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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was appointments.

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Points Of OrderOral Question Period

February 3rd, 1997 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

Before we proceed to tributes for one of our members who died over the holidays, I am going to entertain two points of order, which I hope will be brief. One is from the hon. member for St. Albert and the other is from the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is rather unfortunate on this first day that we return that I have to invoke Beauchesne's 481(e) which states talks about imputing bad motives or motives different from those acknowledged by a member.

I am referring to the remarks by the minister of defence during question period. He quoted Hansard regarding the leader of the Reform Party. To give the picture, I will also repeat what the leader of the Reform Party said from Hansard September 17, 1996:

Mr. Speaker, to ensure that there is no ultimate cover-up in the Somalia inquiry will the Prime Minister guarantee to this House that the results of the inquiry will be made fully public before the next federal election?

That is a direct quote from Hansard from the leader of the Reform Party. However, in the next breath after quoting these words the minister of defence went on to put words in the leader's mouth, saying that he demanded the Somalia inquiry be shut down. That is not in any way, shape or form the proper interpretation of the quote.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the member for bringing this up but in my view this would be a matter of debate, how one member sees it and how the other member sees it.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my point of order has to do with the way question period proceeded today and the fact that it was completely dominated by the three official parties in this House and there was no place for the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative Party or independents.

I had a question on medicare I would like to have asked which I think a lot of people would like to have had asked. I did not get to ask it because three official parties were allowed to dominate question period by going on and on and on.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona for bringing up this point of order. It gives me the opportunity to appeal to all hon. members. During question period we do have 45 minutes and I would appeal to both the questioners and those who are to give the answers to please be as brief as they can.

It is of course the intention of the Chair to accommodate as many members as possible. It was pointed out to me earlier that only one member of the government posed a question today.

I would hope that the questions tomorrow and in the days ahead will be a little shorter as well as the answers. In that way we should be able to accommodate the independent members of the House as well as the members from the government. It is a point well taken and I do thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona for bringing it up.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order. I do want to support my colleague from the NDP in his point of order.

May I just add a comment that the Chair may wish to take into consideration in the way question period is conducted. Mr. Speaker, with regard to members on the government side, since you have expressed some concern about the fact that only one member from the government side was allowed to rise, one of the things we know about this place is that the members on the government side have full access to members of the cabinet and their colleagues through caucus, which is not the case for members on the opposition benches. Question period is clearly designed, as far as we know from its practice and traditions, to enable the government to be questioned and to allow the opposition to make the government accountable. I submit that maybe one question for the government side would be enough.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the hon. member for his suggestion. On the same point of order, the hon. member for York South-Weston.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Nunziata Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me it is more than a point of order. It in fact ought to be considered a question of privilege.

Government members, NDP members of Parliament and Conservative members of Parliament are treated differently in terms of question period than Bloc members of Parliament and Reform members of Parliament.

They are treated differently in the sense that government members, independent members, Conservative members and NDP members are permitted only a single question, normally at the end of question period. The other registered parties are entitled to a question and a supplementary.

It seems the Chair has to give some plausible and reasonable explanation for why there is that distinction, for why I as a member of Parliament am discriminated against in terms of question period-

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, we could get more members of Parliament posing questions if both the questions and the answers were shorter. The Chair has taken note of this. I will proceed to the hon. member for Parkdale-High Park.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, you reminded the House at the opening of today's session of the wooden Mace in front of you. I would remind all of us that you have the authority under that Mace, and if any question is too long or if any answer is too long, you have the authority to cut it short.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank you for reminding me of my authority. I am not sure but I think I heard the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona say something. Were you addressing your remarks to me?

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I was saying unofficially what the member across the way was saying, that you have authority and-

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Of course I thank hon. members for their support in this regard. I would like to close down this part of the points of order. I think they are messages you are giving to your Speaker and they will be taken as such.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Richelieu, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that when I was an independent member, these people who just spoke were less inclined to give us more time for Oral Question Period.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, having put that point of order aside, I will now proceed to tributes.

One of our members died during the adjournment. I am referring to our colleague and friend, André Caron. I now give the floor to the Leader of the Opposition.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on January 10, André Caron, member of Parliament for Jonquière, died after a long battle with cancer. He was our friend, and we were profoundly saddened by this loss.

Mr. Caron was deeply religious and looked forward to a full recovery, in spite of his condition. He fought with all his might to the very end. His courage in facing his illness was an example to us all.

Mr. Caron was born in Jonquière in 1944. After studying educational counselling and teaching at Laval University and theology at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi, he worked for the greater part of his life for the Jonquière school board as a guidance counsellor.

His political career started in 1990 when he became president of the Parti Québécois riding association in Jonquière. Then, in 1993, he was elected to the House of Commons as a member of the Bloc Quebecois.

Mr. Caron was ordained a deacon in 1988 before becoming responsible for all deacons in the diocese of Chicoutimi and serving on the provincial executive of the diaconate. A member of Amnesty International and the Civil Liberties Union, Mr. Caron was involved in a number of organizations throughout his life and was unstinting in his desire to help others.

André Caron was a sensitive man, a good listener, a man with great tact, a man who was very human, modest and generous. He strongly believed wealth should be shared, and he felt it was his mission to speak for the most vulnerable, the poor and those who are not always able to defend themselves. He was a citizen with a cause.

Mr. Caron is an example to all members of this House. He wanted to represent the people of his riding as well as he could, and his views show he was a man of ideas. His convictions were more important to him that his personal interests. Quebec and Canada have lost a parliamentarian of integrity.

André Caron was a staunch sovereignist. He never doubted the ability of Quebecers to build their own future. The people of Jonquière trusted him. He was respected by everyone because of his commitment to his constituents, and many people mourned his passing. Our thoughts go out today to those who loved him and supported him in his long battle against illness.

On behalf of all members of the Bloc Quebecois, I wish to offer his wife Marie Lévesque and his sons, Jean-François and Louis-Philippe, our sincere condolences. With them we mourn the loss of our friend André Caron.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, we

are gathered here today to honour the memory of one of our colleagues, Mr. André Caron. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I speak for all of the members of the government in offering our most sincere condolences to Mrs. Marie Lévesque-Caron and her two sons, Jean-François and Louis-Philippe.

The House will remember André Caron, elected to this House by a region of Quebec that is proud of its roots and origins as a building force in this country. There have been Bouchards and there have been Tremblays, but there has been only one André Caron, a man of the people, a man close to his people, as all elected members must be when representing a riding.

Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of seeing André often in settings other than the House of Commons. Divergent political leanings make those of us who are parliamentarians often philosophically distant from each other because of our political choices, but we share a common goal: the interests of our constituents, our fellow citizens, the population as a whole. His straightforwardness and courage earned him the respect of all us parliamentarians engaged in the federal political arena.

On the personal level, all those coming in contact with him will attest to his profound moral values. He acknowledged only God as his master. This candid and frank man will leave a great gap in all the lives of all those around him.

André's political career was too short to do more than hint at his profound and intense dedication to the causes he espoused throughout his career.

He was particularly committed to our young people and to his faith.

Many young people came to know André as one of those devoted souls who gives without reserve, but others will unfortunately not come to know him, for his Father has called him away.

I would like to repeat, in closing, the words used by Mgr. Jean-Guy Couture in André Caron's funeral eulogy: "Even if he is called away before his time, the just man will find his rest- Wisdom surpasses grey hairs-A spotless life is the equal of a long one".

All of us will mourn the passing of the parliamentarian but, most of all, we will mourn the passing of a man with a mission, part of it accomplished and part of it yet to be accomplished, the ambassador and diplomat from Jonquière.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Reform Party of Canada, I wish to offer my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the hon. member for Jonquière, André Caron.

As a teacher and a vocational counsellor, André spent many years helping young people choose a career that would be both successful and fulfilling.

Elected to the House of Commons in 1993, André was transport critic for his party. To his colleagues, he was a good worker, a man of conviction, dedication and integrity who always showed courage and determination.

I would like to recite a little poem for his family:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "there, she's gone". "Gone where?" Gone from my sight- that is all. She is as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her: and just at that moment when someone at my side says, "there she's gone," there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "here she comes!" And this is dying.

To Mr. Caron's family I will say that André was taken from us much too soon. But he was carried in caring arms to a place of peace and happiness.

God be with you, André. We will miss you greatly.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues from the New Democratic Party, I also wish to offer my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of André Caron.

I did not have the opportunity to know Mr. Caron personally, but I know he served the people of Jonquière very well as a member of Parliament and, before being elected to this House, as a worker in the field of education.

The death of a member of Parliament is always a very sad occasion, but it is particularly tragic when death occurs at an early age.

On behalf of all of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party, I send my condolences to my colleagues in the Bloc and to the family of Mr. Caron. We will miss his service and his constituents will remember him well.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my colleague, the hon. member for Sherbrooke, and the Progressive Conservative Party to pay tribute today to André Caron.

I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Caron's wife Marie, his parents and his children Jean-François and Louis-Phi-

lippe. It is always very tragic when someone leaves us so young. André gave 21 years of his life working with young people to make a better life for them and their future. All of us as members of the House know full well the sacrifices that families must make to allow a loved one to become a member of Parliament.

What I observed of Mr. Caron was that he was a hard working MP, a person of conviction, a person of integrity. We will all remember him as a devoted man who always showed courage and determination, as much in his work as an MP as in his fight against his illness. I am sure he will be missed by his colleagues in the House and by his constituents in Jonquière.

The Progressive Conservative Party extends its prayers and best wishes to the family and friends of André Caron.

Tribute To The Late André CaronOral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I wish to say a few words also about our parliamentary colleague who was here with us for more than three years.

As you know, he is the second member of this House to be taken from us, the first one being Mr. Péloquin who died in an accident a few years ago.

On behalf of all my colleagues here, I repeat what we have already said, and it comes from the bottom of our hearts. We offer our condolences to Mr. Caron's family. We know it is always sad to lose a member of the family. Mr. Caron was a member of our parliamentary family. He will be missed dearly.

Order In Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments which were made by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(1), these are deemed referred to the standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 26 petitions.

Public Service Of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Prime Minister I am honoured and pleased to table the Fourth Annual Report to The Prime Minister on The Public Service of Canada.