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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

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

moved that a ways and means motion to amend the Income Tax Act, laid upon the table on Wednesday, October 18, be concurred in.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Ways And MeansGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 1427Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

Division No. 1427Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am having trouble understanding something.

In connection with the Minister of Finance's budget statement, the Chair accepted an amendment by the official opposition and an amendment to the amendment by the Bloc Quebecois. Yet we have just had a vote without taking into consideration the debate on the amendment to the amendment and the debate on the amendment, which ought normally to have been adopted or rejected before a vote on the main motion.

I do not understand why we are not voting today when the amendment and the amendment to the amendment were accepted and a day and one-half of debate on them was tolerated. We are voting on the main motion only, not the amendments.

If the main motion was not open to amendment, the Chair ought not to have accepted amendments. Since it did accept them, they ought to be voted on.

Division No. 1427Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am told that it is not the same vote. The one the hon. member is referring to concerns Motion No. 13, under the rubric of government business, while the other concerns ways and means. These are two totally different things and that is why we were able to proceed in this fashion.

That is the information the Clerk has given me. Perhaps if you come forward, the Clerk will be able to provide you with further information.

Division No. 1427Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this final day—we can forget about tomorrow, because the government will not be here—I would like to share our wisdom with the House.

Under parliamentary law, how is it possible for us to vote on a ways and means motion to implement a budget statement which has not itself been approved, since the Chair has allowed an amendment to an amendment and an amendment from the official opposition?

We cannot vote on the implementation of something that has been officially amended, debated in the House and not voted on.

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to upset anyone, but you are going to have a serious legal problem if you allow everyone to leave like this and we do not vote on the amendment to the amendment, the amendment and the main motion. This poses a very serious legal problem. Think twice.

It does not matter to me, but it is the government's budget and it should perhaps be looking after its own affairs.

Division No. 1427Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I have made my ruling. We will see what happens.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Labelling Of Genetically Modified FoodsPrivate Members' Business

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, October 17, 2000, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion M-230 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Division No. 1428Private Members' Business

3:45 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like my vote recorded in opposition to the motion.

Division No. 1428Private Members' Business

3:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion lost.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

October 19th, 2000 / 3:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My apologies for taking so long in getting to the business of the House. The business of the House right now is to pay tribute to one of our colleagues who has served parliament for some 30 years.

He is here with us today in our gallery. I refer to Robert “Bob” Marleau, Clerk of the House of Commons and Special Adviser to the Speaker. He is here with his wife, Ann, his sons and his dear friends and colleagues who worked with him for so many years.

If you permit me a few words to begin, I will call you Bob throughout this because we dropped the terms “Gilbert” and “Robert” a long time ago. Almost from the beginning of my mandate as Speaker of the House, I did refer to Bob Marleau not as “the clerk” but as “my clerk”. This possessive was used with the greatest respect to publicly indicate my complete trust and confidence in the man who was to be, for the next seven years, my closest and most trusted adviser.

As members know, Bob Marleau stepped down as Clerk of the House last July. I did not then have the opportunity to stand before you, my colleagues, to thank him on your behalf for his many years of service to the House.

Bob has been a part of the House of Commons for 30 years, more than a generation: committee clerk, treasurer of the Canadian section of the Association internationale des parlementaires de langue française, principal clerk, committees and legislation, clerk assistant and, in 1983, Clerk of the House of Commons.

So much knowledge and experience and all of it available to the clerks at the table, the members of the House and the Chair.

In addition, Bob has been a key member of the Canadian Study of Parliament group, a member of the Association of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada, a founding member of the Association des secrétaires généraux des parlements membres de l'AIPLF, and is frequently consulted for his parliamentary expertise by his colleagues in other parliaments around the world.

Bob, I thank you for many things, for your wisdom, your judgment, your discretion, your humour, your golf game, even your scolding because even Speakers need straightening out once in a while and few people are brave enough to take on the task. In your time on the Hill you have in your own quiet way greatly influenced those around you. The members of Parliament and the House of Commons, be they security guards, maintenance staff or procedural clerks, all hold you in the highest esteem and speak of you with genuine fondness. Not many people are so well respected.

I am relieved to know that you will remain with me a few months longer as special adviser. I know that your wife Ann and your sons Kristian and Stéphane will enjoy having you around more once you finally leave parliament.

Try to use some of that extra time to improve your golf, but not too much.

Bob, I thank you on behalf of all the members and staff for your years of service to the House of Commons and by extension to parliament and the people of Canada.

Those of us who served alongside you, whether in the Chamber or within the parliamentary precinct, will not soon forget your contribution to this country, both here and abroad. Both yourself and Camille Montpetit, who is with you today, and others, are responsible for a book of rules that we will be using in this parliament, if it follows practice, for the next 40 or 50 years.

Of all the things that I have said to you, Bob, I think in my heart the most important thing that I treasure is your friendship and your unflagging loyalty to this institution. Whenever I lost sight, you were always there to point out that there are other ways to look at things, which were better than the ones I was looking at at that time.

So thank you, my friend, for what you have done for me personally, for these members, for the House of Commons of Canada. You are a great asset to the House. Thank you, Bob.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I join you and all our colleagues today in paying tribute to a remarkable man who has had an equally remarkable career here, in parliament, Robert Marleau.

When I first met him, he was a young man from Cornwall, in the riding of Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, represented by the chief government whip. I remember this ambitious young man from eastern Ontario who was just beginning his career.

I myself had just arrived here, in the parliamentary restaurant, as I often say. As for Mr. Marleau, he was starting out with the committees. At the time, his hair was not as grey. As for me, I still had some. This was the beginning of a brilliant career that lasted over 30 years and culminated with his appointment to the position of Clerk of the House of Commons.

Throughout his career, Robert Marleau has displayed extraordinary professionalism and professional ethics, which he has been able to pass on to his colleagues and successors. It was great to work with Robert Marleau over the years. While we were somewhat surprised to learn that he was retiring, something which no one wanted him to do, he definitely deserves it. I would like to wish Mr. Marleau—Robert, if I may call him that—all the best and offer him my heartfelt congratulations on a brilliant and successful career.

I am a bit jealous that some people will miss Mr. Marleau's golf game because I know no one will ever miss mine.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure also to rise to pay tribute to someone who was the first man that I met when I was elected here in 1993. He helped me sign in. In that parliament, you will remember, Mr. Speaker, there were over 200 new people. We did not know where our seats were, we did not know how to sign and we did not know anything. Bob Marleau helped us to do that and helped us to do much more as we learned the rules and learned the ropes here in the House of Commons and I think learned to respect the House of Commons in part because he respected this place so much.

I think too of the procedural book that he co-authored with Mr. Montpetit. I turned to it today. I thought that I would look in it to see what it is that the clerk is supposed to do. There are three full pages of work and duties of the Clerk of the House of Commons. I switched right away over to the House leaders and there is one line in there about the House leaders. Therefore, there is more work to be done on the procedural book yet, I am sure. That procedure book I think will become a standard not only here in the House of Commons but increasingly as democracies around the world look to Canada and look to this House of Commons. They will pick up the book co-authored by Mr. Marleau and say this is a way that democracy can be enhanced and be respected.

I think overall that the biggest tribute perhaps to Mr. Marleau is that although all members of the House of Commons are equal, we all know that while that is traditionally true many members in the House have much more power than others. That is just a fact. Some are far more aggressive than others. Some are far more demanding than others. However, through it all I have never seen Mr. Marleau blink as far as being absolutely fair, absolutely impartial, absolutely act with dignity and absolutely bring grace and sort of a calmness to this place in everything he did.

Also, if I could, I think Bob would permit me to talk about our coffee together that we had just by coincidence the other morning in the cafeteria. I asked him “What are you going to do when you retire”, because he has not really retired yet; he is heading that way. He mentioned a few things that he had on his mind but even in retirement the things that he is considering have to do with helping charities, helping developing countries, helping people in need, helping out Canadian organizations and lending the organizational expertise that we have come to admire so much.

I thought it is a great tribute to the man. The organizations will be lucky people and we have been very fortunate to have him in our midst. Thank you, Bob.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to add my words to those of my colleagues who have spoken before me, all of them reflecting, I believe, what we all feel toward Mr. Marleau, who has left us, or will soon be doing so.

I would, however, like to say, in order to be fair to Mr. Marleau and Mr. Montpetit, who were directly attacked a few moments ago, that I feel otherwise: the work they have produced shows the full importance of the chief whip in that there is more reference to that position than to that of the House leader.

While that position may not have all the visibility and all the deference owing to it, at least in the joint work of Mr. Marleau and Mr. Montpetit we see the full importance, the full essence of the position of chief whip of the various parties.

Joking aside, I wish to express here the great admiration I personally and my fellow Bloc Quebecois members have for the work that has been done by Mr. Marleau, not just as Clerk of the House of Commons, because the Speaker also mentioned his long parliamentary career.

He started here in 1969 as clerk of committee. He then joined the parliamentary relations secretariat. He served as principal clerk, director of committees and private legislation, clerk assistant and, finally, in 1987, was appointed Clerk of the House of Commons.

He therefore has very broad experience, which he has shared with all of us here in the House. We are all indebted to him for his contribution to this Chamber, for what he has done for us individually and as a group.

Earlier the Speaker was saying that he will soon be leaving the House of Commons. On that score, I can say that he will never really leave it, that there will always be a seat for him here, because we have unanimously agreed to reserve for him the distinction of honorary clerk of the House of Commons. He will thus be able to join us and take part in the work of the House when the mood strikes him. I invite him to do so as often as possible.

What is particularly sad is knowing that this House will lose a part of its corporate memory. There is no denying that there have been a number of inroads on that memory in recent years.

In addition to Mr. Marleau, some very capable individuals have left us. There is Mary Anne Griffith, Camille Montpetit and Diane Davidson, who, through a chance administrative reorganization, has moved on to the Department of Justice and is now with the Chief Electoral Officer. She also shared with us her vast experience and considerable professionalism, as did Ms. Griffith and Mr. Montpetit.

Here we have much of our corporate memory leaving us, and we will have to make up for this loss one way or another.

I know that I myself and my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois have given Mr. Marleau, young retiree that he is, a few white hairs.

Nevertheless, since 1987, although the Bloc Quebecois was not around then, Mr. Marleau has weathered some rather stormy situations. However, being a fine helmsman, he always maintained a steady course and captained his ship exceptionally.

If we in fact did give him a few white hairs on occasion, I must say right off that it was not our intention and that we had the highest respect for his person, his duties and his contribution to the House of Commons.

People move on and the institution remains, I think. However, the memory of these people remains and does so for a long time.

Thank you for your contribution to the House of Commons. I think your presence here and your contribution will long remain within these walls. Thank you very much and congratulations. May your well deserved retirement be a good one.

As my friend, the House leader of the official opposition put it, I know full well that you are retiring, but you are not retiring, because you have also told me what you plan to do in your retirement.

I wish you good luck. I have not had the good fortune to golf with you, but you have had the good fortune not to golf with me.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, today seems to be the time for goodbyes and of course those who have the good fortune to choose the time of their retirement or resignation have the blessing of an opportunity for colleagues to express themselves about them.

I am sure that there are at least some in this place who will not have that opportunity. They will just go reluctantly into that good night on November 27. I say to Mr. Marleau that I am glad we have had this opportunity before parliament ended. He resigned in the summer and we did not have a chance to do this. I was certainly anxious that we would have an opportunity to put our thoughts on the record.

One always feels a bit more melancholy about people retiring when they are kind of close to your age and when one has been here almost as long as they were. I feel almost that this clerk is someone of my own generation. Certainly we have served in the House together for 21 and a half years. He has been a part of our collective lives here, part of my life here, and certainly part of that life I will always recall with great affection.

I appreciated his sense of humour. I appreciated the care he often demonstrated for this institution and the integrity with which he carried out his duties. I appreciated the work he and Mr. Montpetit did to put together the procedural book.

I hope against hope he will not write a memoir, gathering together the most eccentric behaviour he witnessed on the part of members of parliament over the 30 years. However it might be a best seller, one never knows.

I hope he will write a book on parliamentary reform. I notice he has already authored an article or two in some journals about this. Free of the constraints of the Table, and I say this with all due appreciation for the Chair and the Table, he might be able to offer us even better advice on how we might improve this place than he was able to do as Clerk of the House of Commons.

Robert MarleauPrivate Members' Business

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Report stage.