House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drug.

Topics

Elections Canada
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, RCMP officials have said publicly that it is not an RCMP investigation. They have referred all calls to Elections Canada. They have indicated they were asked to assist by Elections Canada in executing an Elections Canada mandate.

We understand it is in relation to the issue of the campaign financing questions and our approach on spending, which is the subject of a lawsuit we have initiated with Elections Canada.

We are quite confident of our case. We are quite confident of our practices. We continue to stand by that and will in the future.

Justice
Oral Questions

April 15th, 2008 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the party--

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. We have to be able to hear the question. The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville has the floor. We will have some order, please.

Perhaps the hon. member for Bourassa and the hon. member for Fredericton could have a Valium. We have to be able to hear the question of the hon. member.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Winnipeg the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice unveiled more measures the government is taking to protect Canadians from crime, tough new provisions to combat auto theft. Yet, some were critical of the new measures, saying they do not go far enough to address petty auto theft and dangerous joyriding.

What can the Minister of Justice tell us about the history of the bill and other efforts of the government to deal with auto theft?

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the facts are simple. Every three minutes a car is stolen in this country and it costs Canadians over $1.2 billion. That is why the government is taking real action to protect Canadians against this very serious crime.

This is in contrast to the Liberals and their soft on crime approach. They recently gutted the private member's bill on auto theft by getting rid of the mandatory jail terms. That is their approach. Our message to car thieves is clear: The free ride is over.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

That will bring to a conclusion the question period for today.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to table the audit performed by the University of Calgary audit services, which I referred to in my question during question period today, and which clearly demonstrates the kind of fraud that was ongoing in the last election campaign.

I seek unanimous consent so Canadians can know the truth.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Ottawa South have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I now recognize the hon. member for Joliette, who rises on a point of order.

Royal recommendation—Bill C-490
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the claims the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform made in his point of order of April 8, 2008, I would like to review the arguments he cited to argue against the need for a royal recommendation to allow for a vote on Bill C-490 at third reading.

With regard to royal recommendation, s. 54 of the Constitution Act, 1867 states the following:

It shall not be lawful for the House of Commons to adopt or pass any Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill for the Appropriation of any Part of the Public Revenue, or of any Tax or Impost, to any Purpose that has not been first recommended to that House by Message of the Governor General in the Session in which such Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill is proposed.

Clearly any bill that would establish a new program requiring monies from the public treasury requires a royal recommendation. We all agree on that. It is based on the principle of responsible government.

As for the matter of procedural principle, the Chair must examine the notion of appropriation that is referred to in section 54 and that has always been debated in this House. The Robert dictionary defines appropriation as “taking possession of, ownership of”. Yet the aim of this bill is quite the opposite of a measure requiring a royal recommendation. Instead of assuming ownership of money from the public purse, the bill states that this money belongs to seniors and not to the government.

The spirit of the Constitution Act, 1867 must be understood in such a way that a distinction is made between the creation of a program that requires new public funds and a bill that forces the government to pay money back to people who never consented to giving it to them in the first place. That is precisely the case in the guaranteed income supplement file and Bill C-490.

Let us be clear. The people affected by this bill should have received the amounts requested. If they had applied for them the first year they were entitled to them, that money would in fact have been paid. The government deliberately kept seniors in the dark, hoping that most of them would not assert their rights and counting on the fact that this misappropriation of funds would not be reimbursed retroactively.

It is ridiculous that the government can put money owing into the public treasury but cannot take money out for spending that should have taken place, but did not.

In closing, it is appalling to watch the Conservatives play politics by raising this point of order. When the Conservatives were on the opposition side they joined with the Bloc Québécois in calling for full retroactivity of the money owed to seniors under the guaranteed income supplement program. This was even part of their election platform.

Since they have been in power, they have changed their tune when they had the chance to take action. Seniors in Quebec will remember the Conservatives' broken promises, as will all Quebeckers.

I am convinced that the argument that has just been made will ensure that Bill C-490 will not require a royal recommendation. We could then proceed to a vote on this bill at third reading stage, for the good of our seniors and social justice.

Royal recommendation—Bill C-490
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Joliette for his remarks.

I will now turn the floor over to the hon. member for Ottawa Centre, who would also like to rise on a point of order.

Comments during Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During the response to a question from the member for Ottawa South, the environment minister suggested that the member for Ottawa Centre was not aware of what was going on because perhaps he was wearing his tinfoil hat a little too tight.

I just want the Minister of the Environment to clarify which member he was referring to and to assure him that the only hats I have in my cupboard are ones for the Ottawa Senators.

Comments during Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have great esteem for the member for Ottawa Centre and while I would accuse him of many things, I have no evidence of him ever wearing a tinfoil hat. If in any way, shape or form I misspoke, I say to the great member for Ottawa Centre that I apologize.