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Evidence of meeting #58 for Justice and Human Rights in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was judge.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Wallace Craig  Retired Judge, As an Individual
Edward Ratushny  Professor, Common Law Section, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual
Tony Cannavino  President, Canadian Police Association
William Trudell  Chair, Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers
David Griffin  Executive Officer, Canadian Police Association

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

I would like to raise a point of order now.

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

We'd like to deal with this budget quickly.

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

No, I have a point of order to raise now. You have given all the members the floor.

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

What's your point of order, Mr. Ménard?

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Chairman, for a number of meetings now I have had the impression that when my colleague, Mr. Comartin, or myself have the floor, you are quick to interrupt us and you are not distributing the time fairly. I do not want to get into a long debate about this. And I really do not want to criticize Mr. Murphy, who asked some very relevant questions.

I know this is up to the chair's discretion, and we're not in the army here. However, if you want to continue working in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual respect, I must not continue to feel, when I have the floor, that you are about to cut me off or will allow me to be interrupted so that I do not have a fair length of time.

While I would like to say that I have nothing but trust and respect for you, there have been three occasions on which I felt that you were quick to interrupt me. I hope that will not happen again, because unfortunately this is not the climate in which I want to work.

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

Thank you.

As a quick response to that point of order on the time allotted today, I try to wait for an appropriate break to cut a member off so we don't run way overtime. Mr. Murphy asked his question this afternoon and sought a reply from everybody at the table. I don't like to get into that practice, because I know how it can eat up the time very quickly and the witnesses are here for us to hear.

Mr. Murphy's time was 10 minutes and 47 seconds. Yours was 8 minutes and 2 seconds. Mr. Comartin's was 7 minutes and 33 seconds, and our time was 5 minutes and 11 seconds.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

What did I get?

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

You got no time.

Mr. Petit's time was 5 minutes, 11 seconds.

I know it doesn't always balance out. I try to maintain the time as much as I can. I often give Mr. Comartin extra time because his party has only one chance, but that doesn't always happen either. I'm trying to be as judicious as I can in dealing with the time issue.

Ms. Jennings had 5 minutes and 50 seconds, Ms. Freeman had 7 minutes, and Mr. Brown had 5 minutes and 8 seconds. Mr. Lee, along with Mr. Bagnell, had 6 minutes, and so on and so forth.

I'm trying to be as fair as I possibly can with the time issue.

I'll now go to the budget now, if I may. Ms. Jennings.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Thank you.

I think that Monsieur Ménard has a very clear point on this. The other thing I would suggest is that you make it very clear that any time there's a point of order, whether I've made the point of order or a member of one of the other parties, the clock stops. The clock stops. I've never been on a committee where the clock does not stop. That's the first thing.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

I tried. Even on those matters, we tried to extend the time.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

We'll sort this out.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I would suggest that rather than trying to do favours for anyone, when the time is up, the time is up. You simply inform the witnesses that they can submit their responses in writing.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

You have convinced me. When your seven minutes is up, your seven minutes is up. I don't care if you have used all your time up.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I had 10 seconds left, according to you.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

No, when your time is up, then, folks, that's exactly what it'll be. Your time will be up.

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

That is not what we are saying. We are saying that we are relying on you to show some judgment, but that we have the unpleasant impression—

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

I have been exercising my judgment.

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

We are relying on you to exercise your judgment.

We want to trust you, but I have the unpleasant impression that during my turn or Mr. Comartin's turn, you are in a big rush to interrupt us. I would very much like to trust you.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

What is the committee's feeling here? Do you want me to bring every time sheet forward that we have conducted over this last little while, so you can personally look at it, to see whether you have been shortchanged? Is that what the members want?

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Chairman, I would just like to trust you. I know you are an honest man, but I have the unpleasant impression that in the last three meetings you have been quick to cut me off. I am just asking that you ensure that I no longer have this impression, because I think I am doing a good job and that I am working seriously. We have to trust each other.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

Fair enough, then. We will leave it at that. I will endeavour to restrict the time to the seven minutes on the first round, five minutes on the second and subsequent rounds, and give everyone as much leeway as I possibly can.

Now to the budget, if I may. Do you have a copy of the budget before you? It's a visit to the RCMP headquarters. It reads: “That, in relation to the study of Bill C-22 (age protection), twelve members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights be authorized to travel to the RCMP Headquarter, Alta Vista Dr., Ottawa on Monday, April 16, 2007, and that the necessary staff do accompany the Committee.”

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

I want to debate this.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

Okay, we'll debate.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Colleagues, I don't know where this visit to the RCMP headquarters actually came from. I sit on the steering committee. I haven't heard about it.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

Monsieur Ménard.