House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coal.

Topics

International Aid
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, let me first express condolences to the people and families who have been impacted by the disaster in Bangladesh. Canada has always responded to those less fortunate around the world.

It has been reported that the effects have been devastating. Our government responded immediately with $250,000, and yesterday Canada committed $3 million to support recovery and humanitarian aid. We will continue to monitor the reports received over the next days and weeks.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has tabled Bill C-14 to withdraw Canada Post's exclusive privilege of delivering letters outside Canada.

Canada Post is already required to be profitable—as it should be—and it fears, and rightly so, losing a privilege and significant income in order to ensure quality service.

In rural regions like mine, Canada Post is struggling financially to strike a balance between safety issues and mail delivery.

As with local telephone service, the government is acting in favour of the companies and not the general public.

In its obsession with the free market, does the government realize that lower income for Canada Post inevitably means—

Canada Post
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Canada Post
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but I did not hear the end of the hon. member's question.

Nonetheless, I believe she is concerned about the fact that we have to continue to support Canada Post in its efforts to maintain rural service. That is something this House and the government support. We will continue to support Canada Post in its service delivery.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made earlier this day, I invite the honourable members to rise and observe a moment of silence in memory of the Canadian soldiers who have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the past few days.

[A moment of silence observed]

Letter Referred to during Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

In answer to my question, the Minister of Public Safety referenced a letter that I had requested from his office this morning. His office denied to send it out. Since he referenced the letter in the House, I would ask that he table it in the House of Commons.

Unparliamentary Language
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a different point of order.

During question period, the Leader of the Opposition said, and I believe I am quoting here, “the documents tell the truth, but the Prime Minister did not”.

As recently as yesterday, Mr. Speaker, you felt it necessary to give a statement regarding unparliamentary language. Obviously, the Leader of the Opposition did not get the message. Suggesting that a member of the House has lied is clearly out of order. I counted some 40 rulings listed on page 146 of Beauchesne's sixth edition supporting that position.

As is our custom, Mr. Speaker, I believe you should ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw those unfortunate words that he spoke.

Unparliamentary Language
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Leader of the Opposition is not in the House at the moment. He will clearly review Hansard to examine the words that were spoken.

The fact of the matter is we have on many occasions pointed out the gross inconsistencies between what the Conservative government said last spring and what court documents revealed to be true at the time. It will be important to examine the exact record to determine where the truth lies.

Unparliamentary Language
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Chair had reservations at the time the remarks were made, but I noted that the word “lying” was not used. The government House leader in his remarks did point out that that word has been ruled unparliamentary many times, and it was not used.

I will examine the matter. As the House leader for the official opposition has pointed out, he will speak with the Leader of the Opposition and will review the remarks also. If the Leader of the Opposition chooses to do that, he may hear from me in due course.

I will examine the words. I did have reservations at the time.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

November 20th, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege arising out of question period.

My question to the Minister of Finance was about a series of postponed, delayed, cancelled briefings on the alleged arrangement that has been made with the province of Nova Scotia and the federal government on the Atlantic accord. The chair of the Liberal caucus in Nova Scotia, the member for Cape Breton—Canso, asked a month ago for information on what was happening between the two governments.

The meeting was scheduled for 10:30 today and it was cancelled at 10:16. As I indicated in my question, finance officials were there as well waiting for this briefing. It was confirmed last night by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. The reason given for its cancellation was that the legislation has to be tabled.

Our concern is that there are people in Nova Scotia and perhaps elsewhere who know what is in that legislation before parliamentarians know. I want an assurance from the Minister of Finance that nobody will see the final legislation that is going to come before the House before parliamentarians representing the people of Nova Scotia.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I do not see the privilege raised. The Minister of Finance made it quite clear that a briefing will be offered as soon as the bill is introduced in the House. I think that briefing will happen very soon.

If the parties wish to consent to the bill being introduced later today, we could return to routine proceedings and we could offer that briefing later today. I put to the House that, by way of unanimous consent, we return to routine proceedings solely for the purpose of introduction of government bills, if members are prepared to do that.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It seems to me we are getting into a bit of a debate here. It seems to me that briefings and meetings are not a concern of the House.

Is there another question of privilege? The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour is getting up again on the same one.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to make the point that the issue of parliamentary privilege comes out of information given to us by the parliamentary secretary, who told us the reason that we could not have the briefing was that the legislation was not coming into the House.

It was the government that said that was the reason the briefing was delayed. It was not us who said that. We just wanted information on this phantom Atlantic accord about which Nova Scotians are very dubious.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sorry, I do not understand this is a question of privilege. The hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte is rising on a question of privilege.

Cancellation of Briefings on the Atlantic Accord
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, in order to ensure that privilege has not been breached in the House, would the hon. finance minister confirm to all members of the House that the draft legislation has not been seen by any eyes outside his own Department of Finance? Has the draft legislation been transmitted to members of the provincial assembly of Nova Scotia, officials from the Government of Nova Scotia or Conservative members opposite? Please confirm.