Evidence of meeting #17 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendments.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

10:15 a.m.


The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

Before I recognize Mr. Volpe, I will advise the committee that the council provides advice to the chair, not to the committee. The committee has the right to accept or refuse that advice, presented by the chair from the council. I'm not able or willing to share that information with members until it's presented as an amendment for debate.

Mr. Volpe, on the same point of order.

10:15 a.m.


Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Chairman, I realize that on occasion we want to make speeches because we want to get to the audience of our deliberations on the bill, and I think that's legitimate. I try not to impugn the motives of anyone else, but I know that everybody around this table agreed that there are several...I'll use Mr. Uppal's words here, with the “intent of the bill”. The intent of the bill was to provide a Holocaust monument in the national capital region.

The specifics of the bill indicated who was going to provide what: land and improvements thereon, i.e., the monument itself. The government initially said it was going to provide the land. The bill is a little different from the previous Liberal bill in this regard, which provided for land and a monument and maintenance. But that's okay. The issue is that nobody here objects to that intent. Nobody objected to the principle, because everybody in the House voted in favour of Mr. Uppal's bill. We could all be partisan and say, I wish it had been an NDP or a Bloc or a Liberal, or the Conservative member, that presented it. The fact of the matter is that the House of Commons took a private member's bill and said unanimously they would support it.

Now, with respect to whether or not there are amendments before us, I had asked for clarification on that beforehand, because in my view the amendments that are on notice go to the heart of both the intent and the principle of the bill. For someone like the parliamentary secretary, our good friend, Mr. Jean, to suggest that some of us, in objecting to anything that takes away from Mr. Uppal's bill, are somehow hurtful to all of those families of the six million victims of the Holocaust—who suffered personally and, by extension, through their families, and collectively as a community—is egregiously faulty. There is not a person, I'm sure, at this table who doesn't think that it's something that ought always to be remembered as a moment and a period of infamy, and that it should always be rejected by anybody who believes in the civility of humankind.

What we want to do with this monument is to put up a remembrance so that all could recall that infamy and always work against it. It would be a hallmark of democratic behaviour. I resent the fact that someone would want to turn it into a partisan moment, and I resent the fact that someone would suggest that we in the Liberal Party would somehow want to gain some advantage from this procedural motion, when we're trying to defend the principle of that bill.

10:20 a.m.


The Chair Conservative Merv Tweed

Thank you.

Based on what I've heard from all of the comments made, I don't think anybody, in my humble opinion, would want that impression left out there.

With that, we're going to thank Mr. Uppal again for coming today.

We'll take a brief two-minute adjournment to let people clear the room, because I believe we will then go in camera for the second part of our meeting.

Thank you.

We will recess for two minutes.

[Proceedings continue in camera]