House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was autism.

Topics

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act
Private Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-429 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #152

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act
Private Members' Business

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion lost.

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act
Private Members' Business

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was a bit deterred by how the vote was actually occurring. I would like my vote, which was not recorded during the previous recording of the votes, to show that I was in favour of it, please.

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act
Private Members' Business

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is it agreed that the member's name be added to the list?

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act
Private Members' Business

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Order Paper Question No. 614--Speaker's Ruling
Points of Order
Private Members' Business

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on December 8, 2010, by the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader concerning the length of Order Paper Question No. 614, standing in the name of the member for Honoré-Mercier.

I would like to thank the hon. Parliamentary Secretary for bringing this matter to the attention of the House, as well as the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the members for Honoré—Mercier, Windsor—Tecumseh, and Kitchener—Conestoga for their contributions.

The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader argued that Question No. 614 was too lengthy to meet the definition of “concise”, as required by our rules, and emphasized the difficulty the government would have in responding to so lengthy a question in its current form within the prescribed 45 days.

As all hon. members know, written questions are one of the key tools that members have at their disposal to help them seek detailed information from the government. At the same time, the practice of submitting lengthy written questions has become commonplace, particularly since the implementation of the recommendation of the 1985 report of the Special Committee on the Reform of the House, the McGrath committee, to limit members to a maximum of four written questions on the order paper at any given time.

It is in this context that the parliamentary secretary has raised the issue of what constitutes a “concise” question for the purposes of Standing Order 39(2). The Standing Order confers upon the Clerk of the House, acting for the Speaker:

...full authority to ensure that coherent and concise questions are placed on the Notice Paper in accordance with the practices of the House, and may, on behalf of the Speaker, order certain questions to be posed separately.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, at page 520, specifies that:

Since questions must be coherent and concise, the Clerk may split a question into two or more questions if it is too broad or if it contains unrelated subquestions.

Speaker Parent added further clarification to what defines coherent and concise when, in relation to the procedural acceptability of a written question, he pointed out, on February 8, 1999, at page 11532 of Debates, that:

The issue was not the length of the question but rather the fact that it contained unrelated sub questions.

Indeed, when ruling on a similar matter on October 18, 2006, at page 3934 of the Debates, I found that very interpretation to still be valid and in keeping with our practice, noting that:

...the term concise in Standing Order 39(2) has evolved since this rule was first adopted. It is no longer interpreted to mean short or brief but rather comprehensible. Undoubtedly, this practice has evolved as a means of getting around the limit of four questions per member.

I also emphasized that in order for a question with multiple subquestions to be found admissible, there must be a common element connecting the various parts. Thus, we see that conciseness is not a matter of length, but rather of breadth and the absence of unrelated subquestions.

When written questions are submitted to the Journals Branch for inclusion in the notice paper, they are examined with a view to ensuring that all of their parts are interrelated, that they are not too broad, and that they meet various other criteria for written questions.

Because of the concerns raised with respect to Question No. 614, I took it upon myself to review it with care in light of how our practice has evolved in this regard. I am satisfied that its subquestions are indeed interrelated and that therefore there were no procedural impediments as to form and content in placing the question on the notice paper.

In short, the scope of this question is sufficiently narrow to satisfy established procedural requirements. Accordingly, the question will be allowed to stand in its present form on the order paper.

I thank hon. members for their attention to this matter.

Message from the Senate
Private Members' Business

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed certain bills.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

December 15th, 2010 / 3:35 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski 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 16 petitions.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two reports.

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the following report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the visit of the Defence and Security Committee held in Denmark, Greenland and Iceland, August 30 to September 4, 2010.

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the following report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the visit of the Science and Technology Committee held in Paris, Aix-en-Provence and Toulon, France, from September 27-30, 2010.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association on its participation in the association's 37th annual meeting held in Edmonton and Calgary from August 29 to September 4, 2010.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the reports of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, concerning its participation in several events: first, the 63rd convention of the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from September 30 to October 2, 2010; second, the seminar on the role of women parliamentarians in including a gender perspective in the preparation of national budgets, and on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which was held in Lomé, Togo, on October 6 and 7, 2010; and third, the seminar on including a gender perspective in the preparation of national budgets: putting it into practice, which was held in Bitola, Macedonia, on November 4 and 5, 2010.

Status of Women
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, in relation to the training mission in Afghanistan and its compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

The committee recommends that the government ensure that the benchmarks currently being developed for any future training mission in Afghanistan are compliant with United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Foreign Affairs and International Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development entitled, “The Referendum on Sudan: Where to after 2011?”

This report is a result of the study conducted by the committee with respect to the implications and ramifications of the referendum vote that will take place in Sudan in January 2011.

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-608, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (failure to inform).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill on behalf of all of my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois. This bill would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence not to report physical or sexual abuse against a child to the proper authorities. It refers to minors under the age of 18. We hope to target cases in which someone witnesses such abuse in his or her immediate surroundings or someone in a position of authority within an organization, who, in order to protect that organization, refuses to report either physical or sexual abuse.

It is my hope that this bill will easily reach consensus in the House and that it will pass in order to protect children and the victims of physical and sexual abuse.

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