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Evidence of meeting #20 for Canadian Heritage in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was carmichael.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

I am not an angry man—

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Well, in that case, you're certainly trying to get even.

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

—and in fact, I was bringing something forward that I thought was a positive bit of legislation. To that end, my goal, as I've told you before, was to find a way that we could all agree.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Okay.

When I look at this bill right now, I agree that your intent is a good one. However, I look at the penalties as well, because I remember the situation in Newfoundland and Labrador when Danny Williams took down the flag. According to this bill, he would be in a lot of trouble. Now, I wouldn't want to be the one who had to chase down Danny Williams and arrest him, God knows.

As well, if you look at the rules of the House of Commons, you could even put the Speaker there, because we're not allowed to fly the flag outside of our own offices. We went through all of this, I know.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

We did, and I told you at the time that I thought you were really stretching.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

You have to stretch when you look at this, because clause 3 is really like a heavy hammer coming down on an individual whose intent may not be to prevent other people from being patriotic. By using these egregious examples, don't you think we've convinced you that this bill needs to change?

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

I think what we've agreed on is that there need to be amendments to the original bill that will take the extremely unlikely possibility of any of those egregious examples out of play.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Yes, but you've done it by taking away a lot of the bill. This is a big difference here.

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

My goal is to find an agreement in the House whereby we can come back and universally agree that the bill is a good one to encourage all Canadians about everyone's right to fly the flag.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Okay, I'm done. That's good for me.

Thank you, Mr. Carmichael, for doing this.

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

Thank you.

11:45 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Does anyone want to ask Mr. Carmichael another question or do you agree with my proposal to take two minutes to carefully read the amendments we all received this morning?

First, I would like everyone to take two minutes to read the amendments before us. Then we will continue and we will see if there are other questions. So I am suspending the session for two minutes.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Let's resume.

Mr. Carmichael has moved. But if committee members want to ask him any questions, we can continue, of course. Are there other questions for our witness this morning?

There being no further questions, we are going to follow the agenda and move to the amendment on clause 2 proposed by Mr. Calandra. Does anyone want to speak to this amendment?

Mr. Aubin?

February 2nd, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

No, sorry. I was adjusting the volume.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Okay.

Mr. Cash.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

I'd like to get some clarification on flag protocol. What does “in accordance with flag protocol” mean?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

You can visit the Department of Canadian Heritage website and get a detailed list of flag protocols--where you would display it, how you would display it, and so on. It's the same as when the flag is at half-mast; there is a flag protocol written down. I don't have it handy, but you can get it from the Department of Canadian Heritage website.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Go ahead, Mr. Young.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

It deals with such things as public gatherings, where the Canadian flag should be the most prominent if there are provincial flags, and a number of things like that. It's not a lengthy document. It's just a guideline on how the flag should be positioned and displayed at public meetings or celebrations or events.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Chair, I have a copy of the flag protocol. I'll hand that over, and members can take a look at it.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Thank you.

Go ahead, Mr. Benskin.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

In the province of Quebec--or in the nation of Quebec, as we have designated ourselves and as we have been recognized--when the Canadian flag is prominent at certain events, especially events that are particular to Quebec, that is an issue in Quebec.

In this context, would the federal government feel it has a right to insist that any province change the protocol of that particular province, and in particular Quebec, through this legislation?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Amendment 2 to this bill doesn't speak to what the mandate of the provinces or the federal government should be for the protocol for flying the flag. It talks about what the established flag protocol is at this time.

Right now the established national protocol is what we've handed over. Provinces may have their own protocols, but it's in accordance with established protocol. We're not mandating what that should be.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Pierre Nantel

Mr. Young is next, and then Mr. Cash.