House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

Topics

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think you will find there is unanimous consent to return to presenting reports from committees.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

June 23rd, 2005 / 10:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts concerning Chapter 2, National Security in Canada, The 2001 Anti-terrorism Initiative: Air Transportation Security, Marine Security, and Emergency Preparedness, of the April 2005 report of the Auditor General of Canada. In accordance with Standing Order 109, your committee requests a government response within 120 days.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with regard to Government Business No. 17, I move:

That the debate be not further adjourned.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30 minute question period. Perhaps those hon. members who wish to ask questions could rise in their places so the Chair has some idea of how many there will be.

I think we will limit questions to about a minute or a minute and a half and then get an answer and go back to the next question. The answers of course will be about a minute long as well, so I think that will ensure as equitable a distribution as I can get in 30 minutes.

We will start the 30 minutes with the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question will not take a minute. It is pretty straightforward. I would ask the government House leader how he defends using closure to ram through his agenda in the dying days of this session, to extend the session for two pieces of legislation that ultimately will not come into effect for quite some time.

Bill C-48, as I explained at length yesterday, will not effectively be in force for at least a year until we see what level of so-called Liberal surplus we have, which, as I explained, Conservatives believe to be overtaxation.

Bill C-38 will ultimately be sitting in the Senate all summer. Why would the government force closure to ram through these two pieces of legislation when it is not going to make any consequential difference?

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say that what I am doing is ensuring that Parliament has an opportunity to entertain questions and to make a decision on two pieces of legislation.

The second point I would make is that it would be ultimately up to this Parliament to decide whether to accept this motion. We are in a minority Parliament. It is not the government that will alone be able to see the success of this motion, so it will be up to parliamentarians in the House to decide whether the extension of this sitting in order to deal with both the budget bill and Bill C-38 is in fact required and whether parliamentarians are willing to do that.

I would say to the hon. member that he should respect as I do, and I am sure he does, the outcome of any vote in this Parliament and that he will adhere to what Parliament decides, because ultimately we are here for debate. Debate is intended to try to change or assert at the end of the day where people's minds actually are on a particular issue and to decide on a question. That is the point of this: to decide on the question.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is what I would call a travesty of democracy. This has been my first term and we are coming to something so significant as to whether or not there is a basis to extend this Parliament. To limit debate on whether that motion should come to the floor on a basis like that is very fundamental, and to try to stop debate on that issue is remarkable, to say the least.

Mr. Speaker, you could only have a further sitting of this House if it were a matter of public interest. Public interest would demand something fairly significant and it would not be Bill C-38, because certainly the nation does not want that bill to pass. The government, under the pretense of trying to make it of public interest, has linked it to Bill C-48, when it had every opportunity to deal with that in this session. There is nothing in Bill C-48 that requires it to be dealt with at this time or requires this sitting of the House to be extended. There is absolutely nothing.

It is the arrogance of this government to try to ram through this House what the public does not want, what is not in the national interest and which has no public interest to it. I ask why the House leader, under these circumstances, would try to limit debate in a democracy that is free, in a democracy where opinion--

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member takes on the same attitude when we have the outcome of the vote on whether this motion should pass or fail. If we are going to have a test of democracy then in fact what should happen is that our parliamentarians in this House should be able to deal with the question and should be able to vote, and Parliament should ultimately be able to decide.

With respect to whether there has been debate or not, with respect to Bill C-38 there have been 28 hours and 20 minutes of debate. With respect to Bill C-48, I think we have seen over the last number of days that the only the party that has been putting up speakers has been the official opposition.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

An hon. member

Wrong.

Extension of Sitting Period
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

It has been putting up the majority of the speakers not because it wants to in fact add to the debate but because it wants to delay the question.

At the end of the day, I think what Parliament needs to do is not only debate issues but also have the opportunity to decide on a question. That in fact is what we have done. We have given the House the opportunity to decide on a question. Parliament will decide.