House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was self-employed.

Topics

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 426 will be answered today.

Question No. 426
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

How much will the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax for the province of Manitoba cost the average taxpayer in Manitoba for each of the following expenditures: (a) funerals; (b) travel; and (c) purchase of new home?

Question No. 426
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba has not adopted the federal harmonized sales tax. A decision to adopt the federal harmonized sales tax in the province of Manitoba rests with the provincial government of Manitoba. This would include decisions surrounding key design elements.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if a supplementary response to Question No. 320, originally tabled on September 14, 2009, could me made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 320
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

With respect to sole-source contracting over the last five years undertaken by, or on behalf of, each department or Crown agency: (a) what was the total amount of such contracting, on an annual basis; (b) what was the amount and duration of each contract, (i) who so authorized the contracts, (ii) which contracts were amended, (iii) how were they amended, and what justification was given for amending each contract; (c) in each instance where the value of the contract exceeded $25,000, what was the business case for doing so; and (d) what audits were undertaken in relation to any sole-sourced contracts, (i) what was the date, title, authorship and cost of each audit, (ii) which ones raised concerns over the value for money taxpayer received, (iii) what concerns were raised and what recommendations were made, (iv) did any result in criminal charges and, if so, (v) which ones?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2009-10
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Before calling orders of the day I wish to return to the point of order raised yesterday by the hon. member for Wascana. The message transmitting the supplementary estimates (B) for 2009-10, presented yesterday by the President of the Treasury Board was indeed in the proper form and signed by Justice Thomas Cromwell in his capacity as deputy to Her Excellency the Governor General.

Bill C-280--Employment Insurance Act
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

November 5th, 2009 / 10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on June 3, 2009, the Deputy Speaker ruled on Bill C-280, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (qualification for and entitlement to benefits), as follows:

Bill C-280...proposed changes to the employment insurance program that include lowering the threshold for becoming a major attachment claimant to 360 hours, setting benefits payable to 55% of the average weekly insurable earnings during the highest paid 12 weeks....

It is abundantly clear to the Chair that such changes to the employment insurance program...would have the effect of authorizing increased expenditures from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in a manner and for purposes not currently authorized.

On June 10, 2009, Bill C-280 was adopted at second reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

On November 3, 2009, during clause-by-clause consideration of the bill the member for Chambly—Borduas moved an amendment to clause 5 of Bill C-280 to increase the weekly benefits payable to a claimant from 55% of the average weekly insurable earnings to 60% of the average weekly insurable earnings.

A further increase to the benefits payable from 55% to 60% of the average weekly insurable earnings would require a royal recommendation and therefore is out of order.

That is why when the amendment was moved to the chair of the committee the committee chair stated:

[T]his...money...would normally require royal recommendation. This would be out of order but...we're going to vote on this anyway because it's come before us.

The amendment to clause 5 was adopted.

Page 655 of Marleau and Montpetit states that amendments requiring a royal recommendation are not admissible in committee.

In particular Marleau and Montpetit states:

An amendment must not offend the financial initiative of the Crown. An amendment is therefore inadmissible if it imposes a charge on the Public Treasury, or if it extends the objects or purposes or relaxes the conditions and qualifications as expressed in the Royal Recommendation.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I submit that the amendment should be struck from the report and the bill should be deemed to have been reported from committee without amendment.

Bill C-280--Employment Insurance Act
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are two points I would like to make in response to the hon. member's comments. The committee's amendment seems perfectly in order, for two reasons. First, the bill that was before the committee and that we are discussing today would already require spending for the 360-hour eligibility threshold, as we know. Adding an amendment to increase benefits from 55% to 60% respects a principle that has already been accepted, allowing the House to examine a bill through the committee, which reports back to the House. That is my first point.

My second point is that we must remember that, two years ago, this House voted in favour of keeping the employment insurance fund separate from the consolidated revenue fund. The EI fund itself must cover any additional costs generated by these new measures.

With all due respect for your previous rulings, Mr. Speaker, we sincerely believe that when it comes to improving employment insurance benefits, these measures should not require royal recommendation as such, but should be the result of a majority decision made here by all parliamentarians. That way, once the House has spoken, it will be considered law.

Bill C-280--Employment Insurance Act
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to comment on this point of order.

The government says that this amendment requires a royal recommendation and that you must rule on that. I am sure you know this, but I would still like to remind you that the committee is master of its own proceedings. This was decided in committee. The House already passed the bill at second reading and referred it to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The House agreed to refer the bill to committee even though the government was already arguing that a royal recommendation was required.

However, we have an opportunity to study the bill and to work on it before bringing back here. If you have to rule on this, I think you should do it when the bill is at third reading stage. You will then be able to look at the bill as a whole. Otherwise, you will be interfering with the work of the committee, even though the practice has always been that committees are masters of their own proceedings.