House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rescue.

Topics

Concurrence in Vote 1—The Senate
Main Estimates 2012-13
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I fully agree with my leader. He spoke very well about all of this.

If we decide to become a unicameral federation, there are some risks about that. In the history of Canada, the Senate once in a while has said no to the House, but most of the time the Senate will not do that. It has made some improvements in the way this federation works. Senators also amend bills. A tenth of the bills are amended by senators, that is before the Prime Minister decided to mute his own senators in a way that is not respectful of the spirit of the Constitution. Many times senators give wise advice to their colleagues in the House before bills go to the Senate and that advice prevents us from making some mistakes.

For all of these reasons, the Senate of today may be improved, but among all of the difficulties this country has, all the priorities we need to choose in order to have a stronger economy and better well-being for Canadians, I would not list the Senate as a priority. I am sure most Canadians would not as well.

Concurrence in Vote 1—The Senate
Main Estimates 2012-13
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is very familiar with the Constitution. I know that he has fought hard for environmental causes, including the Kyoto protocol.

What is his opinion about the fact that a bill to address climate change was defeated in the Senate? What does he think about that?

Concurrence in Vote 1—The Senate
Main Estimates 2012-13
Government Orders

7:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely outrageous. That bill should never have been defeated. Canada made an appalling choice, but my colleague will recall that the choice was made by the Senate at the time. Now it is also being made by the House. That is what happens in a democracy. I think that, at the time, the Prime Minister should never have used the Senate to do something like that. Most of the premiers did not want to do it.

In the history of this federation, the Senate has rarely vetoed a House bill or repealed legislation that originated in the House. That has happened very rarely. Senators have not wanted to use that power because they are not elected. They have chosen instead to send back amendments to help us improve our work, but they have not wanted to supplant the House. In that, they have respected the Canadian Constitution and the intent of the Fathers of Confederation.

If we want to change that today, if we want to abolish the Senate or if we want to elect Senators, we must also respect the Constitution. I find it very unfortunate that, today, the members of the NDP are suggesting that we do something that will starve the Senate and prevent it from doing its work. It violates the Constitution.

The premier of the province my colleague and I come from is in court to ensure that the provinces' prerogatives are respected in this regard and that no party in this House will ever be able to trample on the provinces' constitutional responsibilities pertaining to how the Senate operates.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Coast Guard Search and Rescue Services
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

It being 8 p.m., pursuant to the order made earlier today, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the supply proceedings.

Call in the members.

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

Vote #259

Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion defeated.

The House resumed from June 5 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Scientific and Social Science Expertise
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, June 5 the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion.

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

Vote #260

Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion defeated.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Concurrence in Vote 1—Senate
Main Estimates, 2012-13
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The next question is on opposed vote 1. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Concurrence in Vote 1—Senate
Main Estimates, 2012-13
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Concurrence in Vote 1—Senate
Main Estimates, 2012-13
Government Orders

8:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.