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House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was leader.

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The House resumed from October 22 consideration of the motion that Bill C-49, an act respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003, be read the third time and passed, and of the motion that the question be now put.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

It being 10:05 a.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at third reading stage of Bill C-49.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre on a point of order.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention a serious situation that arose yesterday in the Standing Committee on Finance during the testimony of the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

I would invite the hon. member to do that after the vote. I will be more than happy to hear the point of order then, but we have a vote scheduled for 10 a.m. I think we might proceed with that first and then we will deal with the point of order.

The hon. chief government whip on a point of order.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think you would find consent that the motion before the House be deemed carried on division.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

Which motion is the hon. member referring to?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, the motion that the question be now put.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps I will put the question and then we will see if it carries on division. Is that agreed?

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The question is on the previous question. Is there unanimous consent to have this motion carried on division?

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

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

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

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10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

In my opinion, the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

Call in the members.

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

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10:35 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion carried.

The hon. government House leader on a point of order.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

October 23rd, 2003 / 10:35 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to a commitment I made to House leaders and others in the House, I believe that you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That Bill C-53, an act to change the names of certain electoral districts, be deemed to be amended in clause 23 by deleting the word “Woodwich” and substituting therefor the word “Woolwich” and that the bill be deemed to have been read a second time, referred to a committee, reported from committee and concurred in at report stage without amendment, and read a third time and passed.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment ActGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

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

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10:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to, bill read a second time, referred to committee, reported without amendment, concurred in, read a third time and passed)

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention a serious matter that arose yesterday in the Standing Committee on Finance during the testimony of the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that during this meeting the actions of the chairperson, supported by the government majority on the committee, denied me and other members of the committee our right to question the witness as is allowed by the rules of Parliament. As such my freedom of speech, which is a fundamental right to every MP in this place, was denied.

The facts are fairly simple. The meeting was held to examine the Bank of Canada's monetary policy. The witnesses were the Governor of the Bank of Canada and the senior deputy governor.

During the meeting, when recognized by the Chair in my proper order and within the time allowed to me, I attempted to question the credibility of the witness, given the past record of the Governor of the Bank of Canada as a manager of a scandal at the Department of Health. All attempts to question the credibility of the witness were ruled out of order by the chair.

I fail to see the point in having free speech in the House if it is arbitrarily denied to me in committee. It is my job as an MP and as my party's finance critic to explore the governor's ability to run our monetary policy and that question involves his credibility. We cannot study a policy without looking at the bank's chief manager's ability to implement the policy effectively.

I know that my immediate remedy for this problem was to raise the matter with the committee, and that I did. My only option was to challenge the chair, and that I did. The committee split along party lines and the chair's ruling was upheld.

I know that we have partisan debate in this place and that in committee there are votes along party lines. That is common and I understand that this is normal; however, the House and its committees are more than a partisan battleground.

We are an institution where a variety of ideas are expressed and where the facets of public policy are explored to improve the lives of those who send us here as representatives. The expression of those ideas is the right of all members within the confines of the rules. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right of MPs in this place.

We do not allow the majority to gag the minority, but that is what happened yesterday. When the tyranny of the majority runs down our rights as members, then our only remedy is to ask for your wisdom on this matter. I have listened to your rulings in the past on the independence of committees and I have taken them to heart.

Mr. Speaker, you have recognized that committees are their own masters on matters of procedure, but my point of order is not procedural. It is a question of my rights being denied.

Mr. Speaker, you are my only viable protector against a gag order from the majority of this place. I am only trying to do my job within the rules. I therefore ask you, Mr. Speaker, to review the transcript in question and overrule the chair of the finance committee on this matter.