House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hrdc.

Topics

Privilege

10 a.m.

The Speaker

I am now prepared to deliver my final ruling with respect to Bill C-206 standing in the Order of Precedence for Private Members' Business in the name of the member for Wentworth—Burlington.

This matter, concerning the acceptability of the list of 100 signatures, was originally raised on February 7, 2000 by the member for Athabasca. The hon. member for Athabasca complained of the use made of his signature in helping to have Bill C-206 placed in the Order of Precedence. He maintained that his support for the bill was limited to the text in its original form as Bill C-264 and not to the current version which is before the House. The hon. member for Wentworth—Burlington, for his part, claimed that he had never attempted to mislead the House or any of its members by his use of the list of signatures which he had gathered during the previous session.

In a preliminary ruling which I delivered on February 8, 2000, I indicated that, as the mechanism provided by Standing Order 87(6) for having an item placed in the Order of Precedence was a recent addition to our rules, the Chair lacked any precedents on which to base a decision. At that time, I requested that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs consider the matter and provide some indication of how the provisions of Standing Order should be understood.

The procedure and House affairs committee has presented the results of its deliberations in its 19th report, which was tabled on Friday, March 17, 2000 and I am thus in a position to make a ruling on the question. I am deeply grateful to the members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for the advice that they have provided the Chair. I appreciate both the care which they have exercised in their deliberations and the promptness with which they have returned their views to the House.

In light of the guidance provided by the procedure and house affairs committee, it seems to me that the most reasonable, and the fairest, way of proceeding in the present case is to declare the list of supporters, collected during the first session of this parliament in support of Bill C-264 in its original form, invalid. The list was collected at a time when our new procedures were not yet in place and legitimate concerns have been raised concerning just what it was that members thought they were committing themselves to in signing it.

I am therefore accepting their recommendation that the member for Wentworth—Burlington have the opportunity to demonstrate that current support exists for the debate of Bill C-206 by filing a new list in conformity with the provisions of Standing Order 87(6)(a). I emphasize here, as the committee did in its report, that what is sought here is support for the holding of a debate on the substance of the bill, not support for the content of the bill itself.

If it is shown that there is widespread support for the consideration of this item, it will be allowed to proceed. Failing the filing of the necessary list with the Journals Branch prior to Bill C-206 being set down for the first hour of debate at second reading, the item will be removed from the Order of Precedence. It will, of course, remain eligible to be returned to the Order of Precedence through a later filing of such a list or by the normal process of the draw.

I would like to thank the member for Athabasca for raising this issue and the member for Wentworth—Burlington for his clear and concise account of the order of events. I would also like to thank the House leader of the official opposition, the member for Berthier—Montcalm, as well as the member for Roberval, for their contributions to the consideration of this question. I would also once again express my appreciation to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for its valuable assistance.

Privilege

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course I respect your decision in this matter. I would just like to make two observations. Bill C-206 is due to come up for debate within about a week. Because of the very close timeframe in which you have ruled that I should be required to get the signatures again, I would ask that if I can get the signatures in the next day or so that perhaps Bill C-206 could remain where it is on the Order of Precedence rather than being dropped to the very bottom and perhaps not being debated for some months to come.

Second, I would just like to make one comment. I do believe this arises from a legitimate misunderstanding. I regret that I never had the opportunity to speak before the procedures and House affairs committee to explain the origin of the misunderstanding and to clarify the situation.

Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, I think your ruling is the correct ruling and I abide by it.

Privilege

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

I believe the question the hon. member is asking is whether this bill will come up in the normal course of events. The answer is, yes. Is that what the question is?

Privilege

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

No, Mr. Speaker. I do not quite understand your ruling. The bill is due to come up in the next few days. If the hundreds of signatures remain valid, it is due to come up on Thursday or Friday at the latest.

What I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, is, if I can get the hundred signatures in the next day or two—and I would hope to have the co-operation of the opposition parties in this—can my bill remain on the order of precedence and come up on Friday, as it is currently scheduled to do?

Privilege

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

That was the question I thought the hon. member asked. The response is, yes.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

March 21st, 2000 / 10:10 a.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and duty to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

It is with a little sadness that I do so because the report outlines the release of in camera material by the member for Lakeland which the committee believes may constitute a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons. If you, Mr. Speaker, find a prima facie case of privilege, I am prepared to introduce a motion for the entire matter to be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

I also want to bring to the attention of the House that on Friday, March 17, I stood in the House on a point of privilege to address the same matter. The first report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is also doing the same thing in asking the Speaker to rule on this very important matter which deals with the privileges of all members of the House with regards to confidential material being released prematurely before the committee and this House has had an opportunity to consider it.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for your guidance and your advice on this matter.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I thank the hon. member for London North Centre for his intervention. The Chair will take the member's comments under advisement and the Speaker will be apprised of his concerns.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and present a petition on behalf of thousands of Canadians from Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario calling for deep and immediate tax relief at the federal level.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from Canadians across the country who are calling for the federal government to invoke the notwithstanding clause so that we have a valid child pornography law in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition on behalf of Albertans calling upon the human resources development minister to immediately resign.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present from my riding calling on parliament to support Motion No. 300 which recognizes the fundamental rights of individuals to pursue family life free from undue interference by the state and to recognize the fundamental right and responsibility of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.

The petitioners urge the legislative assemblies across Canada to do likewise.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition calling upon parliament to enact legislation to wind down the Canada pension plan while protecting the pensions of current seniors and that Canadians contribute to mandatory RRSPs of their own choosing.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Lou Sekora Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I present a petition from the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Canada has the second highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the world, second only to the United States.

Early detection remains the only known weapon in the battle against breast cancer.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Saltspring Island in my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands.

On November 24, 1989 this House unanimously resolved to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Therefore, the petitioners call upon parliament to fulfil that 1989 promise and end child poverty. It is a serious problem and I call upon parliament to do something.