House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-35.

Topics

Privilege
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has heard enough on the point and will take the matter under advisement. I will review the remarks of the hon. Leader of the Opposition and I will review the proceedings in the committee as I have been invited to do by hon. members on every side.

I will review the very pertinent comments made by the hon. parliamentary secretary, the hon. House leader of the official opposition, the hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona and the hon. member for Peterborough. I thank them all for their kind assistance. I will get back to the House in due course on this matter.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue involving question period. That is why I raise it.

A question was asked by the hon. member across the way to the hon. Minister of Natural Resources, who is also a member of parliament from Saskatchewan, regarding a Saskatchewan issue involving transport. It was clear from the question, and we can review the blues, that both the question and the supplementary referred to the minister being the regional minister from Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan's only representative in cabinet, and so on and so forth, each one of them of course asking the question because the minister is a representative from Saskatchewan, obviously not because he is the Minister of Transport, because he is not.

I protested that, as probably the entire House heard. I want to remind the House that citation 412 of Beauchesne is quite clear on the rules.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

What is the point, Don?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

As the hon. member used to be a minister of a previous house, I am sure he will know about rules. He is asking what the point is. I am surprised that he even has to ask. The point is this.

Citation 412 of Beauchesne states:

A question may not be asked of a Minister in another capacity, such as being responsible for a province, or part of a province, or as spokesman for a racial or religious group.

I did not decide that. This is referenced as October 16, 1968, at pages 132 to 134 of the Journals. I am sure the hon. member knows that very well. I am sure he has read that portion of the Journals.

The more contemporary Marleau and Montpetit, or M and M as we sometimes refer to our own procedural manual, at pages 426 and 427, refers to this. The reason I raise it is because in the supplementary question a criticism was made that this excellent minister was not representing his region properly.

This is what the reference states:

These two statements, along with some of the guidelines adopted by the House in 1965, are used today by the Speaker as a reference in managing the Question Period.

That is in reference to you, Mr. Speaker.

It further states:

In summary, when recognized in Question Period, a Member...should not...address a Minister's former portfolio or any other presumed functions, such as party or regional political responsibilities.

That is page 427 of Marleau and Montpetit.

Obviously this was in clear breach of our rules of the House. The hon. member who made that reference was not only allowed to get away with it but was allowed to get away with it twice. He was eventually cut off by the Speaker for his obvious lack of respect for the rules of the House. However the mistake was obviously made and made twice. That is an improper accusation against a minister of the crown and is in breach of our rules.

This is serious. The hon. member does not think that representing Saskatchewan is serious. I believe it is.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in defence of my two questions in question period, there are three reasons I phrased my questions as I did.

First, the government has made it a virtue, in fact it is a virtue, to appoint someone to cabinet from every province in this country. There is a cabinet minister from P.E.I., some from British Columbia and one from Saskatchewan. In fact, that is a virtue in a country such as ours.

Second, as such, in the media, whenever a serious issue arises relative to that province, that minister is the first person delegated from cabinet to handle that issue in defence of that province. This government approaches public policy that way.

Third, frankly without a Senate that is balanced and represents the equal interests of the province, there is no other way to effect public policy and the influences of a specific province.

The government makes a virtue out of appointing cabinet ministers from every province. This is the only way to ask a province a specific question and to hold the government accountable. My aim was to hold the government accountable for its public policy as it reflects on Saskatchewan. It has appointed a cabinet minister responsible for Saskatchewan. I expected an answer. Unfortunately I did not get it. Perhaps in the future this government will be more eager to answer questions and defend the provinces of this country.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam during question period did ask a question. It appeared to the Speaker to be regionally based and accordingly, and in accordance with the citation cited by the hon. government House leader, I did not believe it was in accordance with the usual practice in this House. The Deputy Prime Minister chose to stand up and respond to the question and the response was given.

When the hon. member started his supplementary, he obviously was treading on the same ground, which produced disorder in the House, and it was another question along the same vein so I terminated the hon. member's question and moved on to the next because I believed it was not in accordance with the usual practice.

The practices are there. The hon. member can go to the procedure and House affairs committee and its chairman, who was just here, and present evidence as to why the practice should be changed and possibly persuade the committee to agree to submit a report changing the practice. We have done it before. I recall we changed practices in relation to questions just a few years ago, allowing questions that previously had not been permitted. The House is free to do that.

But for the time being, I think that the point raised by the hon. government House leader has been noted.

My ruling is that the question asked by the hon. member was out of order, and I pointed this out in connection with the supplementary. I will do the same thing again if another similar problem arises.

I invite all hon. members to comply in every respect with the practices set out in Marleau and Montpetit, M and M as they like to call it. It is wonderful reading and I commend it to hon. members, especially those sections dealing with question period. I know it will help them phrase questions and of course answers that are in accordance with the rules.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to challenge something that my colleague from Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam said in his statement. He said that the government had ministers in Saskatchewan and other provinces. Given the way the government has regarded British Columbia, it is impossible to believe that it has ministers out in that province.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I do not think the hon. member's comments are helpful in dealing with the point of order with which we have just dealt. I know it is very tempting, because the government operates in a particular way, to say that in the House we must operate in accordance with that practice. The difficulty is we have a set of rules that govern the way the House proceeds and we know that sometimes proceedings outside the House are at variance with proceedings inside. That goes for every side.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

November 29th, 2001 / 3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, after we have had this delay from the government, when I thought we had more important business to do, I would like to now ask the government House leader what is the business for the rest of the day, tomorrow and next week?

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond somewhat belatedly, as a result of the disorder created by the opposition.

The business of the House will be as follows. We will continue this afternoon with Bill C-27 respecting nuclear waste. Following that I propose we move on to private members' hour.

Tomorrow the business will be Bill C-44, the aeronautics bill for which the House gave its unanimous consent earlier this week and for which I thank it.

On Monday we will consider the report stage and third reading of Bill C-37, the Alberta-Saskatchewan claims bill. That would be followed by Bill C-39, the Yukon Act amendments.

Tuesday shall be an allotted day. This is the final day in the supply cycle with the resulting supply votes and so on at the end of the day.

On Wednesday we will complete any of the business that I previously mentioned that has not been finished, if such is the case, and we will consider the report stage of any bill that is reported from committee in the interim. I am told for instance that Bill C-41 has been reported today or will be tomorrow. That will be on the list as well.

Finally, there has been agreement among House leaders that on Monday, after we complete the deliberations on the two bills I mentioned, we would have a short debate on a motion on employment equity. That is a compulsory requirement according to our rules, to have a committee review of the employment equity legislation. The House leaders have agreed, and I have since put it on the order paper, that we would consider that motion toward the end of the day on Monday, in addition to the business I have just announced.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-27, an act respecting the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is the House ready for the question?

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is on Motion No. 2. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Nuclear Fuel Waste Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.