Evidence of meeting #162 for Procedure and House Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was first.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Andrew Lauzon

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Good morning. Welcome to the 162nd meeting of the standing committee. Although it says we're in camera, we won't be for a few minutes because we have to do just one thing first.

I'll read the notes from the clerk. They say, “The committee would like to thank the best clerk in the history of the House of Commons”—

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

—“and the best researchers.”

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Those are good notes. Thank you.

Actually, what I'd like to do is this. We have a cake here to present which says on it, “Happy Retirement from Filibustering to the Great Parliamentarian from Hamilton Centre.”

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Yes, you can take pictures.

I'll take requests to speak.

11 a.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Chair, I move that we put the recipe in the Hansard.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

There are pictures.

11 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

That is amazing. Who arranged for that? Thank you so much.

11 a.m.

An hon. member

You're famous.

11 a.m.

An hon. member

Is it bilingual?

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Oh, yes, we can't present this: It's not bilingual.

11 a.m.

An hon. member

It should be in braille too.

11 a.m.

An hon. member

Hey, David, if you want to share that cake, it has to be in two languages.

11 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

I wonder how much sugar is in it.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

You deserve it. You impress me, you know that?

June 13th, 2019 / 11 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

You're very kind.

Listen, thank you to whoever did this. I'm blown away.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

So it goes without saying—and I'll get a speaking list here—that obviously you're a very passionate member. I think you've been very principled. Each of us, in theory, should have one-tenth of the influence on this committee, but I think that's not true. I think you have more than your one-tenth of influence on this committee. There's making a point and there's making a point, and you can certainly make a point very passionately, and although members might often disagree, we think the points you're making are principled—I do, anyway. You believe in them and you're a great asset to this Parliament, and I know there are some people who will add to my comments.

Mr. Bittle.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Thank you so much.

When I was appointed deputy House leader, they told me I was on PROC and the only thing I knew about PROC was the filibuster that had happened, and I wasn't looking forward to it.

I came to my first meeting and I had an idea about something, and immediately Mr. Christopherson said, “Oh, the parliamentary secretary came and he's imposing his will on committee,” and I thought, “Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into accepting this position and coming down here, and how are we going to do this going forward?”

But over the past couple of years, I have been just amazed and have incredible respect for what you do for your constituents and our country. The residents of Hamilton are incredibly fortunate to have someone as passionate and with such great integrity as you. We can disagree with you, but no one can question the integrity with which you raise and bring forward your points, and that you fervently believe in what you bring forward. Without any level of bullshit, you get straight to the point. I had to use swearing in this, and Hamilton can appreciate that.

I'll speak for myself and say that I'm fortunate enough to have a mentor in Jim Bradley. He may not be as loud, but I think he brings that same level of commitment to the point that you'd better not stand between me and my constituents, because you're going to have to go through me. It's something I strive to do, and I appreciate seeing it in this place. You will be incredibly missed in this chamber by all sides of the House.

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

First of all, I was given seven or eight minutes' notice that I'd be doing this, which puts me in mind of Gladstone's famous comment that if he were given a month to prepare a speech, he could deliver a five-minute speech; if he were given a week, he could deliver a 20-minute speech; if he is told immediately beforehand, it could take hours for him to get to his point.

Nonetheless, I do want to say this. First of all, David is a colleague who, as we all know, gets directly to the point, but then can persist in making that point for a very long time.

It's been a pleasure, David, a real pleasure working with you. Other members won't know this, but I have been pestering him about where he is going to live in retirement, because I am hoping to have a chance to hang out, have a beer on his dock, just chat and enjoy the company of a really remarkable colleague.

I did have enough time to ask a few other colleagues about you. I mentioned to them, of course, the fact that you started in municipal politics, and after a successful elected career there, went on to provincial politics, and then from there to federal politics. I asked what people thought of that, and some of my Conservative colleagues thought that it shows you are persistent and determined. I also heard the suggestion that it shows that you are multi-talented. The one I thought was most fitting was the observation that you're just a slow learner.

11:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

You are retiring now, which shows that you've finally learned that it's worth spending as much time as possible with family—something we'll all learn sooner or later. I do hope you get to share some of that retirement time with us, and with me in particular.

Thank you.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Thank you, Chair.

I'll echo what Mr. Reid has said, but I want to say as well that it's been a privilege sitting next to you and that I've had the honour—usually Scott sits here—of sitting between two distinguished parliamentarians who actually know what they're talking about, what this committee is about and what's being done.

Being the new guy on the committee and a rookie, it's been great to hear your observations, comments and experience, as well.

I say this truthfully: You will be missed, and I hope you'll be sitting at that table from time to time, perhaps in the next Parliament, when we need some expertise from the wisdom of the past.

I wish you very well, David. We appreciate all you've done.