House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crtc.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

Noon

Durham
Ontario

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we have a $6 billion infrastructure program in place now. This is entirely within the provincial determination of what projects the provinces want to set forward. I am sure the province of Newfoundland will be taking advantage of that program in due course.

Heritage Canada
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, amidst the anxiety and the uncertainly there is a group of Canadians looking with optimism to the future, trying to secure a major international event in Canada.

Would the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us if there has been any progress in recent days with the Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics?

Heritage Canada
Oral Question Period

Noon

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is so great to have a question about the future and about living and working together because one of the messages that we have to send out to the terrorists is that life will go on and we will work very hard.

We had a very constructive series of meetings this week in Ottawa with the Vancouver-Whistler team, the premier and members of his cabinet and members of the association. We will be out in Vancouver next week to continue those discussions.

We believe Vancouver-Whistler is the best bid and we hope that we will all be there in the most beautiful part of Canada in 2010.

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

October 19th, 2001 / noon

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday when Bill C-36 was tabled in the House it was not the first time that the country heard about the legislation. Documents relating to Bill C-36 were leaked to the Toronto Star and the National Post .

Canada is at war. The Prime Minister says so. Parliament says so. President Bush says so. NATO says so. These are confidential, delicate matters and delicate information.

What is the justice minister doing to ensure that national security is preserved and these sorts of documents are never, ever leaked again?

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I responded to this issue on the floor of the House of Commons earlier this week and the hon. member knows that. The House unanimously passed a motion referring this issue to the parliamentary committee. Everyone is doing their absolute best in that regard to ensure that proper security is maintained, as well as proper respect for the rules of the House of Commons.

We have endeavoured to make officials available to the parliamentary committee, including the person in charge of security who also happens to be my deputy minister. He is willing to appear before the committee. The committee will do its work and we are looking forward to the report.

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

The Chair has received notice of a question of privilege from the right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I raise a question of privilege relating to a matter that arose in question period relating to the purchase of medications that are covered by the Patent Act, a law that has been passed by the House and which sets forth regulations. Some of my colleagues do not agree with the content of the law, but they would agree that the law has been passed by parliament and must be respected by all Canadians, cabinet ministers among others.

During question period it was revealed that the Department of Health did not make an application to the commission under section 19(1) before purchasing from Apotex. That, Sir, is a breach of the law. An application made after the fact does not cover the requirement of the law to make an application before the fact. It is a breach of the law.

Also, the government did not have the commission inform Bayer, the company whose rights are established and protected under the law passed by this parliament. That was not done before the purchase from Apotex as is required by the law of this parliament. That is a breach of the law of this parliament.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

Order. With the greatest of respect to the right hon. member, a parliamentarian of vast experience, he would know firsthand that the Chair would not rule on a point of law. I sense that in the debate of question period there might be a dispute of facts. I would ask the right hon. member to get to the privilege.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I shall, having established the facts.

There is a basic duty of ministers of the crown to act within the confines of the law. That is fundamental to this parliament. The failure to obey the law may be a matter for the courts, but it is also a matter of grave concern to members of the House because a failure to obey the law is a blatant and open contempt of the House. Why, Sir, are we here to pass laws if the laws we pass can be ignored by ministers of the crown?

Earlier the minister of--

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. I want to once again reiterate that the Chair at no time, under any circumstance, can make any ruling on a matter of law. If there are further words to the question of privilege, I would ask the right hon. member to get to the matter of privilege.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Chair can, as we both know and as the House knows, come to judgments on matters of contempt of parliament. A contempt of parliament is contained in an action by a minister of the crown of Canada to deliberately breach the law of Canada. I am not asking the House to adjudicate the law. The law is clear. I am asking the House to consider the question of contempt. It is without--

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I again remind the right hon. member that first and foremost there has to be, and is, a presumption of innocence. Otherwise there is no contempt of parliament. I do not know what else I can do if there is another matter dealing with the question of privilege.

I would like to make it clear that the matter of contempt must be based on guilt. There is a presumption of innocence here so I am at a loss to go much further. However I will recognize the right hon. member.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely because of the presumption of innocence that I related to those matters which belong to the courts, which is whether or not there has been a breach of the law. The government knowingly departed from the law that this parliament wrote. That knowing departure by the government of the country in itself constitutes a--

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I believe the Chair at this time has heard enough on the matter. I have listened attentively to the matter raised by the right hon. member. The Chair is satisfied at this time that there is no need for any further debate on the matter with regard to privilege. I will now move on.

I remind members in the House that I have another notice of a question of privilege. I will now go to the member for Beauport-Montmorency--Côte-de-Beaupré--Île-d'Orléans.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not a question of privilege relating to an event that occurred during oral question period but, rather, a question of privilege that results from a briefing session on Bill C-36 given this morning by the Department of Justice.

I want to put this question of privilege in its proper context and to stress once again the indifference shown by this minister and her department toward the members of this House and their right to information, which is a priority. We saw the Minister of Justice's way of doing things with Bill C-15, which resulted in a question of privilege on the part of the hon. member for Provencher. That question was referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons amended the directives for members of the Privy Council Office.

As regards Bill C-36, the Anti-terrorism Act, a lot of information was released even before the bill was introduced in this House on Monday. One simply has to read the October 13 edition of the National Post , which included whole parts of the bill and which came out before the briefing session organized by the Minister of Justice on Monday morning, the day that Bill C-36 was introduced in the House.

Our right to information as duly elected members of this House, which is a priority, was once again violated. This leak about Bill C-36 in the National Post was the subject of a--