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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Report stage is just what I had written down here. Maybe that was the reason he retired; he could not face another marathon vote. In his retirement, if he could crack that nut for us, that would be a good idea.

The clerk is obviously a party to many of the rulings. You also are leaving, Mr. Speaker. I will tell both of you, given that you probably conspired together on this, that only once did I profoundly disagree with both of you. That was with respect to the treatment of independent members and the whole question of party status in the previous parliament. Even though I did not agree with you, I never once doubted that you were acting as you saw best and out of a sense of integrity and commitment to your own view of what was appropriate.

I wish Bob and the members of his family, who have much to be proud of, all the best in the future. Future clerks, including our new clerk, have big shoes to fill. Bob has left a legacy of service we will always cherish.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is also a great pleasure for me, a young member of parliament, to join my colleagues in paying tribute to Mr. Marleau.

He was perhaps one of the first people I met when I arrived here, completely confused and overwhelmed by the tasks that lay before me. Parliament and parliamentary procedure can sometimes be described as navigating an incredible labyrinth and untying a Gordian knot at the same time. Mr. Marleau was very quick to come forward and offer advice and calm support. He was always very deliberate and supportive any time I had the pleasure to meet with him or request assistance.

Mr. Marleau offered that help on a very non-partisan level, as has been alluded to. There was never a nod or a wink or any indication that any member of any party of the House, regardless of title or personal connection, received anything other than an impartial and straightforward word of advice.

Mr. Marleau has also distinguished himself as an author. He has made a very lasting contribution to this place through his writings. He and his co-author, Mr. Montpetit, have left with us a legacy that will serve this parliament and perhaps all parliaments in the land for many years to come. The House of Commons will no doubt miss his wisdom and his steady hand, but through his writings he will be with us for many years to come.

I would describe Mr. Marleau as the consummate impeccable, professional clerk. His approach as viewed from a distance was always very steadying in its influence on this place. Most would be quick to agree that sometimes this place borders on the raucous and out of control atmosphere we have come to accept. Through it all Mr. Marleau was there, very much at the wheel, very much guiding us through the important work done in this Chamber. The old adage that quiet, calm deliberation disentangles any knot comes to mind when I think of Mr. Marleau and his stewardship in the House of Commons.

For his years of public service to the House of Commons we are very thankful. As well, we must pay tribute to those who were with him at the table.

I do not want to mix the tributes, but it has been my distinct pleasure to have been in a parliament over which you have presided, Mr. Speaker. I have had the honour to work with Mr. Marleau. I hope it will serve me regardless of what happens in the days to come.

On a personal level, it has been my great honour to say that I know the man. I admire the diligence and patience he has shown with new House members, including me, and with the many others who have expressed an interest in our parliamentary procedure. I believe he went above and beyond his service and the strict professional definition of clerk when it came to inquiries from outside this parliamentary precinct. He was always there, and for that we can be very thankful.

I know his family is present. His family was always near, always close to him. I remember being in his office and hearing him speak with beaming pride of his sons. He also has great love for and admiration of his wife and her support. I wish Bob, his wife Ann, their two sons and their whole family many years of happy retirement. I certainly hope we will cross paths again.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am hosting a reception in honour of Bob, his wife and his two sons in my chambers, 220 North. I invite all of you to join me. We can continue this conversation there.

Bob, on behalf of all of us here we thank you for your great service to the House of Commons.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

October 19th, 2000 / 4:20 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the House leader's job on Thursday is to ask the Thursday question, which is about upcoming business.

Canadians want to know what the business will be for the rest of the day, for tomorrow and for the weeks to come. The government made a lot important claims. It claimed it wanted to change financial administration. It claimed it wanted changes to immigration and citizenship. It claimed it wanted to change the Young Offenders Act. It claimed a lot of things that are not getting done.

Canadians want to know why an election when there is so much important legislation we could be working on over the next couple of weeks.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to answer that question for the Leader of the Opposition, who called for an election, but unfortunately I cannot. I can only deal with the business question, which I will do.

This afternoon we will deal with Bill C-44. Tomorrow we will consider Bill C-15, water exports. We will continue debating that item on Monday. I wish to designate next Tuesday an opposition day.

In the unlikely event that I am not able to participate in the opposition day debate next Tuesday, when I would want to speak on this subject, I want now to take this opportunity to thank the the House leader of the official opposition, the member for Fraser Valley; the hon. member for Roberval; the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona; and the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for the excellent work they have done in their capacity as House leaders for their respective parties.

By tomorrow this institution will have passed 111 bills, I believe, since the last election. Perhaps there will be more to come in the next few days and weeks. Who knows? We succeeded in having parliament function well, given the five party system and so on, largely because of the excellent work and leadership provided by the people I have just named. I thank them for their co-operation and dedication in making this great institution work.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I take the point the government House leader makes that the so-called pizza parliament has worked out better. I would not say it went from being a pizza parliament to a peaceful parliament but somewhere in between the dire predictions that were made.

Obviously the business of the House for this week continues unabated. I wonder if the House leader could explain to me why there were no Liberals present a few minutes ago when the auditor general appeared before the public accounts committee, which meant that the auditor general, who has made a report that everyone is interested in, could not be questioned by opposition members.

It seems to me this has to do with government business. It has to do with a matter of parliamentary business. It is very shameful that no government members were there and the committee could not meet. Perhaps the government House leader could explain that.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It is difficult for me, as a relatively junior member compared with the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona, to intervene in this regard. However, I am aware of the fact that committees are creatures of their own invention. I do not know it is appropriate that this is part of the Thursday question or a point of order associated with the Thursday question.

If the government House leader would care to respond I am sure there would be no problem.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that only God is a creature of his own invention. Committees are creatures of the House, and therefore somebody has to be answerable when the government is behaving in this very peculiar way.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Perhaps the government whip will be able to shed some light on this.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am at a loss for words. I will certainly look into the matter. If what the member for Winnipeg—Transcona has reported has occurred, and I am sure it is accurately reported, it is totally unacceptable. This is something I would hope would never happen. I regret if it did happen, and certainly I will give it my utmost attention.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the government whip and House leader that as the representative on the public accounts committee for the New Democratic Party, I can confirm that no Liberal representatives arrived at the committee.

Business Of The HousePrivate Members' Business

4:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It is obvious that the government has taken this matter very seriously.

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester, Transportation; the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville, Gun registry; the hon. member for Davenport, Communications.

The House resumed from October 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-44, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is the House ready for the question? Are hon. members rising on debate?

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Debate.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

On debate, the hon. member for Joliette.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I appreciate that you had already started to put the question and that you are now recognizing an hon. member. That is fine. I am sure we are all accommodating in order to allow enough time for people to come into the House.

That being said, I wonder if, for the benefit of Canadians receiving the funds for which they will be eligible under Bill C-44, the House would agree that at 5.30 p.m. the bill will be passed in second reading, be deemed to have been passed in committee of the whole, read the third time and referred to the Senate for its consideration.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Does the hon. government House leader have unanimous consent of the House?

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If I could just have the indulgence of the Chamber to go back to the point of order raised by my friend and colleague from Winnipeg—Transcona, because it is through our office and the government whip's office that we co-ordinate committee work, attendance, and so on.

I have just had the benefit of speaking to some of my staff, and we in fact had people who were going to the meeting. My understanding is that regrettably there was a change in the location of the meeting, and while they were in transit or getting from one place to another, the meeting was adjourned. I can understand that, but believe me there was no intention on the part of the government members to avoid attending that meeting. It is regrettable that it did happen, but there was certainly no intention at any time to avoid that meeting.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

That point is now finished. We have had the question and an explanation. If we want to do more, we can do it behind the curtains. We are now going to debate.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to inform the House that the public accounts committee waited for over 20 minutes and nobody showed up.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

That was not a new point of order.

Employment Insurance ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rose on a point of order, not to continue the debate.

I simply wanted to tell the Chair that some speakers were scheduled to speak and that we should not proceed with the vote immediately. This is what I wanted to point out. But since you indicated that we are resuming debate, you have answered my question and I do not think there is any objection to proceeding in this fashion.