House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

An hon. member

Mr. Speaker, you must have read the rule book.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I get an earful regularly from the Clerk.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, perhaps as a point of clarification, the issue here is one of the veracity of the document itself.

My colleague from St. John's is referring to the fact that the minister was quoting directly from a document which he then gave his undertaking he would table with the House. If he is permitted to leave the chamber and make copies, there is no telling what the copy that will be tabled with the House will then contain.

It is very much an issue of the veracity of the originality of the document.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think that there is a rule in this House by which MPs are to be trusted, considered to be telling the truth and behaving decently. The member who just spoke is insinuating the contrary.

Mr. Speaker, I invite you to resolve this issue of excessive questioning of individual behaviour.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to Standing Order 32(4):

Any document distributed in the House or laid before the House pursuant to sections (1) or (2) of this Standing Order shall be in both official languages.

Subsection (2), which is the relevant one, states:

A Minister of the Crown, or a Parliamentary Secretary acting on behalf of a Minister, may, in his or her place in the House, state that he or she proposes to lay upon the Table of the House, any report or other paper dealing with a matter coming within the administrative responsibilities of the government, and, thereupon, the same shall be deemed for all purposes to have been laid before the House.

To comply with subsection (2), the document must be in both official languages.

The hon. member, I am sure, will be able to ask the minister questions when the document is tabled as to whether it is the same one he was quoting from or whether he quoted from the English only version or possibly the French only version. I have no idea.

In order to comply with the Standing Orders the minister must table both. I do not know why the minister did not table it on the spot. My guess was he did not because it was not in both official languages and he could not comply with the Standing Order.

As I have said, the hon. member will have ample opportunity to question him on the matter if he has any doubt that the document that was tabled was in fact different from the one that he was quoting from. I am certain the minister will be prepared to answer questions in that regard to the satisfaction of the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, the hon. member for St. John's West, and all other hon. members.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, a point of clarification on that matter that you read from. It states “a paper dealing with a matter coming from within the administrative responsibilities of the government”. It would seem to me that may have to do with a bill or a ministerial report. The matter referred to here is a matter which was raised in question period. It does not necessarily deal with an administrative matter before the government.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

My recollection was that the quote had something to do with a grant from a government program. I think it fell within the administrative responsibility of the government, with all due respect to the hon. member.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, first, the document concerned was a list of funding provided through the sponsorship program. It would be that any documents that are distributed such as that are already in two languages.

Second, because of the sensitivity of the programs that were sponsored that would be on that list, we have major concerns that the original document would be allowed to be taken out of this place to be perhaps tampered with before we see the other version. This is a very dangerous precedent.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in the space of a few minutes that a member of the opposition is casting aspersions as to the honesty of members in terms of the tabling of documents.

It is with impunity that we are treating the reputation of hon. members. An hon. member who will table a document will table the document that he was quoting from. Unless those people will say on a regular basis that no member in the House is to be trusted any more, we had better get on with this. This is a rather unacceptable line of points of order.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Sit down.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

I have the right to speak here as much as those members do.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I think we will wait and see what document comes from the minister. In my view it is not uncommon for this kind of thing to happen, that the minister leaves and tables a document later. I have certainly witnessed it many times in my experience in the House. I do not see anything improper in what has transpired at this point.

The hon. member for Halifax.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of the debate last evening and a commitment by the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla, after having been asked to do so last evening, to table in the House today the specific poll that he claimed made it clear that seven out of ten Canadians support Canadian participation in some type of missile defence.

He cited a specific poll. When asked about the poll he indicated that it was in fact a Michael Marzolini Pollara survey in which a question was put to Canadians about whether they supported the notion of Canada being involved and participating in missile defence. He indicated that it was available and that he would be tabling it today. I think it is very important that he do so, and I do not believe he followed through on that commitment today.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla will be very pleased to hear from the hon. member for Halifax in this regard and will want to take note of the concerns she has expressed and deal with the matter at an early time. I am sure the hon. member for Halifax will convey to the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla by another means her point of order that was raised in the House today and her anxiety that the commitment made last evening be fulfilled at the earliest possible time.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

February 18th, 2004 / 3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, having consulted the other parties, I would like to ask for unanimous consent.

Given that the Bloc Quebecois opposition day is on the Monday after the break, and that it cannot be rescheduled because of an official visit in this House and a number of other factors under the Standing Orders, I would have to table the subject of the day 10 days in advance, which is somewhat excessive.

I received consent from all the parties to table the subject of our motion at the end of the day Thursday of the break week. Although the House is not sitting that week, the other parties will nonetheless be aware of the subject we will be discussing on the Monday. I believe we have unanimous consent for that.