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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cpp.

Topics

Privilege

10 a.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on Tuesday, November 25, 1997 by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

The hon. member first raised the matter on October 1, 1997, at which time she contended that a preliminary draft report of the Standing Committee on Industry was divulged in the last Parliament. In the ruling which I delivered on October 9, 1997, I indicated that while this was a matter of considerable importance, it did not constitute a breach of privilege.

On Tuesday, November 25 the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre presented a letter from House of Commons legal counsel to officials at the Department of Industry dated August 25, 1997. That letter reiterated the principle that pursuant to the law of parliamentary privilege, the House of Commons and its committees are masters of their own proceedings.

The hon. member also suggested that rules for the handling of committee documents might be subject to review by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

I would like to thank the hon. member for providing the Chair with a copy of this document and for her continued concern that the proprieties of this House and its committees be observed. I would also like to thank the government House leader and the hon. member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre for their interventions.

First, I will repeat what I stated in my ruling of October 9. It is clear both from the authorities and from earlier Speakers' rulings that a breach of privilege in one Parliament may indeed be punished by another.

I have carefully reviewed the documents submitted by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre as well as the submissions made when this issue was first brought before the House. I have also examined the procedural arguments with some considerable attention.

The hon. member made reference to citation 57 of Beauchesne's 6th edition. This citation states:

The House has in the past regarded the publication of the proceedings or reports of committees sitting in camera to be a breach of privilege. Unless, however, a specific charge is made against an individual allegedly responsible, the Speaker has refused to find a prima facie case.

Parliamentary procedure as set out in this citation and as reflected in our practice is quite clear. Reports adopted by committees must be tabled in this House prior to their divulgation or publication. Similarly, what is said and done at an in camera meeting must remain confidential.

With respect to the manner in which committees deal with other aspects of their business, I will refer again to my ruling of October 9, 1997. Committees have not only the right but also the responsibility to manage their own affairs. They must be very clear about how they expect draft reports and other confidential material to be treated. As well, they must ensure that everyone present at such meetings, including departmental officials, is aware of their obligation to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.

The fact remains however that these are matters which fall within the responsibilities of each committee. If irregularities occur concerning their proceedings or reports, committees may decide to report to the House on these matters. It is on the basis of such a report that the House will then give consideration to the situation.

After careful review, I am convinced that no new material element is brought forward in the case which the hon. member presented during her submission of November 25, 1997. I would like to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and other members who contributed to this question.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams 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 responses to 15 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Madam Speaker, as chairman of the Canadian group of the Interparliamentary Union, I have the honour to present to the House in both official languages the report of the Canadian group of the Interparliamentary Union which represented Canada at the 98th interparliamentary conference held in Cairo, Egypt from September 10 to 16, 1997.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Pierrefonds—Dollard Québec

Liberal

Bernard Patry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian section of the International Assembly of French-Speaking Parliamentarians as well as the financial report of the meetings of the 23rd regular session of the IAFSP and its executive committee, held in Luxembourg from July 7 to July 10, 1997.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association that represented Canada at the meetings regarding the activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, held in London, England, on February 17 and 18, 1997.

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present in both official languages the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association which represented Canada at the meeting of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe from June 19 to 25, 1997 in Paris and Strasbourg, France.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present in both official languages the first report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

In accordance with Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertook an analysis of the harmonization initiative of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

I have the pleasure of presenting this report to the House. Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Madam Speaker, I would like to make a few comments on the report which was just tabled and note that our minority report is attached to it.

The Reform Party members on the committee support the establishment of clear federal-provincial jurisdiction over environmental matters while upholding national standards.

We would like to emphasize that it is crucial to eliminate unnecessary duplication and overlap in the most cost effective manner. The more money saved by streamlining the system, the more money left to protect the environment.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership of the Standing Committee on Transport. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 14th report later this day.

National Defence ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-25, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

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

Canada Grain ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Liberalfor the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-26, an act to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act and to repeal the Grain Futures Act.

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

Coastal Fisheries Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-27, an act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the Canada Shipping Act to enable Canada to implement the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and other international fisheries treaties or arrangements.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-294, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (victims' rights).

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for North Vancouver for seconding this bill. I am privileged to introduce this Private Members' Bill which will amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act with respect to the rights of victims of crime.

It has been my personal experience that victims of crime do not seek to control or exert undue influence over due process in our criminal justice system. They merely seek to be included in that process and to be accorded the same considerations similar to those shown to offenders.

Among the most frequent complaints heard are those related to notification of proceedings and the inability to be heard from during the process. This bill intends to address those issues among others. For years now there has been much talk in this place about issues relating to victims of crime. It is time to dispense with the rhetoric and actually do something.

I urge all members to give careful consideration and support these amendments.

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

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

December 4th, 1997 / 10:20 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

If the House gives its consent, I move:

That the fourteenth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased and honoured to present three petitions on behalf of my constituents in Winnipeg North Centre and other Manitobans who are deeply concerned about the future of Canada's retirement system.

They raise concerns about current government plans vis-à-vis Bill C-2 and about future proposals to change the guaranteed income supplement and the old age security.

They would like a publicly administered universal pension plan which ensures that all Canadians, not just the wealthy, can look forward to a secure retirement.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition from a number of Canadians, including some from my riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which has not been recognized for its value to our society.

They also point out an agreement with the National Forum on Health report on investing in children that the Income Tax Act discriminates against families which choose to provide direct parental care because it does not recognize the true cost of raising children.

The petitioners therefore pray and call upon Parliament to pursue tax initiatives that would assist parents who choose to provide care in the home for preschool children.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present two petitions to the House.

One petition is signed by 50 Canadians from both British and Columbia and the province of Quebec. They pray that the Parliament of Canada will continue to see that this country of ours is indivisible and that it can only be modified by a free vote of all Canadian citizens as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, the second petition is from 42 constituents of Nanaimo—Cowichan and they request that Parliament review and change relevant provisions of the Criminal Code to ensure that men take responsibility for their violent behaviour toward women.

I agree with these petitioners.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, Question No. 34 will be answered today. .[Text]

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

With regard to the costs associated with destaffing lighthouses in British Columbia, could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans please provide for the fiscal years 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997 up to Octover 27, 1997, a complete accounting for all financial costs related to developing, putting in place and servicing the hardware infrastructure for the seven lighthouses the gouvernment has already destaffed in British Columbia?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Without compromising safety, eight lightstations in the Pacific region of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were approved for destaffing during 1996-97: Active Pass, Ballenas Island, Discovery Island, Point Atkinson, Porlier Pass, Race Rocks, Saturna Island, and Sisters Islets.

Summary of Costs ($000s)

1994/95—1995/96—1996/97—1997/98 to Oct. 27th Capital Cost—Nil—467—426—Nil Servicing Cost—1,329—1,329—600—50

The above capital figures reflect one time start-up costs.

The projected savings from the modernizing and automating project for these eight lightstations is $1,243,000 annually.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

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

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.