House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the hon. member for Delta--Richmond East and the hon. member for Elmwood--Transcona for their comments, and other hon. members who earlier raised the point. I am more than happy to come back with a more detailed ruling in respect of this matter.

However, to respond promptly to the comments of the hon. member for Elmwood--Transcona's about question period, if he checks the letter from the Ethics Commissioner, he makes it very clear that he is unable and has no power to carry out an investigation in respect of the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It was for that reason that I allowed questions concerning the chief of staff because he is not and cannot be subject to an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner.

I was trying to be fair to hon. members. I recognize that there is a tie-in with other people but the questions did not do that tie-in. They stuck with the one person. Therefore, I do not know how, by enforcing what in effect is a standing order of the House because the appendix is there to the standing orders, I can say that those questions are not allowed. Had the questions concerned the minister, I think I would have intervened. Had they concerned the allegations directly that dealt with the taping per se, I would have intervened. However, they did not.

That is why what happened today happened today. I was listening quite attentively to the questions.

I thank the hon. members for their remarks and I will come back to the House with further clarification that I hope will help particularly the hon. member for Delta--Richmond East with the questions he raised.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this point of order has to do with question period and the questioning by the member for Nepean--Carleton which dealt with a matter which the Speaker ruled out of order in terms of the concern about either impugning motive or attributing a wrongdoing to a member of this place or the other place. You ruled his question out of order.

The matter was raised again by the member in his questions this past Friday in Hansard. Although the second question was permitted, in challenge, the Speaker undertook to look at the matter since there had been evidence at a committee the prior day which in my view contradicted what the member included in his statements.

Today again we have had these questions which directly or indirectly attack the integrity of a member of the other place. There is evidence on the table, including legal letters.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that before any further questions on this matter as they relate to a member of the other place be entertained, the evidence provided to the committee be looked at and if it is found that the substance of the question the member has raised subsequently in fact contradicts information, or he actually contradicted evidence that was given, that he deliberately continued to impugn motive.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you simply to look at the evidence that was given to the member and to all members in regard to this so that there be no further questions here about the legality of any payments, et cetera, all of which directly tie into the question of integrity of a member of the other place.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only member in the House who seems to be confused about the evidence is that member over there who just spoke. In fact, this was actually reported in numerous newspapers. The Minister of Public Works conceded in committee that the law, section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act, was in fact contravened. He furthermore actually said that the deal was not in compliance with section 14. He did this on numerous occasions.

It is all recorded. My questions were actually shared in advance with the Clerk of the House. I confirm that there were no problems whatsoever with them. They fall within all the rules.

Finally, this matter is very important. The member is asking you to silence debate in the House on a $100 million deal. He has called on you to do that, Mr. Speaker. That is a serious attack on our democratic right to speak in the House and to criticize the operations of the Government of Canada.

I would ask that you stand in the House of Commons, Mr. Speaker, and do what you know to be right, which is to wholeheartedly renounce any attempt by a government member to silence debate on what is a very important issue of corruption in the Liberal Party and in that government.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Nepean--Carleton knows that I clarified at committee last week that in fact our department took action and communicated with Alexis Nihon in written form through a letter that actually asks that the firm demonstrate its compliance with section 25.10 of the lease. That section refers to section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

The hon. member knows that is what I said. That is different from what he is inferring. In fact, the hon. member ought to also be aware, because we told him at committee that section 14 has been repealed. There is a new Senate code of conduct supported in fact by many of the Conservative members of the Senate.

If he has a complaint as to the conduct of a member of the other place, he ought to speak to the House leadership of the Conservative Party within the Senate and perhaps they can advance that complaint to the ethics commissioner in the Senate. That is up to him. I would be interested to see the response of the Conservative leadership in the Senate on this kind of question.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in fact the Minister of Public Works was very explicit when he said that this deal was “not in compliance with section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act”. Those records are very clear. They are caught on audiotape by the House of Commons. He cannot deny that.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I think I have heard enough on this point.

There seems to be a dispute. I would advise that the hon. Minister of Public Works and the hon. member for Nepean--Carleton might want to sit down with the hon. member for Mississauga South and go through the committee transcript and read what it says and get all the words right and see if there is agreement on this. That might be easier.

The Speaker sitting here during question period is not supposed to know everything that happened in a committee and what was said here and what was said there and then figure out that the question relates to this or that.

I listened to the question as it was put in the House. I did not think the question contravened the Standing Orders. How the Speaker is to divine that the question is concerning a member of the other house when it does not say so is the difficulty that I am confronted with.

I sympathize with the member for Mississauga South, but I think if the members got together and looked at the transcript and figured out what language was used, it might temper the questions and the answers in future which would make it easier for all hon. members, not just the Speaker.

I will look into the matter and if necessary, I will get back to the House. I urge hon. members to show judicious restraint in the phrasing of questions and of course answers.

Information Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

June 6th, 2005 / 3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour, pursuant to Section 38 of the Access to Information Act, to lay upon the Table the report of the Information Commissioner for the period of April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to six petitions.

Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Western Arctic
Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-56, an act to give effect to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Tax Treatment Agreement.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Bank Act
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Western Arctic
Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew for the Minister of Finance

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-57, an act to amend certain acts in relation to financial institutions.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

In accordance with its order of reference of Monday, October 18, 2004, your committee considered Bill C-2, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, and agreed on Thursday, June 2, 2005 to report it with amendments.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Health.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and a motion adopted by the committee on Thursday, June 2, your committee recommends that the government immediately ban bulk exports of prescription drugs, with the exception of those produced in Canada for export.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities on the provisions of Bill C-280, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, employment insurance account and premium rate setting, and another act in consequence.

A majority of the committee supported the need to refer the bill to the Speaker for another ruling with respect to the need for a royal recommendation.

We know the Speaker has ruled on one aspect of the bill which is designed to set up an independent EI commission. We believe that a massive transfer, $45 billion of public funds of this type, inevitably involves a royal recommendation.

Even changing the nature of the commission has important implications. Moving the commission outside of government, changing the roles of commissioners involves expense. We are concerned about the staffing of the independent commission. Will the independent commission draw on the tens of thousands of employees at HRSD and what are the financial implications of that? We urge, Mr. Speaker, that you look at the transcripts, as I know you will, and look again at the need for a royal recommendation for this piece of legislation.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have some very incisive comments with respect to the need for a royal recommendation. I would be happy to make them now or perhaps you would prefer to let routine proceedings finish and then I could briefly get up on a point of order at the end of routine proceedings.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Maybe we had better go ahead with routine proceedings because the incisive remarks might take a few minutes, I sense.