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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

Lethbridge Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker ReformLethbridge

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order which I will make very brief. I know there is a very important debate on Bill C-33 before the House.

This point of order is relative to the business of the House tomorrow and concerns the private member's motion in the name of the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, which is listed as Motion No. M-2 on today's Order Paper. This motion is scheduled for debate tomorrow during private members' hour and I believe that you should rule it out of order.

Beauchesne's sixth edition states that the conduct of a member may only be discussed in the House of Commons by way of a substantive or a distinct motion, that is, a self-contained proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision to the House.

That is a very key point. This is the first time that a motion charging another member with contempt has been scheduled for debate under the new rules governing private members' business.

Before the rule change, all private members' items were votable. If a member attempted to use a private members' motion to charge another member with contempt under the old rules, the motion would be automatically votable.

The situation in which we find ourselves today is a first. It will be the first time that the House receives a non-votable motion that charges another member with contempt. If allowed, it will set a dangerous practice because there is no conclusion at the end of the process.

If a member is going to make a charge against another member, then he or she had better present the House with a votable motion. If you are going to make a charge you had better put your money where your mouth is. Anything else would be unjust, improper and against the practices of the House.

If this motion is allowed to come forward, we will be engaging in an unfair and dishonest hit and run attack on a member. It is unparliamentary and unethical because of a loophole.

When the rules changed, no one considered the point I am raising today regarding a charge of contempt. The subcommittee on private members' business, or the committee it reports to, does not have the power to deny debate on this motion. Also, it is not obliged to automatically deem such motions votable. That is why it is up to you, Madam Speaker, to decide whether or not it is right to deal with this matter. I ask for your guidance.

Charging another member with contempt of Parliament is not something we in this House take lightly. Considering that every reference and every precedent of a charge of contempt against another member from Erskine May, Beauchesne, Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada , without exception, take the form of a votable motion, we should not now break with this practice and allow a motion charging a member with contempt to go forward if we are not prepared to take action.

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There are a few things wrong with what we just heard.

What we are discussing is whether or not the motion in reference to the Reform Party, wanting itself to be designated as the official opposition, is the whole issue to which we are referring to. I have not heard that party, particularly this week, asking that it be designated as the official opposition.

That is a debate for another time. The facts are that, first, the clerk of the private members' business was informed yesterday-it can be verified-that I am unavailable to debate the motion tomorrow. That is a matter of record. The notice was sent yesterday and that can be confirmed.

Second, the proposition brought to your attention, Madam Speaker, as a point of order this morning is irreceivable because the matter is not before the House at the time we are having this conversation.

Third, I find it rather ironic that someone is complaining that my motion has not been designated by a committee of which I am not a member to be votable.

Point Of Order

10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

It is my understanding that tomorrow the motion in question will not be debated because the clerk has received advice that the hon. member is not available. I will take your point of order under consideration and will come back to the House with a ruling.

Government's Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 16 petitions.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations in relation to its study of the Senate's main estimates, 1996-97.

The report requests that a message be sent to the Senate inviting their honours to give leave to the chair of the standing committee on internal economy, budgets and administration, to appear before our committee in relation to the Senate's main estimates.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the first report later this day.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration relating to the Canada-U.S. agreement on the review of refugee claims.

This is the first time the government has allowed copies of an agreement to be circulated before final signature. On behalf of a majority of members of the committee, I would like to commend the government for allowing interested parties to come before the committee to discuss the agreement before final signature.

I am confident that the minister will take into account our 12 recommendations.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I am also tabling a dissenting report on this proposed Canada-U.S. agreement relating to refugee claims.

I wish to point out that, during the previous legislature, the Liberals were opposed to this proposed agreement and that nearly all the organizations that have appeared before the committee, including the representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, levelled some very harsh criticisms against this agreement, which, I think, goes against Canada's open-minded practices.

Canada Labour CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-35, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (minimum wage).

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and ordered to be printed.)

Food And Drugs ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-281, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and the Narcotics Control Act (trafficking in a controlled or a restricted drug or narcotic within five hundred metres of an elementary school of high school).

Mr. Speaker, the impact of drug use on youth is a significant problem of ongoing concern to Canadians that must be addressed. Protection of our youth is a primary concern. By increasing penalties on pushers who deal drugs near schools we will deter criminals from trafficking drugs in and around those schools.

This bill amends the Food and Drug Act and the Narcotic Control Act to impose minimum prison sentences of one year for the first offence and two years for a further offence in cases where a person is convicted of trafficking a controlled or restricted drug or a narcotic within 500 metres of an elementary school or a high school.

Drug related crime was estimated to be the source of 85 per cent of all criminal activity in Canada in 1992. This bill will address those concerns. I hope the House will support the bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Equal Treatment Of People Cohabiting In A Relationship Similar To A Conjugal Relationship ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-282, an act providing for equal treatment of people cohabiting in a relationship similar to a conjugal relationship.

Madam Speaker, for the second time in this House, I am pleased to introduce a bill aimed at recognizing same sex partners. This bill would ensure that 53 definitions in Canadian legislation are amended so as to include homosexual relationships in the definition of conjugal relationship.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and ordered to be printed.)

Department Of Labour ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-283, an act to amend the Department of Labour Act (eligibility for assistance for long-service employees).

Madam Speaker, I wish to introduce a bill aimed at modifying the POWA, or Program for Older Worker Adjustment, so as to change the rule of 100 that applies to cities whose population exceeds 500,000.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and ordered to be printed.)

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East, ON

Madam Speaker, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Kent:

That the first report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to.)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I present a petition on behalf of residents of Winchester, Williamsburg and Chesterville.

The petitioners request that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the human rights code to include in the prohibited grounds of discrimination the undefined phrase sexual orientation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Liberal Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I have petitions presented by constituents in the Lac du Bonnet and Steinbach areas.

The petitioners state that whereas the privileges society accords to heterosexual couples should not be extended to same sex relations, and whereas societal approval including these privileges would be given to same sex relations if amendments were made to the human rights code, they therefore pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights act to indicate societal approval by including the undefined term sexual orientation in the proposed amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from constituents in and around my riding asking that the phrase sexual orientation be kept out of the human rights act.

They pray and request that Parliament oppose any amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act or any other federal legislation that will provide for the inclusion of the phrase sexual orientation.

The second petition is along the same lines. People in and around my riding pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights act or the charter of rights and freedoms in anyway that would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to include the prohibited grounds of discrimination of the undefined phrase sexual orientation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions.

The first is from citizens of Peterborough who draw to the attention of the House that in spite of the fact that the United Nations has adopted resolutions affirming the rights of the East Timorese people to self-determination, the Indonesia military, which continues to occupy East Timor, has inflicted violence and has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of East Timorese.

Therefore these petitioners request that Parliament support an arms embargo against Indonesia, call on the Indonesian government to free all political prisoners and end Canadian government funding for the promotion of trade with Indonesia.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition is from people in Peterborough who note that the Government of Canada was involved in the extradition of Mr. Leonard Peltier to the United States. New information has surfaced indicating that Leonard Peltier's extradition may have been illegal due to witnesses recanting.

Early in 1994 the justice department of Canada announced that it was reviewing the legality of the extradition. Therefore these petitioners request Parliament inform them of the findings of this review.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have two petitions to present today on behalf of constituents of Simcoe Centre.

The first petition requests the Government of Canada not amend the human rights act to include the phrase sexual orientation. The petitioners fear that such an inclusion would indicate societal for approval of homosexual behaviour.

The petitioners believe the government should not legitimize this behaviour against the clear wishes of the majority.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition concerns the age of consent. The petitioners ask that Parliament set the age of consent at 18 years to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present five petitions bearing hundreds of names of people in my riding of London-Middlesex and nearby ridings.

The petitioners express their serious concerns about changes to federal legislation which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships.

These same people call on Parliament not to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms to include the undefined phrase sexual orientation. I am most pleased to support their concerns.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present a petition from my constituents in Port Moody-Coquitlam and the neighbouring riding of Burnaby.

Whereas the majority of Canadians believe the privileges which society accords to heterosexual couples should not be extended to same sex relationships, and whereas societal approval, including the extension of societal privileges, would be given to same sex relationships if any amendment to Canadian Human Rights Act were to include the undefined phrase sexual orientation as a grounds of discrimination, the petitioners request that Parliament not amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in anyway that would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the human rights act to include in the prohibited grounds of discrimination the undefined phrase sexual orientation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of 265 Nova Scotians calling on Parliament to act immediately to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

May 9th, 1996 / 10:25 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.