House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. House leader for his suggestion. As a member of the board, he can bring these matters forward to his heart's content at the meetings and, as chair, I would be more than happy to accommodate him there.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move: That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill C-61, An Act to provide for the taking of restrictive measures in respect of the property of officials and former officials of foreign states and of their family members, be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the government House leader to tell us why they did not go further—why they did not ask that Bill C-61 be passed at all stages?

I said this during question period: the government does not need this bill in order to freeze Ben Ali's assests, but I think it would send an extremely important message to all of the dictators who are currently using Canada, Quebec and even Montreal—we saw that in the news yesterday—to squander money that belongs to various nations.

We would have liked to see a motion asking that Bill C-61 be passed at all stages and sent to the Senate.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge that the Bloc has certainly been co-operative in wanting to see this bill passed expeditiously but, regrettably, we could not find the unanimous consent of the House. However, I do thank all members of the House for allowing it to go to committee expeditiously so that it can be looked into.

Obviously, with respect to freezing private property, it is a very serious issue. We look forward to its consideration in committee in short order.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that we on this side of the House want to establish is that there will be the five-year parliamentary review and, with that in mind, I wonder if we can get a response on that. We would be supportive but we want to know the government's response on that.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, there were consultations with the parties on this important legislation and I believe both the Liberals and the New Democrats requested that the bill be amended with respect to having a built-in legislative review. On behalf of the government, I would indicate my support for that initiative.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to stand in the way of the progress of legislation but it would be useful if we had time to read the legislation and perhaps hear one speaker from each party. I gather that there may be unanimous consent, and I will not hold it back, but it should be noted that it would be useful to at least have one hour of debate before we approve a bill in principle.

Bill C-61--Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the interventions and discussions with my colleagues. At this time I would like to withdraw the question. There will be further discussions with the parties.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of question period.

In response to a question, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans indicated that it was the first time a question had been posed by the official opposition critic. I would think that she would be one of the least likely ministers from the government bench to purposely mislead the House.

I would ask that she check Hansard and maybe speak with her parliamentary secretary. She may want to correct the record because it certainly was not the first time a fisheries issue has been raised by me. Maybe she would like to clarify the record on that.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

A dispute of the facts is not something the Speaker normally gets involved in, as the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso is well aware. This does appear to be a dispute about facts, whether or not there was a question asked before.

I am afraid my memory is not great for these things. I hear so many questions, I cannot remember what they are all about. I am sure the hon. member can check the record and inform the minister as necessary by sending excerpts from Hansard.

Statements by Minister for International Cooperation regarding KAIROS
Privilege
Oral Questions

March 3rd, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am continuing a question of privilege and I appreciate the indulgence you gave us prior to the break with respect to responding to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

I was away in the earlier part of this week and my good colleague from Guelph responded on my behalf. I do not want to be repetitive with respect to many of the things that he has already said.

I would just like to finish off by saying that with respect to my question in question period today the key point was that a minister is to answer, honestly and accurately, questions put to them in the House. That is the Prime Minister's code of conduct with respect to ministers responding in the House and, indeed, in order paper questions.

One of the key points that seems to have been lost in this whole exercise is the response, particularly in French.

“...KAIROS was recently refused funding as it was determined that KAIROS' 2009 program proposal did not meet the government's priorities.”

In other words, it was the agency that determined that it was not going to be receiving its funds.

Mr. Speaker, as you have been privilege to, and I put the word “privilege” in quotation marks, the many questions that have been put forward in the House, now exceeding some 90 questions, you will know that the response to the enquiry of the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine is not an accurate response and speaks to the issue of not answering honestly and accurately in the House, both in written and verbal forms.

The other point I wish to draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, before saying that I am prepared to move the motion in the event you make a prima facie finding is that after the hon. parliamentary secretary intervened and made his argument, there were talking points issued from the Conservative caucus, which basically said that the minister was not present either for the signing or the insertion of the famous “not”. It is, once again, one more version of the facts.

I have not been able to keep track of all of the versions that the government has put forward, but it certainly falls far short of the standard set by the Prime Minister for his ministers, namely, that questions be answered fully, forthrightly, honestly and accurately.

I appreciate the efforts on behalf of my colleagues particularly on this side of the House to speak to this serious issue and I look forward to the Speaker's response.

Statements by Minister for International Cooperation regarding KAIROS
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:15 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, once again, I will point out to my hon. colleague and, of course, yourself, who needs no refresher on this point of privilege, that the normal course of action in Parliament is that when a point of privilege is raised by a member of the opposition, interventions are then made by all parties who wish to contribute to the discussion and a considered response is made by the government. That usually is the end of it, until such time, of course, as the Speaker makes a ruling.

In this particular case, we have had initial interventions from the member for Scarborough—Guildwood and others on the opposition ranks. I, on behalf of our government, made a response. Then there was a further intervention by the member for Guelph on behalf of the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, which precipitated my making a further response to his response and now there is yet another intervention.

We have all said quite honestly and sincerely that we would like an early ruling from you, Mr. Speaker, but if members opposite continue to make interventions and force us to respond, your ruling will be delayed exponentially. I wish that we could get some clarification as to the normal course of proceedings when these points of privilege are raised so that we do not have continuous, subsequent and consequential interventions from the opposition.

I would suggest that if members are not prepared to make an accurate and fulsome intervention initially, they should not be asked to take up government House time by making subsequent interventions. It only stands to reason that their initial question of privilege should contain all of the information required.

Statements by Minister for International Cooperation regarding KAIROS
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to point out that I do not wish to respond to the response.