House of Commons Hansard #190 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

December 3rd, 2012 / noon

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I move that, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-45, in clause 321, be amended by adding, after line 13, on page 291, the following: (2.1) The addition of the navigable waters listed below is deemed to be in the public interest and the governor in council shall by regulation, as soon as it is reasonably practicable after the day on which this act receives royal assent, add those navigable waters to the schedule, including with respect to lakes their approximate location and latitude and longitude, and with respect to rivers and riverines the approximate downstream and upstream points, as well as a description of each of those lakes, rivers and riverines, and where more than one lake, river or riverine exists with the same name indicated in the list below, the Governor in Council shall select one to be added, namely:

Lac du Gros Morne, Emily Creek, Pendleton Lakes, Lac du Canard, Fifteen Mile Creek, George Creek, Petit lac des Chevaux, Upper Gimlet Lake, Tatisno Creek, Lac Lise, Healey Lake, Trapper Creek, Lac Boomerang, South Riske Creek, Grand lac Rouleau, Ferrier Lake, Charlie Chief Creek, Lac Walter, Slop Lake, Knife Creek, Petit lac du Rat Musqué, Lunch Lake, San Jose River, Lac de la Bouderie, Twenty Mile Creek, Hendrix Creek, Lac Long, Petitot River, Rivière Yamaska Nord, Hopian Lake, Sand Creek, Lac Blanc, Francis Creek, Taltzen Lake, Lac Bellevue, Three Mount Bay, Genlyd Creek, Grand lac Marlow, Davis Lake, Holte Creek, Ruisseau de la Belle Rivière, Hilltop Lake, Morrisey Lake, Lac Faudeux, Toronto Lake, Skeena River, Lac des Chasseurs, Moss Lake, Sandell River, Lac de la Ligne, Carafel Lake, West Road (Blackwater) River, Ruisseau Bonhomme, Partridge Lake, Peter Aleck Creek, Lac Dupire, Lipsy Lake, Pitka Creek, Lac Beaver, Grass Lake, Fiftyseven Creek, Lac des Érables, Minnow Lake, Ormond Creek, Lac Fortmac, Black Sturgeon Lake, Ling Creek, Lac de la Crute, Alexander Lake, Bulkley River, Lac Côme, Tompkins Lake, Red Rock Creek, Lac Mikwasau, Little Boulder Lake, American Creek, Lac Vert, White Spruce Creek, Lac Rock, Porter Lake, Lussier River, Lac de la Montagne, MacFarlane River, Nome Creek, Lac Loan, Talbot Creek, Alix Lakes, Ellis Creek, Coglistiko River, Rivière Nouvelle, Betula Lake, Porcupine Lake, Lac Clapier, Grass Creek, Kwanika Creek, Lac à Florant, Boffin Lake, Cornwall Creek, Lac Simard, June Lake, Fortress Lake, Lac Bass, Bolton Creek, Conkle Lake, McCuaig Lake, Lac Ouimet, Larder Lake, Kaiser Bill Lake, Lac du Cerf, Turner Lake, Lac Briend, Pistol Lake, Wasley Creek, Lac Sam, Alexander Lake, Petite rivière Rimouski, Lyn Creek, Lac Otter, Misema River, Keily Creek, Lac Alfred, Flora Lake, Lac du Pylône, Twin Birch Lake, Swamp Creek, Lac à Théodore, Paulson Lake, Lac Sept Milles, Sydney Creek, Lac Doré, McKenna Lake, Cambridge Creek, Lacs Daviault, Chapleau River, Lac de Boue, Grassy Lake, Jackson Lake, Lac du Pont de Cèdre, Walker Creek, Lac Watson, Suez Pit, South Albert Creek, Lac Albanel, Hand Lake, Lac Verrier, Burgess Lake, Thomas Creek, Rivière Chibouet, South Nation River, Chapperon Creek, Petit lac du Castor, Brewery Lake, Étang Irving, Dorothy Lake, Ramhorn Creek, Lac Savignon, Wilson Lake, Durney Creek, Lac Bixley, Swartman Lake, Red Deer Creek, Lac Petasoon,

Sandcherry Creek, Fern Creek, Salmon Arm, Indian River, Lac à L'Aéroplane, Two Island Lake, Etsho Creek, Lac des Robin, Hemlock Lake, Selman Creek, Lac Perdu, Kilpecker Creek, Kitza Creek, Lac Tourville, Hub Lake, Soo River, Anders Lake, Suschona Creek, Rivière Bourlamaque, Ambrose Lake, Big Bar Creek, Lac à Dick, Fullerton Lake, Meldrum Creek, Lac Carbert, Vrooman Creek, Troutline Creek, Lac du Grand Homme, Jawbone Lake, Spahomin Creek, Lac Pougnet, Laval Lake, Pulley Creek, Lac Roy, Rivière Escuminac, Lac Ti-Jean, Lac Carvel, Lac Numéro Trois, Lac Rouge, Lac Secondon, Fullerton Lake, Donaldson Lake, Steed Lake, Clay Lake, Port Darlington, Mackay Lake, Bat Lake, Kettle Lake, The Cut, Pirie Lake, Wood River, Grant Creek, Halden Creek, Jarvis Lakes, Chipesia Creek, Klicho Creek, Eleven Mile Creek, Hewson Lake, Roe Lake, Pulley Creek, Spahomin Creek, Troutline Creek, Akehurst Lake, Little Bobtail Lake, Scott Creek, Hemp Creek, Kuthai Lake, Webster Creek, Orren Creek—

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member seems to have a very lengthy list. Usually in these types of situations the motion is put to the House to see if there is consent and then, if there is consent, to move on.

I am going to stop the member there, first to see if there is consent for the motion to be moved—

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I am somewhat confused and I would seek some clarity on your most recent decision.

My hon. friend from Halifax was in the process of moving a unanimous consent motion.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

There is no consent.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

I will thank the Minister of Public Safety for his comments.

As the Speaker well knows, there is very clear direction to the House when a member is in the process of moving a unanimous consent motion. Some have been quite lengthy and complex in their nature. My friend is seeking to amend the omnibus legislation Bill C-45, which removes many tens of thousands of lakes and rivers from the protection of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. The House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which all members know well, and should know page 590 very well, says:

....a Member wishing to waive the usual notice requirement before moving a substantive motion would ask the unanimous consent of the House “for the following motion”, which is then read in extenso.

This is an important part of the instruction given to this House. After the motion has been read in extenso,

The Speaker then asks if the House gives its unanimous consent to allow the Member to move the motion.

It is impossible for the House to make a decision on a motion that has not yet been fully read. That is clearly the direction that has been given to this House.

We have had the former House leader for the government move such a motion on one of their own bills. It was extensive. It was long and complicated. However, the House gave leave for that member to read the extensive motion.

What I am a bit concerned about is that in the decision the Speaker just made to curtail the ability of the member for Halifax to read out the motion, the Speaker called for a question that has not yet been put. Clearly in our instructions that we follow stringently in this place, that question cannot be asked until it has been asked.

I will remind the Minister of Public Safety that the latitude given to members is a liberal latitude and that there is some extensiveness used in guiding the Speaker and this House as to what can be done under unanimous consent motions.

The clarity over the Speaker curtailing the ability of the member for Halifax to read the motion out, and then calling the House to answer the question yea or nay seems to me an impossibility and in direct contravention of the rules that guide this place.

I humbly seek some clarity as to how this process has proceeded.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on that point of order, I would point out the motion being made was made without notice and it requires an extraordinary remedy in the circumstances of unanimous consent of this House. Thus, at any point when it is clear that there is no unanimous consent, I think it is appropriate that be terminated.

I would like to move that in relation to Bill C-45, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage, and one sitting day shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, and at the expiry of the time provided for the consideration at report stage, and at 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the day allotted to consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposable of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I appreciate the eagerness of the hon. government House leader. I have not yet called for orders of the day, so I cannot hear that motion just yet.

However, if I can get back to the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, it does say in O'Brien and Bosc that if no dissent is detected then the House is obviously allowing the member to move the motion.

I take the member's point with regard to the reading of the names. In my view, the member had moved the substance of the motion and was in the process of reading an abnormally lengthy list of names of lakes that would be added. She had the floor for approximately 10 minutes.

There was a similar case that Speaker Milliken dealt with, wherein the member at that time was reading a long litany of the names of members, I believe, and there were several points of order. The Speaker decided that because it was unduly lengthy, and in view of the fact that there was obvious disagreement to the motion being moved, in order to manage the use of the time in the House efficiently he intervened to see if there was consent.

In my view, there is a similar parallel here. As was her right, the member sought the floor on a point of order to ask for consent to put the substance of her motion, and then got into the part of the amendment that added all of the names of lakes, and perhaps rivers, that she was interested in. Given that it was likely to go on for a significant period of time and that she had already had the floor, in the interests of allowing the House to make a decision on that, and sensing that the House was eager to do so, I asked to see if there was even consent for her to move the motion.

I do not want to get into hypotheticals. However, if the House would have granted consent, I am sure the House would have then wanted to hear the whole term of the motion.

I will hear the hon. member again as a courtesy, but I do believe I have made my points on this.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we looked for precedence as well. We think there is an important grey zone. You read the reference in terms of hearing the substance of a motion, yet we have tried to rely on the core issue that guides the House when it comes to unanimous consent.

We looked at the motion from, I believe, Mr. Epp, who started to name various members of Parliament in his motion. In that precedent, he named every member of the Liberal Party by name and riding. Speaker Milliken had to intervene. However, I do not think that the intervention was on its length but rather the fact that the member started to name members of Parliament of an entire party.

We looked at the precedent of the now Minister of Justice who moved a similar motion both in extension and length. It was on a money laundering and terrorism bill where the government sought to make substantive amendments to a bill at this stage in debate, which is exactly what we have tried to do. The minister read out a very lengthy amendment seeking unanimous consent. He rose on a point of order and the House had to hear the entire motion before it could decide whether it was in favour or not of allowing that practice.

We know this place can do almost anything under unanimous consent, and that is what the minister sought to do that day. The member for Halifax is attempting the exact same process.

Reading out those particular bodies of water that would no longer be protected has importance. I am sure members of the Conservative Party would also be interested in this, particularly the Minister of Public Safety, as we had not even got to the lakes and rivers in his constituency that would no longer be protected. His ability to say that he gives no consent before having even heard the motion, or any of the Conservative members to say “nay” before they have heard it, pleads ignorance before the facts have been read out. It is disturbing as to their own decision-making process in that they no before they have heard.

This reminds me of the government House leader who just last week said that it did not matter what amendments would be moved, that the Conservatives would vote against them anyway. It shows a certain amount of disregard for the parliamentary process.

In terms of your role, Mr. Speaker, in this intervention, I want to be quite clear with the way we are approaching this process. This is a grey zone created by moving a substantive and detailed amendment, which the member for Halifax is seeking to do to protect Canadians' lakes and rivers. After the bill passes, these lakes and rivers will no longer have protection for their navigation and other important environment considerations.

The House has not yet heard the terms for the particular lakes and rivers that are involved. I think this would be of interest to not just members in this place, but the Canadians they propose to represent as well. To say “nay” before one has heard about the lakes and rivers in one's riding seems to say that they are not important and that moving the motion is not important.

The Minister of Public Safety can keep muttering out “no consent”, but the fact is he does not yet know the implications to his own constituency, nor do any of the Conservatives. This is why it is important to have the capacity to do this.

Mr. Speaker, I respect the ruling and judgment that you have given in referring to other parts of our practice, but it seems that this quote is quite clear:

With unanimous consent, bills have been advanced through more than one stage in a single day and referred to a Committee of the Whole rather than a standing committee and have even been amended by unanimous consent.

This is what the Minister of Justice, then House leader, did before to address the crime bill. Also:

—a Member wishing to waive the usual notice requirement before moving a substantive motion would ask the unanimous consent of the House “for the following motion”.

This is then read in extenso. It seems to me that maybe you heard the essentials of the motion, Mr. Speaker, in the first iteration from the member for Halifax, but one would hope Conservatives, hearing about an important lake or river in their ridings, might think they should have a moment where they would be allowed to change the legislation for the better.

I know it is a novel concept for the government because in almost 900 pages of omnibus legislation it has not changed a comma or a period. All these things seem to have been made perfect by the Conservatives in their first writing. However, we know that not to be true because this omnibus bill is making corrections to the last omnibus bill.

Therefore, in this case, the member for Halifax is attempting to make improvements to the bill through unanimous consent, which seems to me to be worthwhile and viable according to the rules we are guided by.

I understand your ruling, Mr. Speaker, in terms of the initial preconception. However, in terms of members being able to vote on a motion that they have not yet heard, even if it is large, seems to be a practice that the House should be very careful of and wary in moving down that path, particularly with a government like that one that seems so keen on shutting down debate at all its various stages and allowing legislation to go through untouched.

Points of Order
Private Members' Business

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I appreciate the points made by the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. However, I would remind him that there are two stages in seeking unanimous consent, the first of which is to ask for the ability to move the motion, and there are many reasons why members may wish to do that or not.

I do find in situations in which we can envisage points of order to seek unanimous consent potentially take quite a bit of the House's time and when there is a clear lack of consent right at the outset, it is up to the Speaker to judge what is in the best interest of the House.

Given the previous example when there had been a practice for the member who was in a certain point of motion, reading names in that case and in this case listing lakes and rivers, because they are unusual and not moved under the normal rubric for motions with proper notice to see if the House would like to continue hearing the motion, or if the House is not giving consent at the outset, is where this is coming from. I appreciate hon. members' points on that.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation
Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

moved:

That in relation to Bill C-45, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and one sitting day shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill and,

at the expiry of the time provided for the consideration at report stage and at fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the day allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation
Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I move: That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-45, in clause 321, be amended by adding after line 13 on page 291 the following: (2.1) The addition of the navigable waters listed below is deemed to be in the public interest and the Governor-in-Council shall, by regulation, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the day on which this act receives royal assent, add those navigable waters to the schedule, including, with respect to lakes, their approximate location in latitude and longitude and, with respect to rivers and riverines, the approximate downstream and upstream points, as well as a description of each of those lakes, rivers and riverines, and where more than one lake, river or riverine exists with the same name indicated in the list below, the Governor-in-Council shall select one to be added, namely: Natla Lake, Chartrand Lake, McDonald Lake, Hottah Lake, Moraine Lake, West Hans Lake, Bunting Lake, Grodsky Lake, Lake Bovie, Jennejohn Lake, Germaine Lake, Seven Islands Lake, Fallaize Lake, Fishing Bear Lake, Willowlake River.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation
Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

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

Bill C-45—Time Allocation
Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation
Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. We are going to do the same thing we did in the past where members have a minute to put the question and give the response.