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House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister of agriculture and high seas hijinks wants to hallucinate further.

It is obvious that the demands for a $4 million jet are not enough for CSC commissioner Ole Ingstrup, he needs to hobnob on the high seas. The jet-setting Mr. Ingstrup is living the lifestyle of the rich and famous while taxpayers foot the bill.

The solicitor general must take responsibility for this lavish corrections commissioner. Did he know or did he authorize such a waste of taxpayers' dollars? And if public safety is such a number one priority as we have heard ad nauseam, what will the solicitor general do to ensure that this type of accountability occurs against such appalling folly?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, since it will be Christmas very shortly, I would like to take advantage of this question to deplore once again the overtones of the lack of confidence from my colleagues toward the civil service in Canada. It is one of the most trained and dedicated civil services in the world. It is one of the most loyal civil services in the world.

I wish them and their families the very, very best for the Christmas season and next year.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

My colleagues, this is the last question period in this particular session.

I wish all of you would take some time in the next few weeks to be with your families and to reinvigorate yourselves. In a specific way, I wish all of you a happy new year. I wish for this institution a happy new century. I wish for the Canadian people a happy millennium. Enjoy your time off.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

December 17th, 1999 / noon

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, Del Hoffman and his wife Bev were killed in northern Mexico this week by four American bank robbers. The semi-retired couple were vacationing in Mexico. They were brutally murdered for their RV, credit cards and cash. The generous couple were also carrying clothing and bicycles for poor Mexican children.

Both Del and Bev were big-hearted loving people and their warmth was infectious. Their family and friends are devastated.

On behalf of my constituency and my colleagues in the House, I offer our deepest sympathy. Bev and Del Hoffman will be greatly missed.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, during question period the parliamentary secretary who answered the question with respect to the leaky condos in British Columbia quoted from a document. She said she was quoting a civil servant. I am assuming that this was some sort of an official document she quoted from, given that she cited a civil servant as being the source of the quote. Would she table what she was quoting from for the benefit of all of us who are concerned about the leaky condos problem in British Columbia?

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Yes, Mr. Speaker, a document will be tabled shortly.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege for which I have already given the Chair notice.

My question of privilege arises from news reports on Wednesday, December 15 in the Ottawa Citizen , Edmonton Journal and National Post each of which made reference to the report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled Thursday, December 16 in the House.

I draw the Speaker's attention to the following quote which appeared in each of these newspapers cited. It stated:

To accommodate the treaty right the government should encourage native participation in the fishery through a program which provides native fishermen with a down payment on a licence and vessel and a competitive loan to cover the outstanding value of the assets purchased.

Each newspaper identified that statement as one section of the report.

I would draw to the Speaker's attention the recommendation section of the Reform Party's minority report as appended to the committee report. In that section there appears a quote on page 43 which is identical to the one I have read.

I further point out that even I as chair did not have access to that minority report until Thursday, December 16 and that appeared in the paper on Wednesday, December 15.

I would draw the Speaker's attention to the fact that in two of the newspaper accounts, the title of the report for which that quotation was supposedly extracted was provided to the media as “The Marshall Decision and Beyond: Implications for the Management of Atlantic Fisheries”. That title as provided to the media is of course the title of the report as tabled in the House.

Neither the title of the report nor the contents of the Reform Party's minority report were disclosed in any way by the committee in public session. Both of these were provided to the media without the consent of the committee and therefore in violation of the rules of the House.

It is my contention that providing the media with what was attributed as being part of the standing committee's report has violated the privileges not only of the members who dedicated themselves to the work of this committee but to all members of the House.

My remarks are not directed toward the contents which were contained in the Reform Party's minority report. My concern is that someone provided the media with that minority report and obviously implied that what they were providing was part of the committee's report. That was done, I would submit, intentionally and maliciously.

I conclude by saying that this unfortunately is not the first time a report of the standing committee on fisheries has been leaked to the media prior to its being tabled in the House. The difference this time is that there appears to be little doubt, in fact absolutely no doubt, as to the source of the violation of the privileges of the members of the House.

If the Speaker finds that I have a prima facie case of privilege, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, on this particular point that is being brought forward, I notice that no member is named in this question of privilege. As such, we cannot get any response from one of our members.

I have said a few times in the House and outside that the House itself and its members must look to each other with the type of respect so that this type of thing will not happen, as in any other leak of documents. Unless and until the procedural committee or indeed the House informs me as to what can be done about this generally, we have to rely on the members themselves to police themselves to see that this does not happen.

Once again, I appeal to all hon. members that if they are on committees and there are reports, that if they have possession of these reports they should not be releasing them until the committee that they are with approves the report so that it can be released hopefully in the House, but at least not prematurely.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the same question of privilege, I do not want to be too cute about it, but on the same day that we are talking about leaky condos, we call attention once again to the leaky parliamentary culture that we have here.

I just want to make the point that it is not just committee reports that are being leaked, that is reprehensible enough, but there has also been a persistent strategy on the part of the government to leak its own proposals before parliament gets to know about them. We get a kind of tit for tat culture here. It is not good for the institution. It is not good for anybody.

I just wanted to agree with you, Mr. Speaker, that everyone has the responsibility not to behave in this particular way, whether they are members of committees or whether they are cabinet ministers who leak things to the press before they tell parliament about it.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I see the member for Elk Island is on his feet. I assume he wants to add one or two sentences to this point and then I will close it down.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate this because I have been on the finance committee now for two years. I think every committee report has been leaked beforehand. Even the most recent one on the prebudget hearings was leaked the day before. The quotations in the paper said “a Liberal member who did not want to be identified said” and there were direct quotations from it. It is a great problem and I really wish we could solve it.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I see we have the support of the House. Now we just have to put it into action.

I suggest to the hon. member that the fisheries committee should inquire and report back to the House. The hon. member is on the committee but unless an individual is named in the House, then there is little that I can do as Speaker of the House.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to nine petitions.

Taxpayers' Bill Of RightsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-411, an act to confirm the rights of taxpayers and establish the office for taxpayer protection.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill for first reading. It would create a taxpayers' bill of rights to more clearly entrench in law the rights to due process, and presumption of innocence on the part of taxpayers in the tax collection and assessment process, and also to create an office for taxpayer protection which would act as an ombudsman for taxpayers, especially those who cannot afford the services of tax lawyers to defend their legal rights.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-412, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of U.S. social security payments to Canadian residents).

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to reintroduce this bill. It was previously on the Order Paper in the last session of parliament. It seeks to re-establish tax equity for Canadian residents who pay taxes on social security payments received from the U.S. government. These taxpayers have been forced to incur an 85% tax increase as a result of the fourth tax protocol between Canada and the United States. There are seniors on fixed incomes who cannot afford this outrageous increase. This bill would rectify that problem.

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

Observance Of Two Minutes Of Silence On Remembrance Day ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-413, an act to promote the observance of two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day.

Madam Speaker, this is becoming a habit today. This is a bill which I introduced in the last session. It had been debated but was not deemed votable notwithstanding the fact that it has the support of the Royal Canadian Legion and all the veterans' organizations in Canada. We have also received the signatures of some 55,000 Canadians in petitions in support of the bill. I do hope this will be given proper consideration by the House.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-414, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (allowances paid to elected officials).

Madam Speaker, I promise this is my last bill today.

This will probably not be a very popular bill in this place, but it will be popular among Canadians because it seeks to eliminate the special provision in the Income Tax Act which allows politicians alone, elected members of parliament, senators, MPPs, et cetera, to exempt the equivalent of a third of their taxable income from the taxes we impose on everyone else. It essentially calls for the same standard of taxation in terms of the laws that we impose on all Canadians. I think that this is in the interest of equity.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-415, an act to amend the Criminal Code (wearing of war decorations).

Madam Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to allow relatives of deceased veterans to wear on Remembrance Day at public functions or ceremonies commemorating veterans any order, decoration or medal that is awarded to such veterans for war services without facing criminal sanctions.

I draw to the attention of the House that the bill is exactly the same as the bill that was adopted at first reading in the last session of the House last spring. The only difference is that it now bears my name and that of the hon. member for Waterloo—Wellington.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I present petitions today with many hundreds of signatures, which are just the first instalment of more than 9,000 signatures that have been collected in Manitoba by the Campaign 2000 committee, the Campaign 2000 network and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg in the campaign against child poverty.

The petitioners remind the House that one in five children live in poverty, that on November 24, 1989 the House of Commons unanimously resolved to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000, and that since 1989 the number of poor children in Canada has increased by 60%.

Therefore, these petitioners call on parliament to use federal budget 2000 to introduce a multiyear plan to improve the well-being of Canada's children.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions on exactly the same subject so I will just read it once.

The petitioners petition parliament to repeal subsection 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I have a petition with over 300 signatures calling on parliament to use the federal budget 2000 to introduce a multi-year plan to improve the well-being of Canadian children in conformity with the resolution which was adopted unanimously in the House of Commons on November 24, 1989 to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. It is my honour to table this.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present. The first was signed by 25 people, who are calling on the House to recognize the contribution of adoptive parents and the costs they incur when they adopt.

The petitioners are calling on Parliament to pass Bill C-505 introduced by the member for Calgary Centre, which proposes a tax deduction for expenses related to the adoption of a child.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Madam Speakerm the second petition, which I am merely presenting, is signed by a number of people calling on the House to keep section 43 of the Criminal Code, and not to spend any more money on having it repealed under the federal Court Challenges Program.

I repeat that I am merely presenting this petition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I submit to the House today another several thousand signatures to be combined with the largest petition the House has seen, fourfold, of any other petition in the House. It deals with the issue of upholding the law around child pornography.

The petitioners are from across the country and are petitioning parliament, and indirectly the courts, to do everything possible to uphold the law to keep child pornography illegal in this country. This whole thing could have been avoided if we had moved on using part of the charter that allows us to use the notwithstanding clause.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte NDP Churchill River, SK

Madam Speaker, my constituents of Waskesiu, Shellbrook, Debden, Canwood, Big River, Spiritwood and throughout the north, along with park enthusiasts in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada, are alarmed by the devastating effects of Parks Canada budget cuts.

The petitioners call on the government to provide adequate resources to maintain the Narrows Camp Ground in the Prince Albert National Park.