House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the arguments put forth by my colleague from the Bloc Québécois. It seems to me that his arguments had nothing to do with supporting the idea that Quebec must hold at least 25% of the seats in the House of Commons. He spoke in favour of Quebec independence instead. He believes that if Quebec was not part of the Canadian federation, it could put all of its resources in one sector or another.

I want to ask the member a very specific question. Where does this 25% figure come from? What is at the core of the resolution by the National Assembly was discussed at the time of the Charlottetown accord. My colleague's party was opposed to that accord. Where does that figure come from? Some could say that it goes back to 1867, but that was for the Senate. A senate is different from a house of representatives. For example, it is as if we applied to the House of Representatives in the United States the same proportions used for each state in the U.S. Senate. The state of Florida would have only 4% of the seats in the House of Representatives. It seems to me that the member and his party are putting forth some pretty relativistic arguments.

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question. I am happy to hear that he felt I gave a speech in favour of Quebec's independence. It is true and I am pleased to be recognized as a sovereignist because that is what I am.

I believe that my colleague misunderstood the essence of my speech, which was a heartfelt appeal from a politician living in rural Quebec. Any politician from rural Canada could have made the same speech if they felt their political weight was slipping away from them. That is exactly what I wanted to say in my speech, but unfortunately, all too often, some members in the House do not listen to what is being said and say whatever they feel like saying.

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Trinity—Spadina, the last census, which was done in 2006, showed me representing over 115,000 residents. By now, I probably represent 130,000 residents in the riding of Trinity—Spadina.

I believe the principle of representation by population is extremely important. Would the member of the Bloc Québécois support the principle of representation by population and increasing the number of seats for the under-represented provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta?

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, as many of my colleagues have been saying all day, we are not opposed to the member's proposal.

We simply want the House of Commons to acknowledge, once and for all, that in 2006 it voted to recognize the Quebec nation. We also want it to acknowledge Quebec's right, as a minority within Canada, to have historic representation so that its weight will not be reduced and it will be adequately recognized in the House. That is all we are asking for in this motion and what we ask for every single day.

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate. First, I would like to mention that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

I will start by reading the motion before us:

That the House denounce the fact that the government seeks to marginalize the Quebec nation by introducing a bill to decrease Quebec’s political weight in the House, and that it affirm that Quebec Members of Parliament, who represent a nation, must hold at least 25 percent of the seats in the House.

An amendment to this motion has been moved, but discussions today will focus on the motion.

I agree with the part of the motion which states that “the government seeks to marginalize”. I would say that it seeks to marginalize every region in the country. The people of New Brunswick are very proud to have an Acadian population and they believe that, through its actions, the government is seeking to marginalize not only the Acadian nation, but also the regions of Canada, including the Maritimes.

I would now like to address the rest of the motion, with which I do not agree. I am a proud federalist. I come from New Brunswick, this country's only bilingual province. I believe in this country, in Canada.

This motion benefits Quebec only and marginalizes the rest of the country. The Bloc Québécois' motion and this government's actions are marginalizing me as a politician from the Maritimes.

Let me explain. Our country was founded in 1867. The four founding provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. If I hear catcalls and it is a joke to talk about the founding of our country, if it is a joke to talk about four founding provinces coming into a deal and having expectations—

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will let members know that there will be an opportunity for questions and comments after the member has done his speech. If members could hold themselves until that time, they can ask whatever question the like of the hon. member.

The hon. member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

Opposition motion—Representation of Quebec in the House of Commons
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Thank you for coming to my rescue. I so needed that, Mr. Speaker.

When I talk about New Brunswick, when I talk about the maritime provinces, I do not need any defence. I can say to anyone that I am a very proud Maritimer, I am a very proud Canadian and I believe in the principles of our country and the ones on which they were founded.

Some of the principles the country was founded on, which came from the four founding partners, were principles of fairness and principles not to marginalize other regions of the country.

I said in French at the beginning of my remarks that I found it disconcerting that the Bloc Québécois members always bring forward motions that would marginalize the rest of Canada. That is what they believe. They do not want to be part of Canada, so they want to marginalize any aspect of Canada. There is a certain honesty in that, but I do not agree with them. I also do not agree, however, with language that comes from the other side with respect to the great federal system that we have or had.

What I think is important to—

Business of the House
Government Orders

April 20th, 2010 / 1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been negotiations among the parties and I believe if you were to seek it, you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Statements by Ministers, pursuant to Standing Order 33, shall be taken up at 3 p.m.

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to move this motion?

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

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

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.