House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I call a point of order. Reintroducing bills is worthwhile insofar as all the bills are reinstated at the same stage they had reached.

My fear is that Bill C-53, to change the name of certain electoral districts, a decision of this Parliament, will not be reinstated at the same stage and not passed before the next federal election. That is the harsh reality.

The government is trying to say that all the bills are to be reinstated at the same stage they had reached in the previous session. The problem is that we well know that this government does not intend to reinstate Bill C-53 at the same stage and that the new names of 38 ridings, changed by Bill C-53, will not be adopted and so will not be in force prior to the next federal election.

I fully agree with the Conservative Party to the effect that we are discussing a substantial dilemma today. On the one hand, the government is saying it is reinstating all the bills, but one of them, Bill C-53, will not have the same purpose it had when the House prorogued in November.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to underscore what my Bloc colleague has just said: that in order for the government to reinstate bills and motions they have to be in the same stage. They have to be identical.

They are not.

I would like you to examine this, Mr. Speaker, because there is no precedent for this. To have a motion like this passed, it would have to comply with all of the provisions in the Standing Orders, and they do not. That is why I would like the Speaker to rule that this cannot be brought in at this time.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The motion before the House, as I read earlier, and I will read it again, states:

...if the Speaker is satisfied that the said bill is in the same form as the House of Commons had agreed to at prorogation, notwithstanding Standing Order 71, the said bill shall be deemed in the current session to have been considered and approved at all stages completed at the time of prorogation--

So it has to be in the same form that it was in the previous session in order for this order to apply to the bill. Otherwise, all bills are introduced, read the first time and ordered for debate at the next sitting of the House.

Reinstatement of business from one session to the next is not uncommon in our practice, and indeed in our parliamentary experience there have been a number of occasions where bills and other forms of business, including motions, from one session have been brought forward to another session, either by unanimous consent or by way of a government motion moved after notice, such as the one we have moved before us today.

The question before us is not whether business can be reinstated from one session to another but whether this motion under government business No. 2, which provides a mechanism whereby bills from the second session may be reinstated to this session, is procedurally in order.

It seems to me that the ruling rendered on February 19, 1996, is particularly helpful in this instance, so I will borrow freely from that discussion in making the point I want to make.

Mr. Speaker Fraser noted in his ruling of May 29, 1991, that he could find nothing in our rules or practices to preclude the reinstatement of bills by way of motion. He therefore permitted debate to proceed on the government motion that had been moved, and he was concerned that members would be afforded an adequate opportunity to express their assent or dissent on each item to be reinstated. He therefore ruled that separate questions should be put on each bill to be reinstated.

But that motion, I think, was a different one. Hon. members here today have expressed some concern about their inability to vote on each of the bills, particularly the various ones that could be reinstated under this motion.

I must point out something important. First of all, if the bill comes back at the stage it was at before, for example report stage or third reading, it will be voted on at that stage. That is completely normal and that is how it will be done.

If, however, the bill in question was passed during the last session, it will be sent directly to the Senate. There will be no vote on it here in the House.

But hon. members can move amendments to the government motion to exclude specific bills that might go straight to the Senate under this rubric and then have a vote on the amendment, thereby in effect having a vote on that particular bill.

So I do feel that there is significant protection for hon. members in terms of being allowed to vote on various bills. The motion sets up a mechanism for allowing bills to come before the House. In my view, therefore, it is in order and I think the motion should proceed.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I do not hear you addressing the issue of when a new government is formed whether it can introduce bills from an old government. We were told that this is a completely new government, and if we look at the front bench, the cabinet, I guess we would have to conclude some are and some are not.

Mr. Speaker, I think you have to do some research as to the point I raised on whether a new government can bring forward all of the legislation of an old government.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

The Speaker

It is not a new Parliament; this is the hitch. We are in the third session of the same Parliament, so even if the hon. member were Prime Minister it seems to me this kind of motion would be one he could put to the House and cherry pick, as they say, bills from the previous session and slip them in under this rubric.

It is something that has happened before. I do not know whether it has happened with a change of government, but it certainly is one that has happened in the same Parliament. That is why I did not address the matter.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, you and I go way back. We are a little long in the tooth in this place.

You did make a reference to the ruling of Speaker John Fraser in 1991. You and I both served in the 1988 Parliament when Brian Mulroney was the Prime Minister. I can remember sitting in the back lobby here with my Liberal colleagues, and Mr. Speaker, you were one of them. They were thinking up ways that they could cause mischief when the House prorogued.

Dead meant dead, it seemed to me back then. This was a way for the government to get out of it, if it had difficult legislation where its own backbenchers were causing problems. They were able to kill legislation. That is what prorogation did. It killed it dead. That was before 1991 when Speaker Fraser made his ruling. I do find this a little strange. There are a few of those folks left, and when it seems to suit them now, everything is okay. They can just resurrect this stuff.

Mr. Speaker, I know that when you and I started in this place, prorogation meant dead equals dead. That was before 1991. I would like your input on that because I remember listening to you in the back lobby here about prorogation and how legislation could be killed and could not be brought back.

Reinstatement of Government Bills
Government Orders

11 a.m.

The Speaker

I would love to go on at length with the hon. member for Edmonton North on this subject, but Mr. Speaker Fraser made a ruling then and it became an authority. We do things in the House on the basis of authority.

Even if I were to have argued the other side of the case in those days, the Speaker made a ruling and now we act in compliance with that ruling. It would not be for me to overrule the ruling of someone as distinguished as Mr. Speaker Fraser, who I know the hon. member for Edmonton North remembers with great affection.

It is time now to proceed, however, to statements by members.

The Environment
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne we learned that:

...building on recommendations of the National Roundtable on theEnvironment and the Economy, the Government will start incorporating keyindicators on clean water, clean air, and emissions reduction into its decisionmaking.

It should be noted that going back to the 1997 Liberal campaign red book, we find:

We will ask the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy to expand its work with stakeholdersand provincial governments to develop eco-efficiency indicators.

Subsequently, in the year 2000 Statistics Canada produced excellent indicators in a report entitled “EConnections 2000”.

Consequently, the government should be made aware of the fact that it is already in a position to use the key environmental indicators already developed by Statistics Canada for its policy development and decision making.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

February 6th, 2004 / 11 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on January 8, 2004, I hosted an agriculture forum in my riding, where over 200 people attended to listen to speakers discuss a variety of issues. It was televised across Canada.

A major concern expressed several times throughout the day was that if genetically modified wheat were grown anywhere in Canada, farmers would lose important markets around the world. They also felt very strongly that the Liberal government was not doing enough to get the border opened to live cattle.

Farmers are experiencing great difficulty competing in the international marketplace. Policies of the government are negatively impacting on their businesses. They would like to know whether they can fly a flag of convenience, such as the Prime Minister's flag of Barbados, over their farms and avoid taxes they have to pay, taxes that are included in all their input costs.

Will the Prime Minister allow them to fly this flag of convenience over their farms just like he does over his ships?

Agriculture
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, many people might think that the problems the beef and dairy industry are facing with BSE are restricted to the rural areas. Not so. In the riding I am privileged to serve, Halton, which is only 45 minutes from downtown Toronto, farmers are having a tough time of it.

I would like to urge all my colleagues in the House to listen to what my constituent Bert Stewart, an international expert, had to say about the situation in Halton. He said:

Farmers still need to feed the animals, purchase machinery and tools to take care of their farms, and keep their businesses going. But everything is crazy expensive and there's no money coming in.

Let us support our local farmers and get the borders opened up.

Cree of Northern Quebec
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Toronto Star of Sunday, February 1, 2004, reporter Peter Gorrie quoted Jean Gagné, Ottawa's chief negotiator with the Cree of Northern Quebec as saying that Quebec's recognition of the Cree as a nation has no real significance and is a question of terms.

Such a comment by Mr. Gagné is inappropriate at this point, as well as unfair to all the James Bay Cree. SInce he describes the Cree-Canada file as merely a matter of terms, he will not have anything more to say on this file.

The James Bay Cree no longer trust this federal negotiator, and neither do I. I am calling upon the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs to appoint a new federal negotiator for the Quebec Cree-Canada file.

National Teachers Week
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw my colleagues' attention to the fact that this is National Teachers Week.

All too often, Canada's teachers work in the shadows.

Yet we entrust them with one of the most fundamental tasks in our society: preparing our young people to take responsibility for their own futures, and consequently for the future of this country.

Theirs is no easy task. As well as imparting the knowledge students require to become fully participating members of society, teachers are there to share the joys and sorrows of each and every one of their charges.

As such, they are invaluable allies for all Canadian parents, and those parents are the first to recognize just what a wonderful contribution they make.

On behalf of us all, I salute and thank all of this country's teachers.

Rail Crossings
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 14, 2003, the lives of Rick and Susan Bomack were changed forever when they lost their son in a car-train collision on the main CN line just outside MacGregor, Manitoba.

Almost every day in Canada someone is injured in a car-train accident. Every week someone dies.

The sad fact is that many of these accidents could have been prevented. Like too many of them, Derek Bomack's accident occurred at night at an unmarked crossing. Reduced visibility was a probable factor.

The government must immediately require reflectors on all train cars running on Canadian rail lines. It is inexcusable that any train car should go in for servicing and come out without a reflector attached to it. In particular, rural Canadians should not be treated as collateral damage by the rail industry in this country or by the government.

We cannot restore the life of Derek Bomack, but in his memory we can save the lives of other Canadians.

Heart Month
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this first week of the month, I would like to remind the House that February is Heart Month.

Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of far too many Canadians. I invite my colleagues and the general public to participate in activities organized by their local Heart and Stroke Foundation and to support the various campaigns to raise money for research into these diseases.

Our government has made significant efforts in the past to support the work of researchers, who are doing their best to relieve the suffering of Canadians with heart disease.

These past efforts, and our firm commitment to continue working on this, clearly show that the government definitely has its heart in the right place.

Jacques Lacombe
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, a young Quebecker from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, in my riding, recently accomplished a rather unique feat. Jacques Lacombe, a young orchestra conductor, who is currently the principal guest conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, conducted, for the very first time, six performances of Massenet's “Werther” at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera, the most important opera house in the world.

Many agree that, although he is barely 40 years old, he is one of the world's most promising young conductors of his time and one of the best Quebec has ever seen. Some go so far as to compare him to the famous Karajan, Bernstein, Solti and Kleiber.

My colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois join me in congratulating this unassuming son of a shoe repairman who is now travelling the world and whose achievements showcase, once again, the richness of Quebec's artistic talents. Bravo, Mr. Lacombe.