House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was leader.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present petitions on behalf of constituents.

The petitioners state that on important fundamental social policy issues Parliament should make the decisions, not the courts. They further state that the current legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a single male and a single female should be left in place. They petition Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter, to preserve the current definition of marriage.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and the Salaries Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

March 23rd, 2005 / 3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I would like to remind hon. members that today's debate will be governed by the provisional changes to the Standing Orders which came into effect on March 7, 2005.

Almost all speeches are now followed by a questions and comments period.

For today's debate at report stage of Bill C-30, all members will have a 10 minute period for debate followed by a 5 minute question and comment period.

There is one motion in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-30.

Motion No. 1 will be debated and voted upon.

I will now put Motion No. 1 to the House.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

moved:

That Bill C-30, in Clause 6, be amended by:

(a) adding after line 27 on page 4 the following:

“(f.1) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Deputy Government Whip in the Senate, $5,200;

(f.2) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate, $3,100;

(f.3) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of the Government in the Senate, $6,100;

(f.4) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of the Opposition in the Senate, $5,200;”

(b) by adding after line 3 on page 5 the following:

“(j.1) the member occupying the position of Deputy Whip of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200; ”

(c) by replacing line 6 on page 5 with the following:

“Commons, $35,300;

(k.1) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, unless the member is in receipt of a salary under the Salaries Act or section 62.2 of this Act, $14,300;

(k.2) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, $14,300;”

(d) by adding after line 10 on page 5 the following:

“(m) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200;

(n) each of the members occupying the positions of Chair of the Caucus of the Government and Chair of the Caucus of the Opposition in the House of Commons, $10,100; and

(o) the member occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200.”

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise at third reading of Bill C-30 regarding the salaries of parliamentarians.

First, I want to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for closely reviewing this legislation. I am also pleased that the committee reported on this bill with the support of members—

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The opposition House leader on a point of order.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize to my colleague for interrupting his remarks, but if I heard correctly as I was listening through the translation, it appeared as though he was speaking to third reading of Bill C-30, not to the amendment that you, Mr. Speaker, just read into the record. I wonder if he could clarify that.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I did not catch that one way or another. Perhaps the hon. member would clarify that. We are dealing with the amendments at this time, but obviously the parliamentary secretary can speak to the intent of the bill as well.

Parliament of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the opposition House leader for his comments. Because I know that members are so enthusiastic to give the bill third reading and passage, perhaps I was ahead of myself. The opposition House leader is absolutely correct. We will be addressing the report stage amendments and obviously I will be talking about the very worthy merits of the legislation.

I was saying that I am also delighted the committee reported back with the support of members of the NDP and the official opposition.

All the members know that, currently, parliamentary compensation is tied to compensation for the judiciary. Last September, the government promised that the changes to parliamentary compensation would reflect the average salary increase of Canadians. Bill C-30 follows up on this commitment.

In this bill, changes to parliamentary compensation are tied to the annual average wage settlement index, published by Human Resources and Skills Development. This index tracks annual pay increases in the private sector.

In particular, the index includes over 400 collective agreements for over 800,000 employees across Canada.It is published every February documenting the wage changes of the previous calendar year.

This index is widely regarded as an authoritative measure. It is used by governments, private sector employers and unions, including the Canadian Auto Workers, the Teamsters and the Confédération des syndicats nationaux.

As the government House leader has said before, linking parliamentary compensation to this index is the right thing to do, for three reasons.

First, it is a fair way to ensure that parliamentarians' salaries are adjusted in line with the changes received by Canadians. The former House leader for the official opposition said during second reading debate of this bill that “the private sector wage settlement process is a very good one”. He thinks “Canadians can accept that”. We on this side of the House agree with those sentiments.

Second, the index is a well-known, respected and predictable measure.

Third, members of this House have recognized that we should not be linked to an index that includes the public sector, because we could be in a situation where the government is negotiating compensation levels for public sector unions or other groups or where Parliament must legislate public sector wages. If these negotiations or such legislation were to affect our own salaries, then obviously this would appear to create a conflict of interest.

Given this consideration, we are proposing an index for parliamentary consideration and parliamentary compensation that covers salary changes in the private sector alone.

After the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs reported this bill, it was brought to the government's attention that a number of parliamentary functions were in fact not covered by the Parliament of Canada Act.

I am pleased that the official opposition and the NDP agreed that the deputy House leaders, deputy whips in the House and the Senate and the national caucus chairs receive modest compensation. These positions considerably increase parliamentary responsibilities and should therefore be compensated accordingly.

In conclusion, I want to say that, thanks to this bill, the government is keeping its commitment to delink compensation increases for parliamentarians and judges and, instead, to link them to the average pay increases of Canadians.

At the same time, I believe it is important that decisions on parliamentary compensation take into consideration the opinion of all members of this House. As a result, I am delighted that this bill has received generous support from both the government and opposition members.