House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to seek clarification regarding a motion on the Notice Paper seeking to restore $266,201,000 to VIA Rail. As you are aware, we have not had to deal with this type of motion for a long time.

The motion is in response to the recommendations of the transport committee that the estimates of VIA Rail be reduced by $9 million. The motion would give effect to the transport minister's statement of disagreement with the transport committee's recommendation and his intention to restore the funds reduced by the committee.

I raise this matter because of our experience with the supply motions, with which we are more familiar, in particular, opposed items. Take, for example, the motion I have on the Order Paper. It is a notice of opposition to reduce Vote No. 1 under Justice by $100 million. This amount reflects the funds for the gun registry. The motion that we end up voting on is not my motion but a motion from the President of Treasury Board. The minister's motion is not a fair reflection of the funds I have targeted

The motion that the House will be asked to vote on is as follows:

June 5, 2003—The President of the Treasury Board—That Vote 1, in the amount of $433,972,000, under JUSTICE—Department—Operating expenditures, in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, be concurred in.

Voting against the motion will wipe out half a billion dollars, which is a far cry from the $100 million I am after.

The point of order is not about the flaws of the process for opposed items but about the need to clarify the impact of voting against the motion to restore funds to VIA Rail.

The restoration motion reads as follows:

June 5, 2003—The President of the Treasury Board—That Vote 25, in the amount of $266,201,000, under TRANSPORT—Department—Payments to VIA Rail Inc. in the Main Estimates of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, less the amount voted in Interim Supply, be restored.

It would be interpreted by some members that a vote against this motion would mean that over $266 million would be voted down. This is the experience we would have with a negative vote to an opposed.

It is my understanding that a vote against restoration motions would result only in $9 million being removed from VIA Rail funds and that a vote for the motion would result in the $9 million being restored.

Put another way, and this is important, Mr. Speaker, a vote for the restoration motion is a vote dismissing the recommendation of the transport committee, a recommendation that was arrived at after careful and responsible consideration of the estimates by the committee. A vote against the restoration motion is a vote in support of the good work of the transport committee. Would that be your interpretation, Mr. Speaker?

I raise this because it is important that members are aware of the impact of their vote this Thursday. I would not want the government whip giving the impression to Liberal members that VIA Rail risks losing $266 million. All that is at risk is the $9 million, as recommended by the committee.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I do not think I need to hear from the hon. government House leader in this case. I am sure all hon. members appreciate the hon. member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast's appreciation for the difficulties faced by the chief government whip in communications with her colleagues, because of course he has had experience as a whip himself and he knows how difficult that can be. Unfortunately, the Speaker has not had that experience but perhaps we can clarify the matter.

The hon. member seems to suggest that there is some confusion in the wording of the motion, and that somehow it is suggesting that if the motion were not concurred in, VIA Rail would lose more money than has been suggested in the report from the transport committee that was tabled last week.

I point out to the hon. member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast that on at least two previous occasions, June 22, 1973 and December 10, 1979, motions similar to the one that is now before the House were proposed by the then president of the Treasury Board. Those votes were apparently concurred in by the House subsequently when estimates were restored.

Accordingly, while I am sure the chief government whip appreciates very much the helpful suggestions from the hon. member, the practice that has been adopted in this case appears to conform exactly with previous practice in the House. I refer him to the Notice Paper for June 26, 1973, where there was a similar motion to restore a vote to its full amount, and a similar one on Friday, December 14, 1979, where there were a number of motions purporting to do exactly the same thing, where the wording is almost identical to the one before the House.

Accordingly, I find the point of order is not well taken. However, as I say, I am sure the advice he has offered is very much appreciated by the chief government whip. I know the government House leader, as a former whip, would appreciate it had he been in her position.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

June 9th, 2003 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions signed by hundreds of people from the Peterborough diocese and from the Midland area, representatives of the Catholic Women's League of Canada.

The universal declaration of human rights, they point out, proclaims that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. They say that whereas members of the national council for the Catholic Women's League of Canada, at the 69th annual national convention, passed resolution 89.4 in support of a national strategy on child care, and that the Government of Canada offered increased finances toward a national day care strategy in the February budget, they are concerned that the implementation of improved child care may well meet obstacles for various reasons.

These members of the Catholic Women's League call upon Parliament to give priority to accessible, quality child care for all children.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition from citizens of the Peterborough area. This is one of a series of petitions that have been developed by Ken Sharp and his fellows, people with kidney problems who need daily or weekly dialysis.

They point out that kidney disease is a huge and growing problem in Canada, but that real progress is being made in ways of preventing and coping with kidney disease.

They call upon Parliament to encourage the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to explicitly include kidney research of one of the institutes in its system to be named the institute of kidney and urinary tract diseases.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition from citizens of the Peterborough area and the Midland area who point out that hundreds of Canadians who suffer from diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer and muscular dystrophy, will benefit from stem cell research.

They point out that adult stem cell research has shown significant progress in recent years. They call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to the find cures and therapies for the illnesses such as those mentioned.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today signed by numerous people from the Ottawa and Sudbury areas, et cetera. The petitioners call upon Parliament to repeal section 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting two petitions today. One is on the definition of marriage and is in opposition to any change in the definition of marriage from the current definition of marriage, that being of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the other petition has to do with the war in Iraq and expresses strong disapproval for Canadian support for any military intervention in Iraq. It is from the citizens of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of 25 residents of Saskatoon.

The petitioners call upon the House to protect the right of Canadians to be free to share their religious beliefs without fear of prosecution.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I also want to present a petition on behalf of 75 residents of Saskatoon Outlook in my riding of Blackstrap.

The petitioners call upon this House to use all possible legislative and administrative measures to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as being between one woman and one man.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of my constituents from Dundurn, Clavet, Hanley, Broderick and Eatonia. The petitioners call upon this House to protect the rights of Canadians to be free to share their religious beliefs as protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to express their moral and religious doctrines regarding homosexuality without fear of prosecution.

The petitioners draw the attention of the House to the fact that the current provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada can be effective in preventing true threats against individuals or groups without changes to the Criminal Code.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the Erie--Lincoln riding.

The petitioners acknowledge that Canadians support ethical stem cell research and draw to the attention of the House that non-embryonic stem cells, which are also known as adult stem cells, have shown significant research progress without the immune rejection or ethical problems associated with embryonic stem cells.

As a consequence, they call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies necessary to treat Canadians sufferings from illnesses and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord industry.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today from my constituents, one of which is on the subject of marriage. The petitioners call upon this House to recognize marriage as being between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others and to enact laws that respect that traditional definition of marriage.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the other petition originated in my riding of Nanaimo--Alberni. There are about 2,500 signatures from residents of my riding who are particularly concerned about animal cruelty.

There have been some very nasty and very tragic animal abuse cases and the petitioners are rightly indignant. They call upon the House to enforce harsher penalties to ensure the prevention of cruelty to animals. The amendment from the Senate on Bill C-10 should make it possible to get the legislation passed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to table on behalf of my constituents pursuant to Standing Order 36.

The first petition calls upon Parliament to protect the rights of Canadians to be able to share their religious beliefs without fear of prosecution. This is a specific reference to amendments to sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code. This petition contains a number of names from the Pictou County area.