Evidence of meeting #40 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was work.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Thomas Mulcair  Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

It was signed by Nicolas-Dominic Audet, who was the first person hired, and it shows—

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

I knew it couldn't last.

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

—on his hiring form here in the House of Commons that his address for his work is in Montreal. He was the first shared employee.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Joe Preston

Let's try to work a little bit on answering the question.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Sure. We almost got there.

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

You told me I was going to get a chance to answer, but I'll have to wait for the next one.

May 15th, 2014 / 12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Mulcair, NDP caucus services is funded by taxpayers through the House of Commons.

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

Absolutely true.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Thank you very much. Yet, although the lease is in the name of an NDP caucus services funded by taxpayers, it has the NDP partisan symbol on the door, not the House of Commons, correct?

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

Absolutely true.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Now, do you think there might be something a little wrong with the appearance of the House of Commons funding an office that has a partisan label on the door, rather than a House of Commons label?

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

That would be completely the case, Mr. Woodworth, were it not for one fact that gets in the way of your narrative: the fact that every single month of rent has in fact been paid for by the NDP itself.

When we looked at this at the beginning, we said that there was never going to be a debate or discussion about who was paying for this. The party said we were going to pick up the tab and there would never be a discussion about this. I guess we underestimated the extent to which you are capable of making something out of nothing. There's not one dollar of taxpayers' money that has ever gone towards that office.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

I'm going to go back to the rule that you conveniently want to ignore and I'm going to read it out loud again for you:

Members may share office space with another Member, a member of a provincial legislature or an elected municipal representative.

Now you're a lawyer. You know that rules of interpretation say that when a rule has a list that it's exhaustive and there's no indication of anything else being allowed. Don't you agree with that?

12:15 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

Well, the rule that you are trying to refer to is usually called ejusdem generis, but in fact the rule you should be trying to use is expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

That, as a matter of fact, is exactly the rule that I'm referring to.

12:20 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

That rule would have you understand that when you include something, you're excluding others.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Exactly.

12:20 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

When you come up with a new rule on April 8, 2014, that says as of April 8, 2014, you can no longer do this, that means that prior to April 8, 2014, you could do this.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Not at all, Mr. Mulcair—

12:20 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

By the way there's an excellent work entitled Bibliographie sur la rédaction et l'interprétation des textes législatifs, 375 pages, published in 1979 by the Éditeur officiel du Québec. I am the author of it and I'll be glad to give you a signed copy.

12:20 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Everybody in this room, Mr. Mulcair, knows that the April rule was designed to simply stop you from violating the previous rules.

To use your own words expressio unius means that when we say you can—

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Point of order....

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

—partner and share space with a member of Parliament, a member of provincial legislature, a municipal officer, that means nobody else, and especially not a partisan political office. Don't you agree, yes or no?

12:20 p.m.

Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the New Democratic Party, NDP

Thomas Mulcair

If only you knew anything about statutory interpretation and the interpretation of documents....