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 document.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate a question on agriculture in the House today. It highlights the importance of the desperate situation being faced by many farmers and farm families across this country.

The Government of Canada has responded. We responded in terms of BSE. We have also brought in a new program, CAISP, that will help farmers in the future deal with their farm income situation.

The Government of Canada clearly recognizes the trouble in agriculture today and we are working to resolve it.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister on a point of order.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

February 18th, 2004 / 3:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period I was asked by the Leader of the Opposition if the pertinent cabinet documents could be made available. I said yes. He then followed up with a request that the pertinent Treasury Board documents, and I believe the communications committee documents, be made available.

I am glad to confirm that they will.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period I asked the Prime Minister about a document, an internal memo that came from his office in 1994 that pertained to retail debt strategy. The Prime Minister indicated at that time that he had no difficulty with that document being tabled. I have a copy of that and I would like to table it with the House today.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the President of the Treasury Board said, and I quote, and I believe the blues will confirm this: “The member for Calgary Southeast received $150,000 from the federal sponsorship program”. Clearly, this is completely untrue. It impugns my character and, I believe, my privilege.

I therefore request that the President of the Treasury Board retract this inaccurate remark.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the allegation from that side of the House was that a member on this side of the House, as a private citizen, when seeking funds on behalf of a community organization, was somehow engaged in a corrupt act.

There was $115,000 given to the organization in the hon. member's riding, not to the hon. member, I said in his riding. It was given two years in a row.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Clearly there is a dispute here. I think what the Chair will do is review the blues with respect to the matter and if necessary, I will hear further from the hon. members. I think we are getting into an argument and clearly, the member for Calgary Southeast says the minister said one thing in his question. I will look at the blues and see if he said that. Then we will look at the comments that have been made and if I need to hear further from the hon. member, I will.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, on a separate point of order, the President of the Treasury Board has twice cited from a document in the House. I believe he is therefore required by convention to table the document from which he has cited.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to deal seriously with one piece of this. We will check the tape. If I said on the record that the member received the money personally, I will withdraw that. That was never my intention and I would apologize to the member if that is in fact what I said.

However, as far as tabling the document goes, absolutely, I will make copies for everyone.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, just a moment ago, the President of the Treasury Board said he would table a document from which he quoted twice to the agreement of everyone. Then he said he would make copies.

He should table the document now, not pass copies around afterward. We do not know whether we will get the true document or not.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will be able to weigh all that in due course.

The difficulty is that documents to be tabled by ministers in the House must be in bilingual format. He may have had to check to make sure it was, or get another copy before it was done so that it was tabled in conformity with our rules.

I am sure the minister will take note of the hon. member's comments. I am sure he will quickly become convinced of the necessity, if he was not already, of having the document in both official languages before he tables it. I made the assumption he did not table on the spot because he did not have the necessary document to do that.

I am sure the member's point will be taken and we will hear about the matter in due course. I am sure the Chair will be notified when the document has been tabled, as will the hon. member, because it sounds as though he is going to get a copy from the minister directly.

However, I do not think it is reasonable to expect the minister to have with him when he stands up and reads from some document, the necessary bilingual copies of the document that are required by our rules before a minister can table it.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, a document that we just tabled was accepted and it was not translated. Why would there be a difference?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

There is a double standard in that ministers tabling documents in the House must table them in a bilingual format. There is no such a requirement when the House gives its consent to a member of the opposition to do the same thing.