babies to be worthy of protection and whereas Action Canada for Population—

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. I know the hon. member will want to comply with the rules and summarize the petition rather than read it. I sense that we are hearing it read.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the petitioners pray that the federal government will not continue to have ACPD, a non-government organization that came directly out of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada play a leading role in future government sponsored forums on the national and international scene.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition the petitioners pray that parliament use the section 33 notwithstanding clause if necessary concerning the child pornography decision that is coming down very shortly from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the third petition several hundred petitioners are concerned about mismanagement by the immigration department. They pray that legislation will be enacted requiring refugee claimants to demonstrate through identification and documentation very clearly that they are fleeing general political persecution and failing to do that face immediate deportation without delay.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the last petition contains several hundred signatures of people who are really upset with the way the government has scooped the pension plan surpluses from the RCMP, the military and crown corporation agencies. They pray that treasury board halt its unilateral appropriation of the surpluses in the public service, military and RCMP pension plans. It destroys the morale, the work ethic and confidence in the government.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present a petition duly certified by the clerk of petitions on the subject of breast cancer. The petition is signed by 96 residents of British Columbia. It calls on parliament to enact legislation to establish an independent body to develop and implement mandatory mammography quality assurance and quality control standards in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table one of the petitions given to me in the last couple of days by people of my riding.

This petition concerns Bill C-20. The petitioners are calling for the withdrawal of this bill, which violates the rights of the Quebec people to decide their own future. I therefore table this petition.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present petitions from the constituents in my riding of Kitchener Centre.

The first set urges parliament to fulfill the 1989 promise to end child poverty by the year 2000. The petitions have been signed by the residents of the Kitchener—Waterloo area and the members of Rockway Mennonite Church. Campaign 2000 has also provided me with a copy of its petition calling on parliament to end child poverty.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition is from the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support. They call on the House to immediately rescind immigration taxes on refugees and immigrants.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting petitions with approximately 1,000 names of people across the country including from Langley, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. They are petitioning that the House respect the motion of nine months ago in defence of and to uphold marriage.

They are petitioning that in light of the fact that the Prime Minister has limited debate on Bill C-23 and has not allowed a free vote, that the House withdraw Bill C-23 and instead affirm the opposite sex definition of marriage in legislation and ensure that marriage is recognized as a unique institution both in name and policy.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions for you. The first is a petition that asks parliament to take all measures necessary to ensure that the possession of child pornography remains a criminal offence. I think that is a reference to the supreme court debate that is ongoing at this moment.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon the government to implement, enforce and develop uniform and mandatory mammography assurance and quality control standards in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the last petition urges parliament to uphold section 43 of the criminal code which continues to give parents the right or the opportunity to use appropriate discipline.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have the honour of presenting the following petitions.

The petitioners draw the attention of the House to the fact that Canadian consumers are deeply affected by price hikes. Although gasoline is a Canadian natural resource, Canadians have little control over this important resource. Therefore, the petitioners request that parliament encourage the establishment of a gas pricing review commission to keep the pricing of gasoline and other oil products in check.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have the honour of presenting these petitions signed by more than 100 concerned Canadians.

The federal government imposes an immigration tax as a condition for obtaining permanent residence in Canada. This tax is in addition to the $500 charged just to open a file. Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to immediately cancel the immigration tax.

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, the following petition is signed by 46 interested Canadians.

The federal government imposes an immigration tax of $975. This tax is discriminatory with respect to immigrants from developing countries where the annual income is sometimes less than $975. Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to immediately reduce the rate of the immigration tax.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present the following petition signed by 88 Canadians.

One in five Canadian children live in poverty. On November 14, 1989 the House of Commons resolved to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. The petitioners call upon parliament to introduce a multi-year plan to improve the well-being of Canadian children.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present the following petition signed by a dozen Canadians.

Canada has the second highest incidence of risk of cancer in the world. It is second only to the United States. The United States has had mandatory mammography quality assurance standards since October 1994. Canada has no legislation for mandatory mammography quality assurance standard.

Therefore the petitioners call upon parliament to enact legislation to establish an independent governing body to develop, implement and enforce uniform and mandatory mammography quality assurance and quality control standards in Canada.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the following question will be answered today: No. 76. .[Text]

Question No. 76—

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

With regard to the groups consulted by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in the course of the legislative review ministerial consultations from February 27, 1998 through to March 11, 1998: ( a ) which of the groups received government issued grants and/or subsidies; ( b ) what was the total grant or subsidy; ( c ) what was the reason for the grant or subsidy; and ( d ) which government department issued the grant or subsidy?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

With regard to each of the groups consulted by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration during the period from February 27, 1998 through to March 11, 1998, the following received contribution funds (Citizenship and Immigration Canada CIC does not provide grants or subsidies to organizations) in fiscal year 1997-98* under one or more of CIC's settlement programs or services: immigrant settlement and adaptation program, ISAP, which provides a variety of settlement services to immigrants, such as orientation, community information, interpretation/translation, para-professional counselling, employment related sevices; language instruction for newcomers to Canada, LINC, which provides traning in one of Canada's official languages to adult immigrants; the host program which matches immigrants to Canadians who help them with various aspects of life in Canada; and reception house, RH, which provides temporary accommodation to government assisted refugees.

Organizations in Quebec do not receive contribution funds from CIC. As per the Canada-Quebec accord, the province of Quebec assumes responsibility for providing settlement services.

*Contribution agreements are signed for a total amount which covers the duration fo the agreement. As the period of time for which the funding information was requested does not coincide with the periods covered by the contribution agreements, we are unable to give dollar figures for the exact period requested by the hon. member.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The question enumerated by the hon. parliamentary secretary has been answered.

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, would you be so kind as to call Starred Question No. 49, and I ask that it be printed in Hansard as if read.

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it agreed?

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed. .[Text]

*Question No. 49—

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Since 1990 have Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada or Atomic Energy Canada undertaken or had universities and/or other Canadian university institutions undertake research or visits in the province of Quebec north of the 48th parallel in connection with pluton and/or granitic pluton with the aim of burying nuclear waste and if so: ( a ) how many studies were done; ( b ) what are the titles of the studies; ( c ) how many visits were there; ( d ) what locations were visited; and ( e ) which Canadian universities and university institutions were involved?

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

I am informed as follows. Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited have not undertaken any studies, research or visits in the province of Quebec in connection with pluton and/or granitic pluton with the aim of burying nuclear waste.

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gar Knutson Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

When the House proceeded to question period the hon. member for Waterloo—Wellington had the floor. He has five minutes remaining in his allotted time.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to resume my debate on this very important bill, Bill C-20.

I was talking about the kind of stalling tactics the Bloc members are implementing on this very important and historic bill. It saddens me. I heard the member for Quebec East call me a liar while I was speaking. I suppose that is part and parcel of where some of those people come from which is too bad. I do not think it is appropriate. I think it is quite unparliamentary.

I want to say in review it really is shameful when we see something as important as this bill come forward that there are now amendments to amendments being proposed. It is a shame that 300 press clippings were read in the House and 1,000 amendments were proposed. It shows nothing but contempt not only for the House but for the Canadian people wherever they live in this great country of ours. It really is undemocratic.

For the record indicate I want to indicate that on December 13, 1999 the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry said that everything they can do to slow down the bill to prevent its passage will be done. That really is shameful. That is not what democracy in Canada is all about.

Let me say what the leader of the Bloc said not so very long ago on February 7:

I can tell you that it's going to be a long process...very, very long...The record was 471?....more than that.

The implication is that this is going to be stalled, this is going to be dragged out, this is going to be extended, all at the expense of democracy. That is unacceptable and that is not the Canadian way. It is simply outright rubbish.

On February 8 the hon. member for Roberval said that there was no way whatsoever that the Bloc would co-operate in passing Bill C-20. Again, it is crystal clear where these people opposite are coming from and that is in an undemocratic way to simply tie up the business of the House, using every procedural trick in their arsenal, when Canadians want to talk about other things. They want to talk about jobs. They want to talk about trade issues. They want to talk about globalization. They want to talk about transportation in the west. They want to talk about farmers. They want to talk about health care. They want to talk about education. They do not want to get stalled by those people opposite who want nothing more than to stall the business of the House, to tie it up, to do whatever they can procedurally or any other way to hog-tie the House of Commons.

We on the government side will not allow them to get away with it. Why? Because it is not in the best interests of Canadians, wherever they live in Canada. We on this side of the House will ensure that does not happen.

That is why we are crystal clear when it comes to Group No. 1, which we are debating today, which deals with the preamble. The House should not forget that this is a very simple bill that has three statements to it. It is very simple, very straightforward and very uncomplicated. It is those people opposite who are making it into something far greater than it was ever intended to be, and that is unacceptable.

Let me remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the amendments in Group No. 1, which deal with the preamble, and now the amendments to the amendments which they are proposing, simply go counter to what we have in mind.

The bill closely reflects the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference. Each of the preambular clauses is drawn from elements of the court's judgment. Despite the attempts of the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard, to conveniently ignore certain parts of the judgment, it is all important that all of its elements be reflected in the clarity act preamble.

That is what we on the government side are doing. We are being straightforward. We are being simple. We are being clear in terms of what we are doing, because Canadians expect that kind of common sense approach when it comes to government. Canadians expect that of us. We are here elected from across Canada to represent every region and every area of this country. No matter where we come from, we are here to govern in an appropriate and solid fashion, and we continue to do that. Why? Because it is expected, it is required and it is necessary.

When we brought in as a government the clarity legislation, Bill C-20, we did so with great intent, with great purpose, to ensure that people throughout Canada, and the world for that matter, who are watching this process will know that we come from a very solid and straightforward foundation, knowing that this is a time to act in a meaningful way on behalf of Canada. That is precisely what we on the government side, with the help of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, will do.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I, too, appreciate the opportunity to speak at least one last time to this bill. It is a bill which attempts to bring clarity, finally, to an issue that has probably been the most confusing issue for Canadians right across the country, not only in the province of Quebec but certainly in my riding and clearly from sea to sea to sea.

Some of the statements made by members opposite I find rather interesting. First, I heard the hyperbole of the member of the New Democratic Party earlier today. In fact he was quite apoplectic, to say the least, shouting and going on about the fact that aboriginal Canadians are not named in the document—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

He is right.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

I am trying to reiterate it fairly and accurately because I want to point out the fallacy of the argument.

The member could not understand and got awfully excited about why we would not include aboriginal Canadians in the list of people who should be consulted. I know the member knows this full well because he is one of the most knowledgeable people in the House. He has been around a long time. I give him credit for his success in this parliament and the length of his stay here, if nothing else. He knows that he could check the supreme court decision with regard to this. I will share this with members opposite.

The final subsection of the bill stipulates that no minister of the crown shall propose a constitutional amendment to effect the secession of a province from Canada unless the Government of Canada has addressed, in its negotiations, the terms of secession expressly mentioned by the court, such as the division of assets and liabilities, any changes to the borders of the province—which the hon. member knows full well deals with aboriginal Canadians—the rights, interests and territorial claims of the aboriginal peoples of Canada, and the protection of minority rights.

That is in the supreme court decision. I read that and I listened to the knowledgeable member of the New Democratic Party going on about the government not mentioning aboriginal Canadians in the bill. I wonder what has happened. I think I know. That member and members of that party are looking for a reason to oppose this bill. They are digging a little deep. They cannot be kidding—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. That is absolute nonsense. The member was pointing out the fact that aboriginal people—and even the minister says that is not true—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I think we are into a point of debate rather than a point of order.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member should seek an opportunity to rise in debate in a normal way instead of jumping up in such child-like fashion and interrupting the flow of someone who is trying to articulate a point which might be contrary to his and might be somewhat more factual. I am not making it up; I am reading from a document that quotes the supreme court.

If the member does not believe that the supreme court decision I am reading is accurate, the member should say so, I suppose. But I do not know where he would be coming from. What is the point of that debate?

It could only be—and not to be unfair because there is really another party I want to talk about a little more—that the NDP has looked at this and said “Darn it, they really have something here. They will put forward a bill that is clear to Canadians; a question that is clear”.

Most of their ridings are in eastern Canada, in the maritimes. I am sure the people in the maritimes are about as fed up with this talk of separation as are the people of Quebec, Ontario, the west and our territories. I am sure they are all sick and tired of this whole debate and would like, once and for all, to put the rules straight on the table.

The members look at it and say “Holy smoke, they might have something here. They have actually put together a bill which says there has to be a clear question, that the appropriate democratically elected people in the country have to be consulted and there has to be a clear majority”. Frankly, I think that is what the majority of Canadians want, including those people in Quebec.

In an attempt to find a way to oppose this bill, they have latched on to the tried and true aboriginal issue. We saw that in Charlottetown and in Meech. We came to recognize as a nation that if we want to try to amend the constitution, which is exactly what would be required under any attempt by a province to secede, the country is not governable in that sense. To amend the constitution of Canada is virtually impossible, to date at least, with perhaps one or two very minor exceptions to do with education, because any one person, as we saw in the Manitoba legislature, can refuse unanimous consent and hold up the entire country.

Any premier can go back to the legislature of a province promising to hold a vote, renege on that vote, and the whole thing dies.

If a member wants to throw something into the mix, throw in the tried and true aboriginal question and sure enough the process will be derailed.

I do not understand where the responsibility lies for a Canadian parliamentarian to do that. I do not mind that someone disagrees with the bill. In fact I understand the Bloc members disagreeing with it. It is their raison d'être to separate.

I found some of the statements of Bloc members really interesting. Let me share one with the House. One Bloc member said “You cannot judge clarity because there are language differences”. Is that not an interesting situation.

I wrote out what I consider to be, and what I think my constituents would consider to be, a clear question. It is fairly simple and fairly straightforward. It states “Do you wish to separate from Canada and become a sovereign nation, yes or no?”

Here is the question in French: voulez-vous vous séparer du Canada et devenir un pays souverain, oui ou non?

Where is the language difference? Where is the problem?

Members opposite do not like that question. Maybe they want a question that says “Do you want to maybe separate? We will cut a deal. We will see if we can get more money out of them. We will see what we can do better for you because you voted for us. Maybe we will get you some HRD grants, or maybe we will not. What do you think of that, yes or no?”

If they want to play games because they know they cannot win when it is a clear question, I understand that tactic, but I do not think the rest of Canada appreciates that tactic.

Then I heard the same Bloc member say, and I found this to be astounding, that his constituents do not want clarity, they want money. That is what he said. They want money for economic development and jobs. These are the same opposition members who would stand to castigate the Minister of Human Resources Development for investing in the province of Quebec, in the various ridings of members opposite, and ridings right across this country.

Those investments are investments in people, the people of Quebec. The reason the members do not like them of course is because they are afraid those investments might make, God forbid, the country's government look good. That is not the reason it is done. Our policies are very clear. We go into economically depressed communities and we try to help them, because we understand as a government that is part of our obligation.

I do not care what party sits on this side of the House, that will always be, and should always be, part of the obligation of a government which tries to run a nation with the disparities and the geographical differences that exist in this country. Members ought to travel this land, go to places in Quebec and Labrador. Anywhere in this country they will see the need for government assistance.

Finally, I heard a member stand to say that Quebecers were not consulted when other people were allowed to join this country. Presumably the member was referring to Newfoundland. I do not understand that. I say to the member, what about the rest of Canada when it comes to the province of Quebec voting on a referendum question that would indeed destroy this country? Does the ROC, the rest of Canada, not have something to say?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

The member says no. I heard that. I think they do and they want a clear answer.

My constituents have said to me that if they really want to go, let them go. I want to make sure that the question is darn clear before we are put in the position where we have to negotiate that kind of deal. That is what this bill does.

I am a little frightened because Reform members support it, but I appreciate the fact that they do so because they have listened to their constituents.

The House should pass this bill, and quickly. It should be passed so that we keep this country together and everyone understands the nature of the game.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are debating a bill that nobody would have expected a responsible democratic government to come up with.

I have tabled an amendment to delete from the bill a number of the whereas clauses at the bottom of the first page. I would like to say a few words about these clauses and explain why I believe they should not be included in the bill. In fact, I consider that the whole bill should have been withdrawn by the government.

The first whereas that I would like to delete reads, and I quote:

Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the result of a referendum on the secession of a province from Canada must be free of ambiguity both in terms of the question asked and in terms of the support it achieves if that result is to be taken as an expression of the democratic will that would give rise to an obligation to enter into negotiations that might lead to secession;

As you will note, the French version of this text is in the negative, as it reads “ne saurait être considéré”. This is not the way the supreme court worded its opinion. On the contrary, it said in the affirmative that the question had to be clear and that there had to be a majority in the qualitative sense of the term, equally clear.

The legislation before us is not a clarity bill but legislation on bad faith. I will explain why I believe this legislation reeks of bad faith.

First, the clarity of a question does not depend on the length of the sentence but on the way people perceive the issues behind the question in relation to their own interests. A question can be short or long, but the way people perceive their interests depends on the conditions in which the debate occurs and on whether each and every party will be allowed to express its concerns in light of the issues behind the question.

In the 1995 referendum, the question was simple. It was this: Do you want Quebec to become a sovereign state and to propose a partnership with the rest of Canada? This is a simple question that was debated not only during the referendum period, which lasted one month, but also long before that, considering that, in April 1995, during the Bloc Quebecois convention, the notion of partnership was introduced. On June 12, 1995, the three parties, the Bloc Quebecois, the Parti Quebecois and the Action démocratique, agreed on a basic partnership proposal to be submitted to the rest of Canada, should Quebecers vote for Quebec sovereignty.

Well, no one in this House or elsewhere claimed that the question was not clear. Let me note that most people who claimed that the question was not clear do not read French, and, consequently, they simply repeated what they read in the papers concerning the so-called lack of clarity of the question.

I think that, in Quebec, the question is so clear that the majority of Quebecers would know the question referred to even if all they saw on a sheet of paper was a yes and a no block. The issue was debated even before I was born. Everyone knows what is at stake.

For many Quebecers, it is very clear that Quebec must acquire all the powers needed to ensure the future it deserves.

However, some people think the House has the divine power to judge the clarity of a question better than average Quebecers. I want to point out to my colleagues, in all humility, that members of the House are average citizens coming from their environment of average citizens. On this side or the other side of the House, we do not have supernatural brain power that would place us above and beyond the people in our capacity to judge the clarity of a question.

Average citizens know they are able to judge whether they have understood the question and whether they agree or not with the proposal made to them. Average Quebecers are as intelligent and as capable of judging the clarity of a question as any member of one side of the House or the other. That, through legislation, this parliament should appropriate the almost divine right to decide whether a question is clear or not, goes beyond the abilities, the competency and the very right of the House to democratically make decisions on behalf of the people.

When we call on the people, the people must have the last word and, in a democracy, they have the last word. When the people elect a member of parliament, they do not ask whether the member is clear or not; they make a value judgment on the man or the woman and take the decision to vote for him, for her or for another person. When people read a question, they assess it in terms of their interests and decide whether the proposal contained in the question suits them or not.

This decision will not be taken by this House in place of the people. We do not have the right to do so. If we did, we would usurp the democratic right of each and every citizen. In that regard, Bill C-20 clearly goes beyond the prerogatives of this House. But there is even worse.

Through this bill, the House also wants to give itself the right. When I say this House, the fact is that there are two sides: the government side and the opposition side. The government side outnumbers the opposition side, that is got to form government in the first place. It always votes the same way as the Prime Minister, because this is the way our Parliament works. This bill enables, not this House, and not the government, but the Prime Minister and him alone to determine the clarity of a question and, worse yet, to determine the majority required to win a vote for sovereignty.

In a democracy—at least this is what I was taught—each person has an equal right to vote. My vote is not more important than the vote of any other person, and nobody's vote is not more important than mine. This is the basic principle of democracy. Yet, this bill suggests that a vote could have more weight than another one, which is totally unacceptable. That is why I intend to now move a motion to amend Motion No. 2.

I move:

That Motion No. 2 be amended by adding, between the words “were” and “consulted”, the word “democratically”.

Something this bill is seriously lacking. This amendment is seconded by the hon. member for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The question is now on the amendment.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 has been charged by opposition members as being arbitrary, a constitutional voie de fait, goodness knows what other charges. This is very surprising. I will repeat what I had the pleasure of saying in a public forum organized by the member of parliament for Markham and presided over by ex-premier Bob Rae, that the revolutionary aspect of this bill is that the federal government by legislation voluntarily limits its prerogative, executive powers.

There is no question that in 1980 when the first referendum arose there was no right under constitutional law or international law for a province unilaterally to secede. There was no right at all.

The issue of what was a clear question and a clear majority, I could remind the hon. member for Macleod who referred to this earlier, was discussed very fully at that time, and it has been around.

When the supreme court came into the picture it was because there was a plethora of individual suits before individual judges of the Canadian judicial system. The federal government had several options. One was to challenge the constitutional standing to sue of the individual litigants, which I think technically, in legal terms, might have been the better course. The other was to go ahead, and the supreme court has rendered an advisory opinion, which is not of course legally binding on the federal government.

What we have in Bill C-20 therefore is what European Union jurists have rightly hailed as a rather surprising evolution in the rules as to self-determination going well beyond the European Union's own rules developed in 1992 for the special case of eastern European states and the issue of recognition under international law, which is of course one of the ways in which a new state comes into existence.

What is interesting and surprising in Bill C-20 is that the federal government, so far from imposing its will on other people, is saying “We are prepared to recognize a right of self-determination, to recognize it legally, but here are the basic conditions. We want to be sure this is what people want. What is the objection therefore to saying that we would require a clear question and a clear majority before we go ahead with this?”

In these terms it is very difficult to see what all the fuss is about with this particular law. It takes nothing away from anyone in Quebec or any other province. It is an example of the federal government voluntarily limiting its own response and saying “In the exercise of our prerogative powers in the future, we will consider ourselves bound by the expression clearly given of people of a particular province”.

I do have something to say, though, on a larger issue that has been touched on by some of my colleagues and that is the nature of the parliamentary processes. It is inconceivable that a bill with a handful of sections, covering even in the French and English versions a handful pages, should be the subject of I am told, originally, 1,540 amendments. Now they are down to 400.

Surely we are entering into an undergraduate game with frivolous, repetitive or otherwise uninteresting and boring propositions. Why should the business of the House be held up by this sort of activity?

It is sometimes said that parliament is controlled by members and that there are no limits on the control members can exercise. People cite the parliament in Great Britain. You yourself, Mr. Speaker, are a student of that parliament and you will know that it has always been a very robust parliament. You will remember that Oliver Cromwell said to parliament, “You gentlemen have been around too long for all the good you have done. Go, for the sake of God, go”. It is recorded that not a dog barked at their departure which was gently assisted by Oliver Cromwell's friends.

What I am really saying is that it is a necessary part of the parliamentary process that the rules of the game are observed. We can have a tyranny of a majority but we can also have a tyranny of a minority. The British parliament has never hesitated to establish rules that ensure respect by all parties, majority and minority, for the rules of the game and for the ability of parliament to conduct the national business.

In the United States those of us who are old enough will remember Jimmy Stewart, the senator who could speak for 22 hours uselessly on a bill, but the United States congress has now regulated that power. There is a basic criticism of the parliament in Germany in the 1920s, a democratic regime that did nothing about the forces of evil of the right or the left in that situation. The German democracy collapsed as much from the inanition of parliament in exercising its powers to control the abusive use of parliamentary procedures as by the extremist forces outside.

I am really saying to members of the opposition that surely the points have been well established in debate. What is achieved by wasting the time of the people of Canada, wasting the time of citizens who are expecting us to act on important bills? Has the point that opposition members have been trying to make not been made adequately enough in the debate?

I have no doubt therefore that we will be forced as parliamentarians to consider proper rules to engage the orderly conduct of House business.

One of the ideas whose time has certainly come is electronic voting, the United Nations system. I think those of us who like the happy ritual of elevating oneself and sitting down again and think it is a quaint old fashioned custom are having doubts about it. It is an idea that perhaps may go very quickly through the House, as well as the ability to establish new rules that ensure no one will be able to make an abusive use of parliamentary procedures. That is a tyranny of a minority carried out incessantly and carried out without proper respect for parliamentary customs and procedures. It can in my view be dangerous to the constitutional system that we all respect.

Parliament is an ancient institution, but is also an institution of mutual respect that rests on a delicate system of checks and balances respected by all members. I would suggest to the members opposite that the Reform Party made the point with the Nisga'a treaty what can be done with parliamentary procedures.

As a distinguished Reform member said to me yesterday, stated once it is interesting, stated twice it becomes boring. However it does direct attention to the fact that the pre-emptive concern with sovereignty association issues has been at the expense of this parliament's considering the modernizing and updating of parliamentary procedures. It is long overdue that we bring parliament into the 21st century. Decent rules that assure proper respect for other members' rights are part of that.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to say that I do not agree with my colleagues from Waterloo—Wellington and Vancouver Quadra when they say that the members of the Bloc are immobilizing parliament with their amendments. I think that it is very important for the opposition to be able to protest when they do not agree with a bill introduced by the government. If the Bloc members want to see the MP vote like little rabbits, jumping from on amendment to another, that is fine. That is stupid, but that is fine. If that is what they want, I have no problem with that.

I believe most of the amendments moved at this stage of consideration of the bill are futile. I would like to explain why.

Bill C-20 is very simple. There are two fundamental paragraphs that form the basis of this bill. The rest is only cosmetic. The two paragraphs that I consider important are 1(6) and 2(4).

Paragraph 1(6) reads as follows:

(6) The Government of Canada shall not enter into negotiations on the terms on which a province might cease to be part of Canada if the House of Commons determines...that a referendum question is not clear—

The other paragraph says the same thing, and I quote:

(4) The Government of Canada shall not enter into negotiations on the terms on which a province might cease to be part of Canada unless the House of Commons determines...that there has been a clear expression of a will by a clear majority of the population of that province that the province cease to be part of Canada.

This is what is required to start negotiations on the separation or secession of a province.

I am a strong federalist. I think my colleagues from the Bloc defend everything coming from Quebec. I think opposition members believe, as I do, in a civil society.

Consequently, I believe my colleagues opposite are not looking for a situation where Canada would be dismantled by an unclear question. I believe this because I firmly believe in a united Canada. I also believe in the parliamentary process, as other members opposite, Reform and Bloc members. If there were a clear question on the secession of a province, I would have no choice but to accept it.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Fifty per cent plus one, like Mr. Mills.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

No. The situation with this bill is very simple.

I do not think all members of the Bloc are separatists. Most are sovereignists or perhaps indépendantistes, but they are not separatists.

In Quebec, some separatists are looking for winning conditions. I think that two winning conditions are a confusing question and a majority of 50% plus one.

We have two parties in the House that go along with that. The Conservative Party thinks a confusing question is all right, and the Reform Party led by Mr. Manning says that 50% plus one is enough to break up Canada.

The Liberal government will not last forever, and it is unfortunate. Eventually, Reformers or Conservatives may form the government. I think Preston Manning, and perhaps Joe Clark also, could impose party discipline with a great deal of authority. In that case, the Reform leader would be able to impose the majority of 50% plus one. Perhaps the Conservative leader would accept an unclear question to get negotiations underway—

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4:10 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know it was probably just a slip of the tongue but the member did mention the Leader of the Official Opposition by name. I know he did not mean to and that he would withdraw it.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am sure he would not mind. I am sorry, I missed hearing the name but the hon. member for Wentworth—Burlington will not, I am sure, want to allow that to continue.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Excuse me, Mr. Speaker. I was under the impression that the Reform leader had resigned his position.

The winning condition is simply to have a Reform leader, a Canadian Alliance leader, or a Conservative leader as government leader. These are winning conditions for the separatists.

Bill C-20 prevents this possibility by conferring the power to determine if the question is clear, and if the majority is clear on that question. It confers such power to all members of the House of Commons. It creates a sensitive situation with respect to the question initiating negotiations for the break-up of the country. This responsibility is vested in all members, who would participate in some kind of a free vote. I think that most members of this House, including Bloc members, will vote according to their conscience.

For these reasons, I think that this bill is good as it takes the power of the executive and gives it to the members of this House.

I think this is true democracy.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague for the quality of his French. I have known him for four or five years and his French is improving. I would like to tell him also that I hope with his learning French and understanding Quebecers that in a few months he will change his mind and vote in favour of the sovereignty of Quebec. Let us hope so.

I am glad to be able to speak today to Bill C-20, however difficult it may be for us in this House to convince people.

I followed closely the dynamics that developed since the introduction of the bill before Christmas and, like great philosophers, I like to ask myself questions.

The first question I asked myself was why? Why want to trap Quebecers in the status quo? Then, I told myself I had to try to identify the interests of the party in power. Not only did the Liberal Party introduce legislation that is undemocratic, but it trampled several democratic rules that I want to address in my remarks.

I came to the conclusion that the interests of the Liberal government are quite simple: it is interested in Quebec because Quebec sends a lot of tax money to Ottawa and that must not change. I found a few examples, and what is going on here in Ottawa is best described as misappropriation of Quebecers' money.

In fact, taking into account several issues over the years—I was first elected in 1993—I believe that the government wants to keep Quebec in Canada because it is profitable for the government. It is not profitable for Quebecers or it is far less profitable for them, but for Canadians and the rest of Canada, for example, the motto is “Let us keep Quebec in Canada and, if need be, let us lock it up in Canada”. At least I believe this is what the government is trying to do.

For instance, and this is one example among many, let us look at the issue of GST harmonization. Not long ago, as members will remember, the government said “We will scrap the GST”. As soon as they were elected, they said “No, we will keep it”. Moreover, they tried to convince all the provinces to harmonize their taxes with the federal GST.

The Atlantic provinces, for example, received $1 billion for the harmonization of their taxes with the GST. Quebec was the first province to say to the federal government “Listen, you are giving compensation to the Atlantic provinces, so, give us compensation too”. We were asking $2.5 billion. And the federal government stubbornly said “No, you are not entitled to this”. They said to themselves “Let us keep Quebecers and Quebec in Canada, because it is to our advantage. We can compensate the other provinces, but let us forget about Quebec”.

I remind the House that it was even suggested that an arbitration board could be set up between representatives of the federal government and Quebec arbitrate on this issue, and the federal government said no.

Other examples come to mind, such as the Canada social transfer. The value scale of the Canada social transfer has always been based mainly on the wealth or poverty of the provinces or the regions. The government changed all that. Now it is just the demographic factor that counts, meaning that Quebecers have lost a lot of money, because Ontario is the largest province in demographic terms. It is the one getting the big chunk of federal money in the Canada social transfer. Another injustice for Quebec. “Let us keep Quebec, it is very important to us. We can limit transfers, give a little more to the others and enclose Quebec in Canada. This is what we want, because it is to our advantage”. The question is always the same: what are the interests and why this bill?

Another example is Public Works Canada. No more than two weeks ago, the statistics came down: Quebecers contribute 25% of the cost of all the departments, including Public Works Canada. Yet 57% of contracts go to Ontario and 13% to Quebec. “We have to keep Quebec in Canada, because it is a cash cow”. Quebecers pay full taxes to Ottawa, 25% of the tax base, but they are not given the equivalent. They have to be imprisoned in Canada.

There is an annual $2 billion shortfall in Quebec. Then they tell us that Quebec does not know how to manage, that it has a huge debt, that it always has deficits, that the federal government has put itself in a good position and that now there is no deficit. We can understand why. I am giving examples of instances where Quebecers are continually shortchanged in Canada.

Quebecers continue to contribute 25% of the tax base for National Defence, but only 18% of spending goes to Quebec and only 16% of the infrastructures are in Quebec. Another shortfall.

Some even talk about a shortfall of 5,000 Quebecers in the military. An additional 5,000 Quebecers in the labour force would have a significant impact on the economy. Again, the federal government ignores this because it wants to keep Quebec a prisoner in the Canadian federation.

These days, we hear a lot about the price of gas. I want to tell Quebecers who are listening that, for at least 15 years now, they have been paying 3 to 10 cents more than Ontarians for gas. Why? Because the government of the time decided that no subsidies would be paid to refineries located east of the Borden line. That decision automatically triggered a 3 to 10 cent increase at the pump in Quebec. Incidentally, three refineries in eastern Montreal have since shut down. The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve is well aware of this. It happened almost in his riding.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

In the riding of Mercier.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Canada wants to create health research institutes. Let us talk about research institutes. Out of 43 research institutes in the national capital region, 42 are located in Ottawa and one is in Hull. And it is Quebecers' taxes that pay for this. Twenty five per cent of these institutes are paid for by Quebecers who, in return, only get one of them out of 43.

Research institutes are important. Contracts are awarded, well paid jobs are created and subcontracts help generate economic spin-offs. But no “Let us keep Quebec a prisoner within Canada. We want the taxes paid by Quebecers. We are not interested in giving them back services”.

At one point, Quebecers told themselves “Let us try to correct things. Let us make reforms”. In 1982, the Constitution was unilaterally imposed by Ottawa. No Premier of Quebec, either sovereignist or federalist, has ever agreed to sign it as things now stand. It was tried with the Meech Lake agreement, where we put forward five little minimum conditions. We were turned down. As for the Charlottetown accord, the rest of Canada said no and so did we. We considered that we did not have enough power and the rest of Canada considered that it was giving us too much.

Now what is this bill trying to do? It is trying to trap Quebec within the Canadian federation. After accusing the Liberals of diverting money belonging to the Quebec people, I accuse them of hijacking democracy because we have seen closure after closure with this bill, and a bold and unacceptable attempt by the government to restrict the number of amendments that the members could move, allowing ministers to move more.

It is a good thing the opposition held together and managed to thwart these plans, but it will not prevent the government from trying to impose all its wishes on us, like closure to limit debate. We are told that we will be voting like little rabbits; this is what I understood a little earlier from one of my colleagues. What is this? Are we acting in a undemocratic way when we vote laws in the federal parliament the way we have been doing over the last hundred years?

There is a limit. And it is not a question of money. The only thing we can do is a little bit of parliamentary resistance as far as the votes are concerned, and we are even blamed for that too.

This is to show how the government intends to keep Quebec in the prison of confederation. The bill is quite undemocratic. Since when is 50% plus one not acceptable? Canada itself has recognized referendums that took place in Croatia and in Macedonia, where the 50% plus one rule applied.

Furthermore, the question had two components, one of which was on partnership. Now, the government tells us “No, there will not be any partnership. We will examine this in the House of Commons, in our great paternalistic wisdom toward Quebec. We will examine whether your question is clear enough”.

I want to say one thing. There is no single prison that will keep Quebecers in this federation when they decide enough is enough. There are not enough locks in all the Ottawa region to keep all Quebecers within the Canadian federation when they decide enough is enough. There is no prison that is tight enough to keep them inside forever.

Quebec sovereignty is the only solution, with a partnership offer, and I hope Quebecers will understand this. I also hope that Canada will be open to this idea at that time. It is not with bills such as this one that the government can ensure Quebec will stay within the Canadian federation; on the contrary, when it decides to leave, nothing will stop it.

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4:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this important issue. There is no greater issue that any member would address than the dissolution of his or her country. I am in somewhat of an ironic position because in the riding of Scarborough East, where I come from, this is, frankly, not an issue.

One would have thought or anticipated that the dissolution of one's country would have been of extreme interest to citizens of my riding, that constituents would have spoken to me, or would have sent e-mails, faxes, letters, et cetera. Quite to the contrary, if I could characterize it as such, this is an issue that has almost fallen off the political map. In some respects my constituents see this as a done deal and they thank goodness that somebody has introduced some sanity into the debate.

There is an irony. This is an enormous issue. It is a very significant issue on which the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs gave probably one of the finest speeches that the House has heard in a number of years, and yet there is no political resonance in my community.

I have just spent a week in my riding, as did all members. What I heard were issues around Bill C-23. I heard about gas prices, as if I am somehow able to deal in some manner with gas prices. Health care is a significant issue to my constituents. I think those are probably the top three issues. I cannot recall anyone in the past week or 10 days writing to me, faxing me or e-mailing me about this issue. It is enormously ironic that arguably the most significant bill which the government will pass in its mandate has almost no response from my own constituents.

When this bill was introduced by the government there was an initial sense of euphoria. Finally the Government of Canada was getting on with it. Finally somebody was going to do something concrete, something decisive, something that will bring closure to this issue, this interminable debate of our national dream.

The message I got from my constituents was pretty vocal. First, they liked it. They thought this was a great bill. Second, get on with it. Just do it. I cannot phrase it any more bluntly than that. The message was, bring clarity to this debate. Finish it. Deal with it and move on.

The tactics in this debate are hugely ironic. Bloc members, for their own reasons, and I am still at a loss to understand them, choose to take tactics of delay and obfuscation, introducing meaningless amendments and reading newspaper articles into the record. It does everything but deal with the issue and is quite reluctant to accept the political judgment of Canadians on this matter.

Instead of dealing with what I perceive to be the political reality of not only my constituency but Canada and all Canadians including Quebec, which is that this is something that needs to be done, the Bloc's tactic in this matter is to delay and to waste parliamentary time.

I have listened to the members opposite. I have some understanding of their issue. They consider this to be a unilateral decision which is something that is available to Quebecers and Quebecers only. That position has been debated and frankly they have lost the debate. After that there has been nothing of substance added to the debate.

I have some expectation given the philosophical position of the Bloc that it would not really care what the constituents of Scarborough East, Ontario or the rest of Canada thought, but I would have thought it had some interest in what other Quebecers thought. What I understand to be the situation is that the political reality in Quebec is much similar to the political reality of Scarborough East which is to get on with it, deal with it and finish it off.

The position of the Bloc to my mind is unfathomable. I do not understand. It does seem to me that this has become a discredited political philosophy. Members opposite are unwilling to accept that this has become a discredited political philosophy, that they are in the death throes.

We get ironical statements by members such as the member who spoke previous to me about how Quebec is being ripped off in its relationship to the rest of Canada. He quotes a number of examples where apparently research and development is done on one side of the Ottawa River as opposed to the other side of the river, et cetera. He neatly forgets the equalization payments of something in excess of $4 billion on an annual basis. Any studies I have ever read on the issue have said that Quebec does very well in its relationship with Canada.

I cannot quite fathom what they are against. I looked up the speech of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I thought it was one of the better speeches given in the House in a long time. He said in his conclusion that the bill is reasonable, that it is in everybody's interests including those of his fellow Quebecers who desire independence. They can and must acknowledge that their plans for political independence can only be realized in clarity and legality. To act otherwise is to try to reach independence through ambiguity with no legal safety net, is to show disrespect for Quebecers and to doom the independence initiative to failure, to an impasse that would be disappointing and costly for everyone. I adopt the reasoning of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and I think he said it well.

I find the tactics of the Bloc to be quite disappointing. Raising irrelevant amendments and matters of procedure, slowing down the work of the House ending up in endless picayune discussions as to whether a comma should go here or there is a great disservice to what was and is a noble cause, namely the issue of whether Quebec is or is not a nation. To my mind it does no great service to the dream of René Lévesque and all those who have spoken so eloquently in favour of the position.

It appears to me that the Bloc members are reluctant to accept a democratic result. They simply will not accept it. Again I go back to the speech of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. It states, “In this matter the separatist leaders do not defend the rights of Quebecers. None of our rights as Quebecers are threatened in this bill. Quite the contrary, no one in this country wants to keep Quebecers against their will. No. What the separatist leaders defend is their capacity to maintain confusion on their project. They are upholding their so-called right to confusion”.

I was not aware that a right to confusion was in fact a charter or parliamentary right but I suppose this is something we will have to look at. The tactics bring parliament into disrepute. This is the kind of stuff that makes Canadians say that parliament has outlived its usefulness, that it is only marginally relevant. It tends to diminish parliament in the eyes of my constituents and of other Canadians.

In summary, my constituents want this bill to pass. My constituents believe that the time has passed for this endless discussion. My constituents want clarity.

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4:35 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to my colleague had to say and I see more and more that there are two entities in Canada: his and that of men and women in Quebec.

I had prepared something for the year 2000, something that could give hope to the Matapédia—Matane people et to all Quebecers.

The inaugural magic of great moments is difficult to conjure up for the humanity. As a magic date, a mythical passage, the arrival of year 2000 created a lot of hope in all our hearts. Many were disappointed, especially since the introduction in this House of Bill C-20. Like the whole of humanity, Quebecers entered the third millennium with a lot of hope and expectations.

On the eve of year 2000, the people had the feeling, the belief that things could now be better. It was even said “Peace and goodwill to all”.

With the minister's Bill C-20, the government cast darkness over that environment. This minister could be called the “son of darkness”, it is incredible how poorly he understands Quebec reality. Once in a while, legislation can be considered a comedy, but if I had to describe this one, I would have to say it is a terrible tragedy.

People on the other side should have a hand dog look tonight. But that is not the case; they are smiling and saying this is a good piece of legislation for Quebec. If by their fruits you shall know them, then—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

They are rotten.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:35 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Yes, they are poisoned. We must judge a government, and especially the minister, by its legislation. This minister is arrogant and his legislation is provocative. Furthermore, Bill C-20 is an insult to and a crime against intelligence.

It more or less tells the members of the National Assembly “You are not bright enough, not intelligent enough to determine your own destiny. Mr. Bouchard, Mr. Charest, Mr. Dumont, you are three minus habens. You are waterboys, second class politicians or, as Trudeau told Bourassa, hot dog eaters”. That is what Trudeau said.

Moreover, it is an insult to and a crime against freedom. My adolescent students used to say “We are free”. They were right. I imagine that Quebecers are quite capable of freely making their own choices. Bill C-20 says the question must meet such and such requirements. Any other question will be considered as ambiguous. Is that freedom? Is that the extent to which freedom can be exercised in this Parliament?

The federal government's judgment can supersede Quebec's judgment. As my colleagues said earlier, Bill C-20 is undemocratic. In 1980, the federalists won with 50% of the votes plus one; they were happy and they celebrated with champagne. In 1995, the federalists won with 50% plus one, and they really brought out the champagne. However, at the next referendum, if we win with 50% plus one, that would not be enough. According to the Prime Minister, such a result could not be recognized. The rules have changed somehow.

I have always admired Mr. Ryan who, many years ago, was the editor in chief of Le Devoir and has also been the Leader of the Opposition in Quebec. He is a remarkable man. He said he would recognize these rules. Joe Clark, a former Prime Minister, said the same thing in this House.

What is going on here is that they are using their strength to crush a whole people, the Quebec people. Never will the people of my riding, the people of the riding of my colleague from Charlevoix, whom I had the honour to meet twice, and the Quebec people as a whole go for such legislation.

Ottawa's bill is not only abusive, it is unjust. Its proponents are acting with the arrogance of conquerors. Those who support them are serving a cause or purpose. What cause or purpose? To eradicate anything that makes possible the existence and the expression of a people that the constitutional order of the Canadian society obstinately refuses to recognize.

We, in the regions, are fed up with a government, which, instead of trying to settle real problems and create jobs, is attacking our government, the government of Quebec and those who are truly elected by the people.

This government dares to dictate our conduct. That is something that no one can or will accept. We find the dirty tricks of the present Liberal government pretty tiring. Even the Liberal MPs from Quebec, and that is what is sad and unacceptable, fail to understand and are not attuned to their constituents. I can understand this in the case of those representing anglophone ridings, but the member representing Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet should have ears to hear what his fellow citizens are saying. After the next election, he will no longer be around. It is perfectly clear, because people with freedom at heart, people who understand what Quebec wants, will definitely show their MP the door, minister or not. And they will not be ushering him out an emergency exit for his safety, but booting him out the front door.

There is no way to ignore the sour note on which this past century and this past millennium came to an end. If the Quebec people were to bow to the yoke of Bill C-20, it would be a sign that we had been tamed. We would be just like the domestic animals on the farm to serve humans. I trust that my friends across the floor will understand, and I will offer a quick summary.

If the people across the way want to put up fences, if they want to impose a yoke on us, if they insist so much on keeping us, this must be, I should think, because our values are superior to theirs.

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4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

We are worthwhile from the financial point of view.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:45 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

We must be very much worthwhile financially. I have been fighting for sovereignty for the past thirty years at least. I have federalist friends who, fortunately, are realizing more and more that Quebec must become sovereign, not to stir up trouble but to put an end to the squabbles, not to be an enemy but to be more of a friend, because they are going to live in one beautiful country and we in the other. We will then be able to reach out the hand of brotherhood and all will be well.

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4:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to follow the last three speakers.

I have a small comment before I approach the clarity bill from the point of view of my constituents. I must say to my colleague from Matapédia—Matane that he appears to have forgotten that although we talk about two founding nations there are others. We also have aboriginal people who have been here for more than 11,000 years. We have just established Nunavut within Canada, an Inuit territory. We have just passed the Nisga'a treaty in B.C., an Indian nation. In fact, many Newfoundlanders consider themselves to be part of a fairly unique group. We have the Acadians in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

My friend says that we have the nerve to tell the French Canadians, the Quebecers, what to do. That is not so. The government has the responsibility to maintain the federation, if possible, and to see that it is not broken apart on a vague question because some people feel disadvantaged. Lots of people feel disadvantaged.

The member for Saint-John, with whom I have worked very hard on a couple of committee, said that Quebec tax money is coming into Ottawa in undue amounts. That is not so. I do not know why we have to argue about figures which have been the same for a great many years.

Ontario is a have province. Quebec has been termed a have not province. That is not out of disrespect of course; it is due to the equalization payments of the provinces.

Just this year the cash paid to Ontario was raised to equal the per capita rate that is paid to Quebec. Ontario people knew that and they were very pleased. Finally they were being paid at the same rate as Quebecers.

My friend also said that we will stand up and sit down like rabbits to vote tonight, or soon. There is an easy way to cure that. They could withdraw the unnecessary amendments. Then we could all get on with the nation's business and discuss a lot of other important things that we need to do.

Twice this afternoon speakers from the Bloc talked about sovereignty with a partnership. That is what a federation is. It is a partnership among equal partners. That is what we have in this country and we want to maintain it.

I agree also with the member for Scarborough East. My constituents support this bill. They think it is long overdue. They are fed up with the uncertainty and the instability which the spectre of sovereignty raises every other year or so over industry, exports and farm products.

The bill follows the supreme court decision on the Quebec secession reference and it asks for a clear majority on a clear question. My friends in the Bloc are upset about 50% plus one. I would ask the question that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs asked: If 50% plus one is a clear majority, what is an unclear majority?

In my experience on organizations, hospital boards, school boards, unions, Liberal associations and other associations, at an open meeting on a matter that goes to a vote, if there are six votes for and five against it passes. However, that does not hold for constitutional amendments. Most of the organizations I belong to require 66% or a two-thirds majority for a constitutional amendment, and even that is only following notice and discussion which has probably taken six months or a year. To make a constitutional amendment any faster than that would require 90%, not 66%. Why is that? Because it makes awfully good sense.

It means that a rump group or a group of zealots cannot change the constitution of a well respected association, of a government, a country or a company by marching into the annual meeting and taking over. It is to preserve the policies, the methods, the rules by which we live, the rules by which we conduct our business. It is not to get around anything, it is to protect us from undue change and unlawful takeovers.

Canada is unique. We have two founding nations. We have two official languages. In the schools in my county French language instruction begins in grade 3. We have French immersion in our public schools. We have French immersion in a high school. Students take all of their courses in French, and this is in the heart of southwestern Ontario. Our children know the value of the federation and their Canada includes Quebec.

Since the 1995 referendum I have co-operated with my colleague from Brome—Missisquoi in Quebec on a student summer work and exchange program between my riding and his. I am glad to say that this program has now spread across the country and literally hundreds of students each summer go to Quebec, New Brunswick or other parts of Canada on a work exchange, to live within the community, learn about that community and return home better people. They have no trouble understanding, working with or playing with students from Quebec. They find themselves and their parents to be very much alike.

Our young people know that Canada is respected around the globe. Canadians who travel abroad are always happiest when they return to Canada's shores and set foot again on Canadian soil. They display the Canadian flag wherever they go because it is sine qua non. It is an entry to every country in the world, and yet here we are trying to establish a bit of a rule and clarity on how long we will keep this country going. We will not have it broken up by frivolous and unworthy claims.

The last clause in the bill states:

No Minister of the Crown shall propose a constitutional amendment to effect the secession of a province from Canada unless the Government of Canada has addressed, in its negotiations, the terms of secession that are relevant in the circumstances, including the division of assets and liabilities—

This sounds like a divorce to me. It continues:

—any changes to the borders of the province, the rights, interests and territorial claims of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, and the protection of minority rights.

I wonder how many people have thought about what that would comprise and how long it would take, a possible change in the borders of the province.

Most of the people I discussed the matter with are concerned about four changes. First, the Inuit of northern Quebec would obviously have to be given some territory because they would not stay with Quebec if they could stay with Canada.

Second, the Cree of James Bay in northern Quebec would have to have a large chunk.

Third, maybe the Outaouais-Hull area would want to become part of Ontario because its citizens do a lot of work here. They have been freely interchanging for years.

Fourth, in my thinking about this I look at the independence of India and the partition between Pakistan and India. Eventually the two parts of Pakistan, thousands of miles apart, ended up as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. There has not been peace between India and Pakistan since they were established. I think that if Quebec were to go, then we would have to talk about a land connection between Ontario and New Brunswick.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dennis Mills Broadview—Greenwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this debate. I listened to many members of the Bloc Quebecois talk this afternoon to this bill. Listening to them, I have the feeling that they feel that unless people are from Quebec they cannot really relate to their vision of where Quebec should go, and unless people totally support their view of this bill, then those people have had no association with or understanding of their province.

It was 20 years ago this month that I was invited to Ottawa to work, and that invitation came from a Quebecer. That Quebecer was sitting in the House of Commons with 74 out of 75 members coming from Quebec. That member of parliament, the then prime minister of Canada, went on in May of 1980 to decisively win the first referendum in the province of Quebec with a vote of almost 60-40.

In 1984, after Mr. Trudeau resigned, I decided to support another Quebecer who had served the parliament of Canada for many years. The Right Hon. Jean Chrétien did not win the leadership of the party then, but—

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I know the hon. member meant to say the Prime Minister and I know he will want to comply with the rules in every respect.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dennis Mills Broadview—Greenwood, ON

You are right, Mr. Speaker. The Right Hon. Prime Minister, who of course is now in his eighth year, has put this bill before the Parliament of Canada. Quite frankly this bill is a crafted jewel. I think this bill will go down in history as one of the best things the Prime Minister has ever done.

I say that because I listen to my constituents. Not just in my community in Toronto but right across Canada there is a general feeling that the debate on Quebec's separation has gone on long enough. One of the reasons the debate has gone on so long is that the separatists, the sovereignists, the indépendantistes, whatever we want to call them, have constantly used clouded questions, shall I say every trick in the book, to try to confuse their own communities.

The beautiful thing about this legislation is that for the first time we have the rules that will actually decide Quebec's right to sovereignty. No one will deny that right, but some basic rules will have to be respected: one, a clear question; two, a majority; and three, we have to make sure if those conditions are met that the political actors are put together to make that secession possible.

I have not met anyone yet who is against the notion of a clear question. Why the Bloc Quebecois would argue the point with hundreds and hundreds of amendments on a simple clause is really beyond me.

It was very interesting when we listened to witnesses. Some of the most respected leaders from the province of Quebec came before us and said that this bill is in order. Some members said that maybe they would challenge the process. Maybe they would like us to take a little longer and debate it. That is a fair comment but we are elected to lead. We are elected to govern. The leadership that is in charge right now has said that we have debated this bill long enough. It has three clauses. Let us get on with it and we will be accountable for it.

One of the leaders who appeared before us was the former prime minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Joe Clark. He did not support the legislation. He felt if a situation ever did arise where a group of sovereignists were so effective and so passionate that there should be an environment where ambiguity could buy the Government of Canada some time so as to delay the process of negotiating the secession.

I thought Mr. Clark's point was a good one. However he failed to realize that in this bill, in the third clause, we have actually enshrined a structure whereby lots of time can be taken before a secession would be possible. In other words, we could argue that clause 3 creates an environment of debate and ambiguity. The reality is that it will take us years before we can decide on the ground rules. Maybe in that period of time people in Quebec will have had the opportunity to assess if they really do want to leave this great country.

That is one of the special features of this bill. Even if there was a clear question and even if there was a clear majority, it would literally take years and years. There are people who essentially at the moment are focused on ripping this country apart. It would give us time and it would give the political actors in Canada the time to possibly drag this out until we put the right type of people in place through the electoral process.

That is one of the genius components of the bill. One could argue it actually enshrines ambiguity. That is the irony of it: the clarity bill that enshrines ambiguity.

I want my friends in the Bloc Quebecois to know that I have spent most of my political life working with people not just from my province and other provinces across Canada, but men and women from Quebec. There is a lot more to achieve by their constituents being part of this great Chamber and being part of this great country rather than continuing to knock on the door of separating them from this great nation.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Madam Speaker, I have mixed feelings.

First, I have a feeling of gratitude towards our colleague from Beauharnois—Salaberry and our colleague from Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans for their excellent work in committee, where they truly tirelessly defended the rights of Quebec.

I have mixed feelings because despite this gratitude, I believe that all who speak out in support of democracy are in a sort of mourning today.

I listened to our colleague, deliciously pompous as usual, remind us that the rule of 50% plus one suffered no exception. Spiritual son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau that he is, he should be covered in shame, because he must know that his mentor was a true supporter of the rule of 50% plus one.

In committee, a witness by the name of Guy Lachapelle, an eminent political scientist—and I will seek consent to table the document after reading it and I dedicate a single quote to my colleague—quoted former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who made the following statement:

Democracy genuinely demonstrates its faith in man by letting itself be guided by the rule of fifty-one per cent. For if all men are equal, each one the possessor of a special dignity, it follows inevitably that the happiness of fifty-one people is more important than that of forty-nine; it is normal, then, that— ceteris paribus and taking account of the inviolable rights of the minority—the decisions preferred by the fifty-one should prevail.

It is signed Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Approaches to Politics , Montreal, Éditions du Jour, 1970.

One cannot speak out of both sides of one's mouth. The reality is that no politician, except the Liberals, is saying that the Quebec referendum should not be decided by the National Assembly and that the 50% plus one rule should not apply.

I challenge any government member to give us one example, and political expert Guy Lachapelle clearly said “It is important to remember that no western democracy worthy of that name makes mention of a specific majority for a referendum”.

I remind hon. members that the sovereignist movement is very comfortable with the notion of democracy. Do you know why? It is because three leaders of the sovereignist movement founded political parties to periodically submit the option to the public.

It is quite the paradox to live in a political system where the supreme law of this so-called country is the 1982 Constitution, which was never approved by the public. By contrast, in Quebec, three sovereignist leaders historically known and appreciated have created political parties. We know these leaders; they are Pierre Bourgault, René Lévesque and Lucien Bouchard.

From time to time, we have had the courage to submit our option to voters. Periodically, we have had referendums too. We have submitted our option to the referendum test. They took part in the 1980 campaign, and the one in 1995. The rule was 50% plus one.

What was the first reaction the next day by that great Quebecer Lucien Bouchard, at the Mirabel Airport press conference, after we lost the 1985 referendum? What did the Premier of Quebec say? His behaviour was that of a democrat. It was not that of a partisan. It was not that of a party leader, but of a democrat at the head of seven million Quebecers. The day after the referendum, what he told Quebecers was this “A no is a no, but when the day comes that the answer is yes, then that will be yes, and that will mean yes”.

We accept that rule. We are not saying that the 1995 outcome was too tight, that its validity is not recognized. We acknowledge that we lost the 1995 referendum, if only by 50,000 votes. A victory is a victory, if lost by 50,000 votes.

Here in the House of Commons something rather dramatic is going on. I would like to share with the House just how much indignation is being stirred up in quarters where none is usually expected.

Claude Ryan, that intellectual respected by those of all political stripes, he who was there during the discussions of the Fulton-Favreau formula, who was there for Victoria, who was there when the Parti Quebecois took power, who was there in 1995, who has been a minister, leader of the Liberal party, leader of the no faction, is a federalist. He is a self-confessed devout federalist, a militant federalist. He is a man of great discipline and no one can deny the discipline of Claude Ryan.

He appeared before the parliamentary committee. If it would not be abusing your kindness, Madam Speaker, we should circulate his brief.

I quote what he said:

In the third “whereas” of the bill, the federal government, in accordance with this principle, recognizes that “the government of any province of Canada is entitled to consult its population by referendum on any issue and is entitled to formulate the wording of its referendum question”. However, it contradicts this statement by including in the bill a clause giving the Parliament of Canada the power to interfere directly in the referendum process—

If the National Assembly has the right to consult its population on a proposal to secede, it must be able to do so free from any constraint or interference from another parliament.

That is what is bad about the bill. We accept that there is a split in Quebec between federalists and sovereignists. We wanted to include in the referendum act provision for the ability to express one's viewpoint, on equal terms.

We are not in a situation where one option is more amply funded than another. In democracy, everyone is entitled to his viewpoint. The best way in a democracy to oppose an idea is to propose a better one.

We sovereignists think that our idea, our viewpoint, our option are better than the federalist option. But this is not what we should be talking about today.

Bill C-20 says to Quebecers “Whatever choice you make, no matter how you read the constitutional future, there are people outside Quebec, in the federal parliament, who will retain a veto”. And that is unacceptable.

Who are the allies of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs? I could say that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is not a democrat. I will refrain from passing personal judgement on the minister. I will put an objective question and ask his parliamentary secretary to reply. Who are the minister's allies in Quebec?

When we think about the major central labour bodies, Claude Ryan and the student federations, we realize that the minister is a lonely man. The Bloc Quebecois does not find it easy to witness what is going on right now. It is never easy for democrats, for elected representatives to watch such wrongdoings.

I will conclude by saying that we are convinced that, in the short and the long term, Quebecers will opt for democracy and, when they are consulted at the next federal election, they will fire this government, which has constantly bullied the National Assembly and trampled the democratic principles of which we on this side are so proud.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Given the quality of the speech delivered by the hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve and given our interest in Bill C-20, I request the unanimous consent of the House to allow the member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve to have the floor for an indefinite period of time.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The hon. member is asking for unanimous consent to allow the member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve to speak for an indefinite period of time. Is there unanimous consent?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Madam Speaker, what you have just heard and the debate by the member across the way does not deserve any continuation. I will join in the debate and say at the outset that Bill C-20 addresses the concerns of all Canadians.

For years the people in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore and, I am sure, all across the country, have wrestled with the fundamental question of keeping our country together. They have wrestled with such questions as how will legislators deal with the possible secession of a Canadian province.

This bill gives answers to Canadians. This bill, rightfully named the clarity act, gives clarity to the question. Bill C-20 is squarely in line with the Supreme Court of Canada's opinion in the Quebec secession reference which states clearly that it is for the political actors to determine what constitutes a clear majority on a clear question.

With Bill C-20, the federal government is delivering on its responsibility to all Canadians, giving Canadians an opportunity to make an informed decision about the breakup of our country. The clarity act is about good governance and democracy, values that we cherish in our political system.

Madam Speaker, I want you to keep in mind those three words, good governance and democracy, as I proceed. What is happening here today in this debate does not speak to good governance and democracy as we hear from the members across the way; those values that we cherish in our political system, those values that are amplified in this clarity act which sets out principles and procedures under which the Government of Canada and the House of Commons must proceed if ever some day we are to decide on the clarity of the will to secede. It is a framework for the Government of Canada and it has the support of my constituents and Canadians across the country.

There was a recent poll done around December 9 to 17. It was a CROP poll conducted for the Centre for Research and Information on Canada. Some 58% of respondents agreed with the government's intention to clarify the conditions under which secession could be negotiated. It is democracy and good governance.

The numerous amendments by the Bloc Quebecois to the bill lack substance and are clearly an obstruction of the process. When we introduce amendments in the House we do so as members of parliament with the intention of improving the legislation and improving the ideas expressed.

Motions Nos. 1, 3, 6, 8, 10 and 12 as put forward by the Bloc do not have that intention. These motions propose removing the title of the bill, deleting the existing clauses in the preamble, gutting the bill and putting us back into a position whereby Canadians would not be able to get resolution to this thorny issue of national unity.

The Bloc motions proposing the deletion of the bill title is aimed solely at stalling the procedures in the House, during the committee hearings, and are not intended to improve the bill.

On February 15, appearing before the committee studying Bill 99 in the national assembly, the Bloc's intergovernmental affairs critic was already saying, and I quote:

The difficulty we have, is that the bill is so blatantly unacceptable that to propose substantive amendments does not seem to us to be in the order of the day. Proposing amendments to stall the passage of the bill...is something that is in the realm of possibility.

Those who say that they want democracy and that the bill is undemocratic would not at the outset let the process take its course.

My constituents want us to get clarity on the issue and to know that we can get over this difficult question that seems to come around almost in circles. They want us, as members of parliament, to do their bidding, to stand for a clear question and decisions so that however we move we will move with clarity.

The title of the bill speaks to that clarity. Any discussion from across the way that would somehow say that this is undemocratic does not really speak to the intent of the bill.

I have joined in the debate because I want to see clarity on the issue. I want my constituents to know that there are members on this side of the House who want to bring this question to a close, who want to see this legislation pass this House and who want to see us go forward into the 21st century with clarity so that whatever happens, all sides know exactly what the terms are.

I call on my colleagues and those of the opposition, the Bloc Quebecois especially who are opposing this, that they allow the democratic process to take place and let the will of Canadians be heard through this clarity act. I call on everyone of us to join in ensuring that the bill is passed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Madam Speaker, 18 months ago tomorrow, a year and a half to the day, I was elected by the people of the riding of Sherbrooke.

At that time, I was proud to represent the people of Sherbrooke, and I still am. At that time too, I was convinced that I would find the purest expression of democracy in this House. How naive I was.

I realized that more and more once I had read some excerpts from the works of political scientist Léon Dion. One of them says, in substance, that Quebec creates its own worst enemies. At the time, he did not realize that he was going to become the spiritual father of the person we can now describe as one of the worst of Quebec's worst enemies.

We of the Bloc Quebecois have tried on numerous occasions to enlighten the 26 Quebec Liberals, who are the worst enemies of Quebec, as well as the House as a whole, by asking repeatedly for unanimous consent to table documents, and the government refused. It refused to be enlightened.

This past February 7, Parliament began its first sitting in this new millennium. Everyone thought the millennium bug was a thing of the past, but we now know this was not the case. The government is contaminated with a virus. In fact, we are pretty well certain that the millennium bug is the federal Liberal government itself.

We are all aware of several viruses affecting the Liberal government. Of course, earlier in the year, there was the Minister of Industry's attempt to subsidize sports millionaires by giving direct favours to some helpful friends.

At the moment, there is a scandal at the Department of Human Resources Development arising from political meddling intended to help friends or buy votes.

The biggest virus, however, the most destructive, the vilest, is Bill C-20, the produce of a sort of germ or rather a two headed mite eating away at our democratic net like a sort of rat.

So, on December 13, 1999, the duo of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs tabled in the House of Commons an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada. Since then, the federal government has brought out its work boots to ram through a bill that disregards the political institutions Quebec has created and acts as if there had never been three referendums.

Ideally, we would have Bill C-20 withdrawn. There are three good reasons for this.

First, it gives the House of Commons power to disallow legislation passed by the National Assembly and a choice expressed by the Quebec people.

The bill also denies Quebecers the freedom to choose their own political destiny and to include in a referendum question, should they so wish, a proposal of partnership with Canada.

Bill C-20 denies the universally accepted rule of 50% plus one for the majority and the fundamental rule of the equality of votes. And the reason for this is clear. It is because the government knows that the next Quebec referendum will be a winner for the Quebec people. So, with this bill, the government thinks it can get out of its obligation to negotiate. It is supremely wrong.

Not only does it want to get out of future negotiations, it does not even want to debate its bill in the House with the members. It proved it by imposing a gag on hon. members as early as second reading, then at the legislative committee stage and again, today, at third reading.

A few years ago, in an interview on Quebec television, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a former Prime Minister, stated that the people were sovereign and that a country could only be founded on the will of its people to be governed, and a free people must decide its own destiny and chose democratically its leaders.

If we are free, no yoke or shackles must be put on us, nobody outside Quebec should dictate to us what to think or what to do? With Bill C-20, the federal government wants to force Quebec to do things its way, to impose the procedure and determine the rules of the game.

If, as a Quebecer, I wanted to tell Ontario or another province how to manage itself, I would be told to mind my own business. That is exactly what the majority of the members from Quebec in this House, the National Assembly as a whole and many major organizations representing thousands of Quebecers are saying to the Liberal government in Ottawa: “Mind your own business and get off our backs. We have the sacred right to make our own decisions”.

Quebec is not a child, it is big enough to take care of itself without federal government interference. It can very well make enlightened decisions without Ottawa taking it by the hand or telling it what is good for Quebecers.

With Bill C-20, the Liberal government is telling us, like one does with a child, how to define a fair majority, a majority that suits its needs. All over the world, the 50% plus one rule is the accepted majority. Here in Canada, which claims to be a cradle of democracy, the Liberals want to change this universally accepted rule, according to their mood. Will it be 60%, 65% or 70%? Will it depend on whether it snows or rains on that day? This is called controlling democracy.

Some major Quebec organizations have condemned Bill C-20. The CSN, the FTQ and the CEQ formed a united front to condemn this unprecedented show of force against Quebec, and so have various other associations, including student federations, women's groups and community and social groups.

Twice, for the 1980 and 1995 referenda on the future of Quebec, it was the National Assembly that set the rules of the game and no one in Quebec, whether in the federalist or sovereignist camp, challenged the legitimacy and democratic character of these two public consultations. We had the right to do it then, but not any more. We can do it one day, but not the next day. The Liberal government is playing with democracy as if it were a yoyo.

On October 30, 1995, the no side won by a few tens of thousands of votes. The universal majority rule, 50% plus one, applied. Not one of those Quebecers who voted yes and who lost the referendum challenged the validity of that rule. We respected the public's decision.

Incidentally, I remind hon. members that all the referendums held in Canada so far were based on the universal rule of 50% plus one. Canada has also recognized many countries created after referendums held according to the same rule. This is also the rule used by the United Nations when it supervises referendums on sovereignty. Why should the federal government not ask the United Nations to change its democratic rule and set an arbitrary percentage to dictate the procedure to other countries?

If Quebec were sovereign, nobody would tell us what to do or what to think. We would not be in a federal yoke. The federal government was caught in its own trap when the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the legitimacy of the sovereigntist option and the obligation to negotiate on equal terms. Even if Canada does not recognize a yes at the next referendum, the other counties of the international community will if everything is done democratically.

I am proud to be a Quebecer, even more so when people from Quebec are successful internationally. With sovereignty, it is Quebec as a whole that will be successful internationally.

The federal government tricked us when it repatriated the Constitution of Canada without Quebec's consent. Enough is enough. The time when they played tricks on us and decided for us is over. We are a great people capable of taking its destiny into its own hands. We want to be autonomous and sovereign. That, at least, is clear.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I am truly pleased to stand in the House today as a member of the legislative committee that worked on the clarity bill. In a word I would describe the bill as brilliant.

The separation of Quebec would have profound effects on the whole of Canada and its citizens, including Quebecers wishing to remain in Quebec.

While I agree with this sentiment these are not my words. These are the words of Claude Castonguay, a former Quebec cabinet minister from the Bourassa government.

The clarity bill is a reasonable bill. It is made up of three clauses. It is brief and it is straightforward unlike the 411 motions brought forward by the Bloc Quebecois with which the House will deal later today.

In Motions Nos. 13 to 68 in Group No. 2 there are frivolous changes to the 30 day suggestion put out in the clarity bill. They range from 50 days to 250 days. They are not constructive and they do not improve this piece of legislation.

The message we all took from the 1995 referendum was that we came dangerously close to losing our country on a vague question and a dubious vote. In 1995 the referendum question asked by the Quebec government was confusing. It read:

Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign, after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership, within the scope of the Bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12th?

Quebecers who voted on this question felt they understood, but when they were polled there was a great disparity as to what they thought they were voting on. While individuals were clear within their minds it was not a shared vision that they were voting on.

The results of the referendum saw the yes side receive 49.6% of the vote and the no side receive 50.4%. Support fluctuated by 15 percentage points depending on whether sovereignty would be accompanied by economic partnership with the rest of Canada. Voter turnout for the referendum was high because Quebecers realized the stakes were high. Individuals, while convinced their interpretations were clear, did not share the common view.

The clarity bill states that within 30 days of a provincial government officially releasing a referendum question on secession, the House of Commons would express its opinion by resolution as to whether or not the question is clear. If the House found that the vote on the question could not result in a clear expression of will by the population of that province on whether or not it would cease to be part of Canada, it would no longer deal with the question.

In reaching its assessment the House would take into account the views of other political actors, political parties in the legislative assembly of the province whose government was proposing secession, other provincial or territorial governments and other legislatures.

Soliciting a direct expression of will of the population of a province as to whether the province would cease to be part of Canada is a huge question. This has results that could not go back four years and be reversed. The Government of Canada would enter into negotiations only if the House had concluded that there had been a clear expression of will by a clear majority of the population of that province.

In reaching the assessment the House would take into account matters it considered relevant. These kinds of issues need to be dealt with in context. The clarity bill spells out the qualitative aspect of both the question and the majority.

Secession would require an amendment to our constitution. It would involve at least the governments of all the provinces as well as the Government of Canada. We would have to discuss such things as division of assets and liabilities, perhaps border changes from the province and of course the rights, interests and territorial claims of aboriginal peoples as well as the protection of the rights of minorities.

Another issue that came up very many times when we were discussing this bill—and we heard from many expert witnesses during this process—was whether or not 50% plus one was an indication of a clear majority, a majority that would be irreversible. One does not break up a country with 50% plus one.

Quebecers have already said no twice to secession but the question keeps coming up. How many times is enough? Is it three out of five? Is it five out of seven? Is it seven out of twelve? How many times will we deal with this issue?

Members opposite would have us believe that 50% plus one is a telling majority, and yet they have received that from the no side and they continue to ask the question. No means no now but yes means maybe later. Yes is forever. Only a yes vote will give rise to irreversible change that will bind future generations of the country.

The supreme court requires political actors to assess the clarity of any future majority in favour of secession. It uses the expression clear majority 13 times in its ruling to underline how much it feels this is an issue to be dealt with.

The hon. member for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok in Motion No. 2 states that the acceptable majority in the 1995 referendum was 50% plus one and therefore this is the threshold that should be used in any future referendum.

Quebec's own referendum laws set no threshold for an acceptable majority precisely because referendums in Canada are consultative. This was recognized by the PQ government in its white paper leading to its referendum law which stated:

The fact that referenda are consultative makes it unnecessary to include provisions about a required majority or a level of voter participation.

The supreme court's opinion made clear that there was no precise numerical threshold which would trigger negotiations but that:

It will be for political actors to determine what constitutes a clear majority on a clear question...in the circumstances under which a future referendum vote may be taken.

When we ask Quebecers what they think, on October 30, 1999, the Government of Canada released a poll that was conducted of 4,992 Quebecers. It is one of the most important and precise polls, with a margin of 1.6% error, ever conducted on the question of national unity. The will of Quebecers was never again to undergo a confused referendum process such as those that we saw in 1980 and 1995. Quebecers want the process for any future referendums to be based on the principle of clarity. Most say it is reasonable to require a clear referendum question; 93% versus 4% agreed with this statement and on a clear majority 72% agreed versus 24% before Quebec can become independent.

The majority of Quebecers say that the 1995 referendum question was not clear at a support level of 61% versus 36%. Quebecers are opposed to a unilateral declaration of independence if the yes side won in a referendum. The majority says it is reasonable that the Government of Quebec would have to reach an agreement with the rest of Canada before declaring independence.

Quebecers say there is also majority support for the supreme court's decision that the Government of Quebec does not have the right to unilaterally declare independence. That was supported 55% versus 36%.

During our two week consultation process when we again heard from many expert witnesses, many former colleagues at different levels of government came to talk to us. Ed Broadbent commented, when appearing before the legislative committee on Bill C-20, as follows:

Of the 13 new countries to emerge following referenda in the post-World War II, post-colonial era, nine had positive results over 95%; two over 90%; and the remaining two in excess of 75%.

He went on to say:

In my view, Premier Bouchard would be a wise man if he waited until he could expect comparable results. He would be even wiser to abandon his secessionist goal and acknowledge the evident truth that the majority of Quebecers have made great gains in recent decades. By means of the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all Canadians, they have created a wonderful and, dare I say it, distinct society. They are proud Quebecers and proud Canadians.

The clarity bill defines the real stakes in a referendum. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, when he appeared before the legislative committee, said:

On August 20, 1998, the supreme court gave a legal confirmation to that moral obligation. It is eminently desirable that we all respect that opinion, whether we are in favour of Canadian unity or Quebec independence.

Secession is a black hole and I am convinced that the clarity bill is the best guide in making our way through.

Business Of The House
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wish to designate Thursday, March 16, an opposition day.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference, as reported (without amendment) from the legislative committee, and of the amendments in Group No. 1.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate, but having been here this afternoon it may seem to people watching that this is a dispute between Ontario and Quebec.

I know that hon. members opposite do not mean it that way, but because they are the closest to Quebec it sometimes comes across that way. Indeed, people from western Canada, particularly in my area, look upon this more as a debate down east that does not make reference to them.

In my province the largest ethnic group is comprised of Anglo-Saxons, followed by the Ukrainians, the Germans and then the French. I was born in a French town. I refereed hockey in a dozen French communities, so I know very well what it is like and I am very proud to have lived in those French communities. My son-in-law's name is Tetreau and I am proud of that as well.

Having said that, I am not about to leave the west out of this picture. As westerners are looking at this debate this afternoon, many of the people in my constituency are asking what we are arguing about. They are losing their farms. To them this is not an important issue over their individual issues because of what has happened.

Let us take a look at what was handed to Quebec with confederation. It was guaranteed 24 senators. That is the same as the four western provinces. It was also guaranteed so many members of parliament, regardless of what happens to its population. The only other province which got that guarantee of course was Prince Edward Island.

What we do not understand about this is, when people talk about a sovereign nation, nobody explains to the people west of Ontario what they mean by that. To westerners a sovereign nation is a separate entity unto itself. It has its own laws, its own money system, its own trade and commerce, all of that. It is indeed a separate nation.

When I read what Quebec voted on, it talked about sovereignty and then all these other things. As far as the people of western Canada are concerned—and let me say that it is very clear as I travel in western Canada—if my hon. friends in the Bloc want a sovereign nation, it will have to be the total meaning of sovereignty. It will not be some sort of association. It is one or the other. They cannot have it both ways.

At the present time Quebec is part of an association, the federal government, and so is Saskatchewan an associate of this government. We do not ask for separate identities. The Europeans are coming together for particular reasons, because they are bound by international agreements or monetary agreements. Quebec would have to have a separate agreement entirely. Otherwise, B.C. would want to go. Not too long ago it was the four western provinces. Some of my friends from the west will remember the WCC, the Western Canada Concept Party. That is what it actually wanted. Its separation was based on a financial barrier, for obvious purposes.

While my people are floundering around trying to understand how they are going to live for another year, we have people here whose reasons to become separate and totally apart from Canada they say are not based on economics. That could be proven.

It has never been quite clear to the people of western Canada why these people are attempting to separate. To be honest with you, Madam Speaker, in all of my reading and following of this issue, that issue has never become fundamentally clear to me and it has never been fundamentally clear to the people beyond Ontario in western Canada.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Madam Speaker, this is indeed a very sad day in the parliamentary history of Canada, because we have before us a bill that is misleading even in its title, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference. Many observers have commented that this requirement is nowhere to be found in the opinion of the court.

This bill deals with clarity, but the bill itself does not provide for conditions, except one, to which I will come back later on. At all of its stages, exceptional rules have been applied to this bill. This bill, supposedly on clarity, will be passed through a process that can hardly be considered democratic.

This bill has been very well understood by David Jones, a former minister-counsellor to the U.S. embassy from 1992 to 1996. In an article published in a publication available to all diplomats in Ottawa and elsewhere, he wrote “In any case, this bill on clarity is a masterpiece of political ambiguity. It allows the Quebec government to hold a referendum on any question it wishes, but Ottawa reserves the right to evaluate afterwards whether the question was clear, and, by way of consequence, whether the federal government will negotiate or not on the basis of that question”.

This is still David Jones talking, a former minister-counsellor to the U.S. embassy in Ottawa from 1992 to 1996. He said “Without saying it in so many words, Ottawa rejects the questions of the 1980 and 1995 referendums”. We are not the ones saying that. He goes on “Surely, a majority government could declare unclear any question but this one: Quebec will secede immediately from Canada”. This is what David Jones said.

He also talks about the 50% plus one majority. Nowhere is it said in the bill that it is not enough, but the bill provides enough latitude to state, once it is over, that it is not enough and that any other majority would not be enough either.

What else does Mr. Jones say? He says “When it moves away from the basic political rule of 50% plus one, without proposing another percentage, any democracy is moving in unchartered waters”.

This bill only contains one clear provision and it is the one that says that what will not be considered as a clear question, and will consequently not commit the government to negotiate, is a referendum question that: a )—merely focuses on a mandate to negotiate without soliciting a direct expression of the will of the population of that province on whether the province should cease to be part of Canada

This is very serious. It comes back to the explanation given by David Jones. Moreover, a question will not be considered clear if it: b )—envisages other possibilities in addition to the secession of the province from Canada, such as economic or political arrangements with Canada—

With these two paragraphs, as the former political adviser of the United States embassy says once again, the government is retroactively stating that both referendum questions were not clear.

If, in the historic progress of the Quebec people, there is one thing that is clear, with respect to the movement that appeared with several small parties, but flourished with the Parti Quebecois and later with the Bloc Quebecois, it is that this movement is part of the ever-changing modern model that everyone here is applauding, that is the model of the European Union.

I again quote from a text written by René Lévesque that he presented to activist members in his riding of Laurier, before submitting it to the Liberal Party, which rejected it. He said “We believe that it is possible to avoid this joint stalemate of the Canadian federation”—joint stalemate where the government introduced Bill C-20 instead of talking about the situation of Western farmers—“by adapting to our situation the two major tendencies that dominate our era, one of which is the freedom of peoples and the other is political and economic groups freely negotiated”. This was in 1967.

How is it that no colleague from the other side tried to respond to our repeated claims that this bill is deceptive because it gives English Canadians the illusion that it will make the sovereign independent movement disappear in a jiffy?

This is an illusion and a danger because it implies that the process is an easy one, that they only have to say no and to pass a bill for the sovereignist movement to disappear. This is not so.

It is amazing, but no one talked about the will to negotiate. Having met an angel on his way, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs wrote “No, sovereignty partnership is not moderate because, between sovereignty partnership, the referendum and its conclusion, secession occurs”. That is it.

Instead of being an agent of what could be a renewal of the relations between Quebec and Canada, he says “No, no, no. The only possibility for you, my friends, is to vote for secession, period. We will decide if we will agree to negotiate with you”. He does not say that he will not have the means to object.

For example, in a referendum where the question is on the partnership option, if the results are 53.5%, given a strong vote like the last time, you will not be able to initiate any negotiation because those who pay down the debt will pressure you. You will not be able to resist the people's pressure. We are not the ones who are creating confusion, you are.

I sincerely regret all the time spent to try to thwart the sovereignist movement, or to convince Canadians that there is nothing to worry about, that the government will rid them of that gang, as the government House leader has said, speaking about us. Well, I have got news for you because there is a good chance that the Bloc will be even stronger next time.

In spite of this vote, in spite of this charade, this travesty of democracy that is the exceptional procedure used throughout consideration of this bill, I hope that our colleagues opposite will seriously think about the relations between Quebec and Canada. We have no choice because we are neighbours and we will remain neighbours for a very long time.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to participate in the debate on Bill C-20. I would like to do so by referring to some of the motions or the amendments that have been put forward today.

Today and this evening at 6.30 the House will be voting on 411 motions or amendments by the opposition parties. Pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(5) the Speaker has grouped the motions for debate into five groups. I would like to speak to the motions in Group No. 1.

Group No. 1 deals with the preamble of the bill. The preamble itself contains eight clauses. In addition to the preamble the clarity bill itself is actually very clear and straightforward. It contains three operating clauses.

There is a reason I have chosen to speak on the preamble and on the motions within Group No. 1. I ask the Canadian people to decide for themselves tonight as they watch the House of Commons start to vote at 6.30 p.m. whether in fact what they are experiencing here is democracy at work, as my friends in the Bloc have said a number of times today, or is it really an abuse of the parliamentary process and parliamentary rules and procedure.

I do so by looking specifically at Motions Nos. 5 and 9 and talking a bit about the preamble. The bill closely reflects the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec secession reference. Each of the preamble clauses is drawn from elements of the court's judgment. Despite Premier Bouchard's attempt to conveniently ignore certain parts of the judgment, it is important that all the elements be reflected in the clarity act preamble.

When we look at Motions Nos. 5 and 9 which are the motions I would like to start with, we will note that Motion No. 5 seeks to delete a word from the first clause of the preamble. So that Canadians know what we are talking about, clause 1 of the preamble states:

Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that there is no right, under international law or under the Constitution of Canada, for the National Assembly, legislature or government of Quebec to effect the secession of Quebec from Canada unilaterally;

Instead of a motion being brought forward by my friends in the Bloc to question or to amend this, because I have heard time and time again the amendments are here to make the bill better, what does Motion No. 5 say? Motion No. 5 states that Bill C-20 in the preamble be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 1 with the following, and it deletes the words that the Supreme Court of Canada “has confirmed” and replaces them with the words the Supreme Court of Canada “is of the opinion”.

Are we talking substantive amendments or are we talking as in my days as a lawyer of what we would call frivolous and vexatious motions? Let us look at that.

Let us move to Motion No. 9 which again is a substantive amendment with so much rhetoric across the way saying that they are are trying to make this bill so much better. What does Motion No. 9 say? Let us look at clause 4 of the preamble. It is important for Canadians to know what we are talking about. We are not talking about the government abusing democracy or wanting to invoke closure so that we do not have the ability to debate or make substantive comments. We are talking about proposing frivolous and vexatious motions.

Do the people of Canada know that today in the House of Commons when we start voting at 6.30 we will be potentially voting continuously until 2.30 a.m. on Thursday morning? Is that democracy at work or is it again an abuse of parliamentary procedure at best?

Let us look at what clause 4 says:

Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the result of a referendum on the secession of a province from Canada must be free from ambiguity both in terms of the question asked and in terms of the support it achieves and that result is to be taken as an expression of the democratic will that would give rise to an obligation to enter into negotiations that might lead to secession;

What part of that section of the preamble has been moved to be changed? Are we amending ambiguity? Are we amending that there is an obligation that negotiations be entered into? Are we amending anything substantial?

Let us look at what Motion No. 9 says. It is a funny thing. It sounds like Motion No. 5 because again they want to delete a word. The word this time is not “confirmed”. It is the word “determined”, whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has given an opinion, instead of using the word “determined”.

Those are the substantial democratic amendments the members of the Bloc have proposed. Is it so substantive that we change the word “confirmed” to “determine”? What is wrong with those words?

I remind members of the House of Commons that certainly as a lawyer who practised 18 years and as a member of the Ontario bar, I knew that when the supreme court made a pronouncement it was regarded as highly persuasive and binding on all lower courts.

Governments in Canada have always acted as though reference opinions were binding on them. Governments not acting in accordance with reference opinions risk legal challenges on any aspect of opinions dealing with legal issues. Is this a question of semantics or is this a question of substance?

I would also like to quote what the supreme court noted in the reference regarding remuneration of judges of the provincial court. The court stated: “The fact that this court's opinion is only advisory does not leave the parties without a remedy. They can seek a declaration. This court's opinion will be of highly persuasive weight”.

Opinion, determination, confirmation; is it truly necessary that for this first group of amendments, Motions Nos. 1 to 12, that we sit here for two or three hours to determine on the preamble? What in substance is talked about in the preamble?

Motion No. 2 did address the fact that whereas when the Quebec people were consulted by referendum in 1995, the winning choice was the one that obtained the majority of the votes declared valid, that is 50% of the votes plus one.

That could possibly be a substantive amendment, but what is intended and what does that accomplish by putting that amendment in? We could also go into the history of Canada from the date of confederation and the British North America Act and what powers were given to the provinces and Quebec's special status in Canada. We could do that as well.

Sometimes people just say things for the sake of saying things. I would submit that Motion No. 2 is exactly that.

If my friends in the Bloc were actually true to their substantive amendments, why is it that they propose in Motion Nos. 5 and 9 that the words “confirmed” and “determined” be substituted by the words “of the opinion”, but at the same time in previous Motion Nos. 4 and 8, they seek to delete both paragraph one of the preamble and number four? And if they do not get away with that, then in Motion No. 3 they completely seek to strike out the entire amount of the preamble.

I say to all Canadians, is what we are seeing here substantive amendments? Is this how we try to make our lives better? Is this what the Canadian taxpayers are paying us to do, to sit here for 55 hours to vote on, with all due respect to some who may claim in the House of Commons, substantive amendments?

I would submit that that is not the case. In fact this is not a case of democracy at work, but it is truly a case of parliamentary procedure being abused at best.

Why is the federal government taking this action in the face of such strong opposition? I would submit that the government has taken this decision because Quebecers have a right not to lose their country unless it is clearly expressed in their will and unless negotiations are concluded that respect the rights and interests of all Canadians.

As the only government representing all Canadians and as one of the parties in possible negotiations, it is important that the Government of Canada signal the circumstances under which it would enter into negotiations that could lead to the breakup of this country. Given the dramatic consequences of secession, it is in the interests of Quebecers and all other Canadians that such negotiations only be undertaken if it is the clear will of Quebecers that they no longer wish to remain in Canada.

When we talk again about substance or frivolity, when we talk about democracy or abuse of process, I would ask all Canadians as they watch tonight and for the next 54 hours that they determine what truly is happening here.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is sad that we even have to debate this bill. In my view it is quite simple and straightforward. It should have gone through the House without any debate at all.

This is a straightforward bill that acknowledges the right of the people to decide. All this bill does is to say that in this partnership that we are in, if one of the partners wants to leave and go on its own, it is important to at least discuss the partnership. That is what this bill is all about.

There has been more than one occasion of this so far. Two or three times in a row when asked to vote on the whole question of whether or not they want to remain a part of Canada, the people have decided they want to remain as part of Canada. The question is when is this debate going to end?

None of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois have stood up to tell us when enough is enough. When would the separatists say enough is enough? They lost the first time. They lost the second time. They lost the third time. And they will lose again for as long as we have a country and a nation. We will continue to have a nation for the next 10,000 years, just as we have had for the past 10,000 years.

The bottom line is that the Supreme Court of Canada has rendered a ruling. Even the premier of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard, and others have clearly applauded and clearly stated that they want the federal government to obey the decision of the court. We are responding to what Mr. Bouchard stated in the early days of when the judgment came down. That is that we have to have clear rules and everybody has a right to play as long as we know what the rules of the game are.

We are saying that at the federal level in order for us to decide whether or not we are going to participate in the breakup of this partnership, two things are absolutely unequivocal.

First, there should be a clear question that is straightforward with no monkeying around and no ups and downs. The people have to be asked a very clear question. That is fair and none of my colleagues will dispute that.

Second, there has to be an absolute majority, a clear majority. I do not think any one of my colleagues would object to that. If we were to ask a question of the people and have a clear answer to it, then let us sit down and talk. That is what the government is doing, unlike my colleagues opposite who are trying to break up one of the best countries on earth. It is the best country on earth. It is not just me and my colleagues in the House of Commons who say that. Every single person in the country knows that this is the greatest country on earth.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. It being 6.15 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the report stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on Motion No. 1. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The recorded division on Motion No. 1 stands deferred.

The next question is on the proposed amendment to Motion No. 2. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The recorded division on the amendment stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 3. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
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6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The recorded division on Motion No.3 stands deferred.

I will now put the motions in Group No. 2 to the House.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 13

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 34 and 35 on page 2 with the following:

“1. (1) The House of Commons shall, not before 50 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved:

Motion No. 14

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 34 and 35 on page 2 with the following:

“1. (1) The House of Commons shall, not before 200 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 15

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 34 and 35 on page 2 with the following:

“1. (1) The House of Commons shall, not before 100 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

moved:

Motion No. 18

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 52 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 19

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 66 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 21

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“38 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 22

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 53 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 23

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 67 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 24

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 59 days after the government of a province”

Motion No. 26

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 51 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 28

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 56 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 29

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 50 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 32

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“32 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 33

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 58 days after the government of a province”

Motion No. 34

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 61 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 35

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 69 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 36

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 55 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 37

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 68 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 38

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“37 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 39

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“30 to 57 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 40

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“39 to 60 days after the government of a province.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 41

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“40 to 70 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 42

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“35 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 43

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“33 to 60 days after the government of a province”

Motion No. 44

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“34 to 60 days after the government of a province”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 48

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 41 on page 2 with the following:

“tion, adopted by a majority of the members present in the House of Commons, which majority shall consist of not less than fifty percent plus one member of the members elected for the province in which the referendum will be held, set out its determination on whether the”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

moved:

Motion No. 49

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by adding after line 42 on page 2 the following:

“(1.1) For the purposes of subsection (1), “resolution” means a resolution adopted by a majority of the members present in the House of Commons, which majority shall consist of not less than fifty percent plus one member of the members elected for the province in which the referendum will be held.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 50

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 5 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 51

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 37 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 52

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 36 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 53

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 33 days”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 54

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 39 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 55

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 30 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 56

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 32 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 57

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 35 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 58

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 34 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 59

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 38 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 60

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 3 with the following:

“be extended by an additional 31 days.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 61

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 12 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 62

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 30 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 63

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 22 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 64

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 30 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 41 on page 3.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 66

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 39 and 40 on page 3 with the following:

“territory of Canada and any other views”

Motion No. 67

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 40 on page 3 with the following:

“resolutions by the Senate, any formal statements or resolutions by the representatives of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, especially those in the province whose government is proposing the referendum on secession, and any other views”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 68

That Bill C-20, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 42 to 47 on page 3 and lines 1 to 3 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is on Motion No. 13. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 13 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 18. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 18 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 48.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 48 stands deferred. The recorded division will also apply to Motion No. 49.

The next question is on Motion No. 50. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 50 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 61. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 61 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 62. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 62 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 65. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion. No. 65 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion. No. 68. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 68 stands deferred.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 69

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 4 to 17 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 70

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 12 on page 4 with the following:

“consider and, by resolution, adopted by a majority of the members present in the House of Commons, which majority shall consist of not less than fifty percent plus one member of the members elected for the province in which the referendum has been held, set out its deter-”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 71

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 17 on page 4 the following:

“(1.1) For the purposes of subsection (1), “resolution” means a resolution adopted by a majority of the members present in the House of Commons, which majority shall consist of not less than fifty percent plus one member of the members elected for the province in which the referendum has been held.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 72

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 28 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 73

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 23 and 24 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 74

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 23 and 24 on page 4 with the following:

“(a) whether fifty percent plus one of the valid votes cast in the referendum were cast in favour of the secessionist option;”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 75

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 25 and 26 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 76

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 25 and 26 on page 4 with the following:

“(b) whether there were significant irregularities in the referendum process that would call into question the validity of the vote; and”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 77

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 27 and 28 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 78

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 29 to 42 on page 4.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 79

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 39 to 41 on page 4 with the following:

“any province or territory of Canada and any other views it considers to be”

Motion No. 80

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 41 on page 4 with the following:

“ate, any formal statements or resolutions by the representatives of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, especially those in the province whose government proposed the referendum on secession, and any other views it considers to be”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 81

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 8 on page 5.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

moved:

Motion No. 82

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 5 the following:

“(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Government of Canada shall not enter into negotiations with the government of a province that has submitted a clear question to its voters in a referendum on the proposed secession of the province from Canada unless the population of the province has indicated that it wants the province to cease to be part of Canada by casting fifty percent plus one vote of the votes cast in the referendum.”

Motion No. 83

That Bill C-20, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 5 the following:

“(5) Where the House of Commons determines pursuant to this section that there has been a clear expression of a will by a clear majority of the population of a province that the province cease to be part of Canada, the Government of Canada shall invite the governments of the other provinces each to name a Minister of the Crown to represent the province in the negotiations and the Ministers of the Crown so named shall participate fully in all discussions and meetings relevant to negotiating the terms of secession.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The next question is on Motion No. 69. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 69 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 72. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The recorded division on Motion No. 72 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 78. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The recorded division on Motion No. 78 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 81. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The recorded division on Motion No. 81 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 82. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 82 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 83. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 83 stands deferred.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 85

That Bill C-20, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 5 with the following:

“and the Government of Canada and the representatives of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, especially those in the province whose government proposed a referendum on secession.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 86

That Bill C-20, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 28 on page 5.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved:

Motion No. 87

That Bill C-20, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing line 25 on page 5 with the following:

“to the borders of the province and, subject to subsection (3), the rights,”

(b) by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following:

“(3) The Government of Canada shall not negotiate terms of secession that will alter, erode or jeopardize the rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada unless those peoples have explicitly consented to the negotiation of such terms.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

moved:

Motion No. 88

That Bill C-20, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following:

“(3) No Minister of the Crown shall propose a constitutional amendment to effect the secession of a province from Canada unless the amendment provides that, where there has been a clear expression of a will by the population of a municipality in the province, who have cast fifty percent plus one vote of the votes cast in a referendum in the municipality, that the province not cease to be part of Canada, the territory of that municipality shall continue to be part of Canada if (i) the territory of the municipality is immediately adjacent to the territory of another province; or (ii) the territory of the municipality is part of an unbroken chain of municipal territories in each of which there has been a clear expression of a will by the population of each municipality, who have cast fifty percent plus one vote of the votes cast in a referendum in the municipality, that the province not cease to be part of Canada, and the territory of at least one of the municipalities is immediately adjacent to the territory of another province.”

Motion No. 89

That Bill C-20, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following:

“(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) “municipality” includes a village and a reserve as defined in the Indian Act.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The next question is on Motion No. 85. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 85 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 86. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 86 stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 88. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

A recorded division on Motion No. 88 stands deferred.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize for intervening, but I would just like to get some clarity. As I have it in this guide, it says the question would be put on Motion No. 85 only if Motion No. 84 is negatived. You called the question on Motion No. 85, but the same situation exists with respect to Motions Nos. 87 and 86 where Motion No. 87 is put only if Motion No. 86 is negatived. Yet you did not put that question.

We have two identical situations, Motion No. 85 only being put if Motion No. 84 is negatived and Motion No. 87 only being put if Motion No. 86 is negatived. Yet you put the question on Motion No. 85 and did not put the question on Motion No. 87. I am not sure exactly what should have happened.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

What happened was that the member who was to move Motion No. 84 was not here.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

So Motion No. 84 was not grouped apart.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The recorded division will also apply to Motion No. 89.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

moved:

Motion No. 90

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the ordinary political obligations of the House of Commons to give serious consideration to the outcome of a referendum held in a province on a question concerning proposals to renew federalism through non-secessionist constitutional amendments.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 91

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4.(1) On the expiration of 9 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 92

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4.(1) On the expiration of 9 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within five years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 93

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 9 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 94

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 18 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 95

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 18 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 96

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 18 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 97

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 18 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within five years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 98

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 18 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 99

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 100

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 101

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 102

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 103

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 104

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of two years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 105

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 27 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 106

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 27 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

moved:

Motion No. 107

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 27 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 108

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 27 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within five years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved:

Motion No. 109

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of 27 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 110

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 111

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 112

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 113

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 114

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 115

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 116

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 117

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 6 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 118

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.“

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 119

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 120

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 121

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 122

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 123

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of four years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 124

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 125

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 126

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 127

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 128

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 129

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 130

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of five years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 131

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 132

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 133

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 134

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 135

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 136

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 137

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of six years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am not sure whether I got that last statement right. Was it to undertake a comprehensive review? I think I missed the last couple of words.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

The Speaker

You are right, that is what it was.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 138

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 139

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 140

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 141

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 142

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 143

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within three years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 144

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of seven years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within four years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 145

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of eight years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within six months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 146

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of eight years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within eight months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 147

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of eight years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within ten months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 148

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) On the expiration of eight years after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within 14 months after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 149

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4.(1) On the expiration of 9 months after the coming into force of this Act, the provisions contained herein shall be referred to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee designated or established for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act and shall, within two years after the review is undertaken submit a report to the House of Commons thereon.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 150

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 151

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force two years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 152

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2005.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 153

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force three years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 154

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force four years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 155

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force five years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

moved:

Motion No. 156

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 157

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force six years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 158

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 159

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force seven years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 160

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force eight years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 161

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2008.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 162

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force nine years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 163

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2009.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 164

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2010.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 165

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force ten years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 166

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2011.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 167

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2012.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

moved:

Motion No. 168

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall not be earlier than March 31, 2013.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 169

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. This Act comes into force twelve years after it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 170

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 171

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every three years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 172

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 2 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 1, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 173

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every four years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 174

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2005, and sections 2 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 175

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every five years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 176

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2007, and sections 1 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 1, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 177

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 1 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 178

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2005, and sections 1 and 2 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 2, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 179

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every year thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 180

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 1 and 2 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

moved:

Motion No. 181

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

Motion No. 182

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 183

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 184

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every three years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

Motion No. 185

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

moved:

Motion No. 186

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 187

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every four years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 188

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 2 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 189

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 190

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 2 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 191

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every five years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 192

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 193

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 194

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2007, and sections 2 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2008.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 195

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 1, 2006, and sections 1 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 196

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the President of the Privy Council which day shall be after January 1, 2005, and sections 1 and 2 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 1, 2006.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 197

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council which day shall be after January 1, 2005, and sections 1 and 3 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Minister of Justice which day shall be after January 2, 2007.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 198

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every three years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved:

Motion No. 199

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every four years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 200

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 201

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Two years after this Act comes into force, and every five years thereafter, the Minister of Justice shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Justice shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 202

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

moved:

Motion No. 203

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 204

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every year thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 205

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the date on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 206

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 207

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 208

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 209

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

  1. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 210

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 211

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 212

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 213

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 214

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 215

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every three years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 216

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 217

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 218

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 219

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every four years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 220

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

moved:

Motion No. 221

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 222

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) One year after this Act comes into force, and every five years thereafter, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall cause a review to be made of the provisions and the administration of this Act.

(2) Within one year after the review is undertaken, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs shall submit to Parliament a report on the review.

(3) The report shall be reviewed by a committee of the House of Commons that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved:

Motion No. 223

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is four years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 224

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every year, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers justice matters.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 225

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every two years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers justice matters.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 226

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 227

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every three years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers justice matters.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 228

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 229

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every four years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers justice matters.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

moved:

Motion No. 230

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 231

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every five years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers justice matters.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 232

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

moved:

Motion No. 233

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

moved:

Motion No. 234

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every year, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to procedure and House affairs.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 235

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every two years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to procedure and House affairs.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We greatly appreciate your reading the various motions, but would it be possible for you to indicate motion numbers so that we could follow along more easily?

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

If I change the order, I will, but I am at Motion No. 236 and I am going to continue to follow the order for a few more minutes.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 236

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 237

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every three years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to procedure and House affairs.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 238

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every four years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to procedure and House affairs.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

moved:

Motion No. 239

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 240

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. (1) Every five years, after the coming into force of this Act, a comprehensive review and assessment of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to procedure and House affairs.

(2) The committee must submit a report to Parliament within a reasonable time after the completion of its review and assessment.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

moved:

Motion No. 241

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

moved:

Motion No. 242

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 243

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved:

Motion No. 244

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

moved:

Motion No. 245

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

moved:

Motion No. 246

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

moved:

Motion No. 247

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

moved:

Motion No. 248

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

moved:

Motion No. 249

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which it is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on a day that is ten years after the day on which it is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

moved:

Motion No. 250

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 1 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 2 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 252

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 253

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, QC

moved:

Motion No. 254

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 255

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 256

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

moved:

Motion No. 257

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

moved:

Motion No. 258

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 259

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is three years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

moved:

Motion No. 260

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved:

Motion No. 261

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved:

Motion No. 262

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is five years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 263

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is seven years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

moved:

Motion No. 264

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

moved:

Motion No. 265

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is one year after the day on which it is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this it assented to.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

moved:

Motion No. 266

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. One year after the coming into force of this Act, the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to intergovernmental affairs shall undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act, and shall within a year after the review is undertaken or within such further time as the House of Commons may authorize, submit a report to Parliament thereon including a statement of any changes the committee would recommend.”

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Government Orders

8:55 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

moved:

Motion No. 267

That Bill C-20 be amended by adding after line 28 on page 5 the following new clause:

“4. Section 2 shall come into force on the day that is two years after the day on which this Act is assented to, and sections 1 and 3 shall come into force on the day that is ten years after the day on which this Act is assented to.”