House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Response by Minister to Oral Question
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I will review the answer that the hon. member is complaining about and see if there was anything that was unparliamentary in it, and if there was I will get back to the House in due course.

The hon. member for Nepean--Carleton is rising on a question of privilege also.

Freedom of Speech
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the question of privilege raised by the member for Mississauga South in the House of Commons on October 5.

The member for Mississauga South has claimed that he was threatened, that he felt intimidated and that his right of free speech was infringed upon.

Let us review the facts. During my October 4 address before the House of Commons, I pointed out that the Liberal Party was soft on crime. The member for Mississauga South, who is also soft on crime, rose on a point of order to interrupt my remarks. It was the 14th time that he had risen on a point of order in this Parliament.

In that interruption he began to refute my arguments and engage in debate. Your Chair, Mr. Speaker, correctly dismissed the member's intervention as a speech which was masquerading as a point of order.

This is nothing new for that particular member. He has a long history of abusing points of order. He has intervened to make 10 false points of order in the House of Commons. Those are 10 points of order that have been summarily dismissed or ruled out of order by your Chair. This occasion was no different at all.

Mr. Speaker, on the date in question, October 4, the member rose again on another false point of order which your Chair ultimately dismissed. After hearing this intervention from the member and after having been interrupted by another false point of order by the member, I strolled over to the other side of the House, as is my right and as is customary in this place as we can see members doing right now, and I told him that if he continued to interrupt me with false points of order that eventually I would need to raise a few of points of order on him.

However, he spun around in his chair very promptly and said that he felt threatened and intimidated. He then rose in the House of Commons the very next day on a question of privilege and announced that his right to freedom of expression had been robbed and that he was being intimidated into silence.

I find it difficult to imagine how he could have been intimidated into silence when he in fact was speaking in the House of Commons, but somehow he felt that was the case.

There is no basis for the member's question of privilege but in any of these the deciding factor is intent and it is clear that I had no intent of intimidating or threatening the member in any way. It is a logical impossibility that the member could have been silenced given that he has lavished us on two separate occasions with interventions in the House since that alleged threat occurred.

Beyond all of the back and forth, Mr. Speaker, the facts are these. I have done nothing to prevent the member from speaking freely. We know that because he continues to speak. There is no way that I could have obstructed him from carrying out any of his parliamentary duties because he continues to carry out those duties regularly.

Mr. Speaker, has the member given you one single solitary example of a parliamentary function that he has not been able to carry out as a result of my conversation with him on October 4? Has he been unable to call a constituent? Has he been unable to respond to a media question? Has he been unable to rise in the House of Commons and make an intervention? Has he been unable to attend a committee?

The answer to all of these questions is no. In other words, in no way, shape or form have I inhibited his ability to function around the House of Commons and, as such, he is rising again, as has become his custom, and is abusing points of order and questions of privilege for partisan gain.

I will say, in the interest of getting on with business around this place, that if my warnings of a future point of order in any way caused the member to become afraid or intimidated or made him feel as though he could not function around this place for fear that he might experience a point of order, then I apologize to him fully and entirely and I ask him to do the same and rise in his place and apologize for having raised 10 false points of order which have been summarily dismissed by your Chair as invalid.

Mr. Speaker, it is in this spirit of non-partisanship that I offer you my remarks and I thank you for your time.

Freedom of Speech
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member carefully. I will take his points to heart and I accept his apology. Thank you.

Freedom of Speech
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It sounds as though the matter may have concluded. I will review the comments of both hon. members and if there is anything further in terms of intervention required from the Chair, the House will hear from the Chair in due course.

Defence Construction Canada
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table this document.

In accordance with section 8 of the Alternative Fuels Act, I wish to table in this House two copies of the Defence Construction Canada's annual report in both official languages.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 (8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to 39 petitions.

Official Languages
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, I am pleased to table in Parliament, in both official languages, the government's response to the first report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled “Application of the Official Languages Act to ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. following the restructuring of Air Canada”.

Correctional Investigator
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with section 192 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, I am tabling before Parliament, in both official languages, the annual report of the Correctional Investigator for 2005-06.

The Correctional Investigator raises many important issues. We are committed to reviewing and considering these recommendations.

Having said that, I wish to emphasize that I find there is no empirical evidence to systemic discrimination against aboriginals in the corrections system. I visited personally a number of federal institutions and have spent time with aboriginals themselves, individually and in groups. I am confident in the professionalism of the people who work for Correctional Service Canada.

Canada's new government is committed to ensuring an effective and fair federal corrections system that protects Canadians as the overarching priority.

Notice of Motion
Ways and Means
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I wish to table a notice of ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on May 2, as well as explanatory notes.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

Scrutiny of Regulations
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations.

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions between all the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, in relation to its study of Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, eight members of the Standing Committee on National Defence be authorized to travel to Afghanistan, and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.