House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, as a government we not only have a right to change legislation, we have a responsibility to deliver on our promises.

Farmers have earned the right to market their own grain, whether on an open market or through a voluntary Canadian wheat board.

The director of the Wheat Board said today as he resigned:

The CWB’s decision this week to launch a legal challenge against the Federal Government over the proposed changes to the CWB ACT...is simply wrong.

That says it all.

Affordable Housing
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, homelessness and the lack of affordable housing are not just big city problems. In my riding of Trois-Rivières, the Le Havre shelter does not have enough beds to meet the demand. I would like to congratulate all the community organizations that have become involved and offered their assistance, but it is only a short-term solution.

When will this government take care of families in need and adopt a long-term strategy to provide Canadians with affordable housing?

Affordable Housing
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, two years ago we extended the five-year program for housing and homelessness. Through our economic action plan we have 14,000 projects under way to build, or renovate existing, affordable housing operations.

Unfortunately, we did that in spite of the NDP, because that party voted against every one of these initiatives to help people get the housing they deserve.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are true believers in the abolition of the firearms registry.

In addition to abolishing the registry, now they want to destroy all its records. This would prevent Quebec, which has asked for the data, from salvaging a tool that saves lives, a tool that has cost nearly $2 billion in public money—part of that from Quebec, a tool the Conservatives now want to trash. What a waste.

Does the Conservative government, which brags about its openness toward Quebec, intend to reply to the request by Quebec's public safety minister to have the data returned, or will it again thumb its nose at the unanimous will of the National Assembly of Quebec?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, our position has not changed. We made an election promise to abolish this expensive and ineffective long gun registry. We have a bill before Parliament, and I hope that the opposition members will support us, because we feel that there is a consensus among Canadians to have effective measures to fight crime. This registry has not prevented criminals from obtaining firearms.

The House resumed from October 25 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Canadian Wheat Board
Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being 3:11 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion.

Call in the members.

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

Vote #45

Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion defeated.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

October 26th, 2011 / 3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

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

During question period today, the member for Winnipeg Centre quoted this member as saying something that I categorically did not say. I would like him to table the document that he is referring to where that quote was made, as well as the source and the time that he is referring to for the quote he put forward.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to. I appreciate the opportunity to table the time, the location, and the date; in fact, the member can go onto YouTube right now and watch the entire movie. It was the April 14 all candidates' debate for the federal election campaign.

I could read the quote again if he likes, if he wants to double-check: “The Canadian Wheat Board should be dis--”

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Wascana is rising on a point of order.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am rising to seek clarification from the Chair with respect to an incident that occurred in question period today. A very specific question was addressed by a Liberal member to the chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

The chair was pre-empted from answering the question by the intervention of the Minister of Veterans Affairs. I would point out that the question did not pertain to the responsibility of the government or the minister. The question related to the work of the committee, which would be under the purview of the chair and the members of the committee.

I am seeking clarity from you, Mr. Speaker, about the proper procedure in this sort of matter. Is it now permissible in the House for ministers to effectively muzzle the chairs of committees and impose on committees the views of the government? We always take the position in the House that committees are masters of their own affairs, that they determine the time of meetings, the witness lists and the order of business. The work before the committee is under the control of the committee.

If it becomes permissible for ministers simply to pre-empt all that--to take that responsibility away from the chair and to place it under the minister--then I think we have undergone a rather profound change in our long-held traditions with respect to the proper functioning of our committees.

Mr. Speaker, I seek your clarification on that matter, because it is very important to the integrity of how our committees function.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if I may be of assistance, your predecessor, Speaker Milliken, set out quite clearly what the practice is in circumstances like this. On February 7, 2008, there was a question addressed to a chair of a standing committee. I think that happened twice, and the government House leader at the time responded. The Speaker, Mr. Milliken, advised clearly that the role of the Speaker is to “...take a look at those who are standing to answer and choose who is going to answer”.

When that question came, I looked very carefully and saw that only one individual was rising to answer, so I believe you responded appropriately and in accordance with the practice that had been established and articulated clearly by Speaker Milliken.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think we need to be clear. When the chair of a committee is asked a question, it is none of the government's business; it concerns the committee. If ministers can now muzzle committee chairs, what is the point of having parliamentary committees? We need to be careful. We do not want to set a dangerous precedent.