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House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member from the government's side has said that they intend to look into this to see whether what is being alleged by the right hon. member from Calgary is true. However it seems to me that on the face of it, it is true and that the government should have been aware of this, especially a government that has made a big deal, and particularly a Prime Minister who has made a big deal, about addressing the democratic deficit, and about how there would be more opportunity for Parliament to review appointments, and how this process would be enhanced and enriched.

In fact, we have a government that is not even willing to live up to that which is provided for now in the standing orders. I commend the right hon. member for bringing this to the attention of the House. I would hope, Mr. Speaker, that you would see this for what it is. It is a contempt of the House and, unfortunately, in keeping with the general pattern which we begin to see on the other side of the House.

I raised a question today, which I think is probably not an appropriate point of order, but the government is also in contempt of the House for calling the byelection in Ottawa Centre for November 29. What could be more of a contempt of the House of Commons than to create the possibility that a seat will be vacant in the House for up to 15 months only to serve the political agenda of--

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I know the hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona is trying to be helpful but I think he has perhaps strayed off the subject of the question of privilege that we are discussing at the moment, interesting as his argument may be.

Is the hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona going to go back to the question of privilege? Fine, splendid.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was just diverting for a moment until such time as you stopped me. You are doing your job, so let me return to the main point of order. I was just on a sub-theme of the main point.

I also want to agree with the right hon. member, not just with respect to the whole question of reviewing appointments, but with some of the appointments that he mentioned. I do not say this out of any particular criticism or concern about the people who have been appointed. We have not had a chance to really review those appointments or to have those people before committees. However the right hon. member has made a good point, particularly when it comes to these new appointments, such as the creation of a national security advisor, again by a government that made a big deal out of the fact that we would have a committee on national security and we would involve parliamentarians in the whole question of national security in a way that we never have before, but when it had a minor opportunity, or an already existing opportunity to involve parliamentarians in something having to do with national security, it did not do it, just like it did not do it with the new head of the Canada-U.S. Secretariat and a number of other positions.

I would urge you, Mr. Speaker, to find that the point being raised by the right hon. member is a legitimate one and that the government is, unfortunately, as in so many other cases, in contempt of the House.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the former speaker about the government. I know the Liberals are very busy these days and that they have a lot of things on their minds but surely they should be aware of the laws and rules of this place.

I would remind the Speaker that on November 21, 2001, the Speaker delivered a ruling in regard to a complaint by the member for Surrey Central when he cited 16 examples where the government failed to comply with legislative requirements concerning the tabling of certain information in Parliament. In all of the 16 cases raised on November 21, a reporting deadline was absent in the legislation. As a result the Speaker could not find a prima facie question of privilege.

However, he said in his ruling on page 1515 of Hansard :

Were there to be a deadline for tabling included in the legislation, I would not hesitate to find that a prima facie case of contempt does exist--

I would invite the hon. member to move the usual motion. The standing order establishes a deadline in this case and it has clearly been breached. Therefore the right hon. member for Calgary Centre has a very valid point and we certainly support him in his submission.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. deputy government House leader has indicated that he is taking the matter under advisement and will get back to the House. I assume he is not ready to get back to the House yet, so perhaps we could just let the matter rest until he comes back to the House.

The Chair is quite prepared to make a ruling on the matter but it would seem to me to be premature until the Chair has had an opportunity to examine the facts alleged by the right hon. member for Calgary Centre and supported so ably by the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona and the hon. member for St. John's West. We will get to hear a little more from the deputy government House leader in due course on this point and then there will be a ruling.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-22, an act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair is satisfied that this bill is in the same form as Bill C-10B was at the time of prorogation of the 2nd session, 37th Parliament.

Accordingly, pursuant to order made Tuesday, February 10, 2004, the bill is deemed adopted at all stages and passed by the House.

(Bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, consultations and discussions have taken place among the parties and I believe that if you were to seek it you would find consent to adopt the following motion:

That, on Wednesday, March 10, 2004, immediately after “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers”, the House shall proceed immediately to the taking of any divisions that stand deferred to any time on that day, following which the House shall proceed to the consideration of private members business, following which the House shall proceed to a take-note debate pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 on the situation in Haiti, provided that, notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 (d) of the said Standing Order, the said debate may be continued for no more than six hours.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the deputy government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The translation that I received said that it would go until 6 o'clock but the motion I am looking at says that it continue for no more than six hours.

Could the member clarify that, please?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Selkirk—Interlake is correct, that it go for no more than six hours. That was what was read in French as well.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

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

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent to return to presenting reports from committees.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to revert to presentation of reports from committees?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the question of privilege raised by the member for Yorkton—Melville and referred to the committee on February 6, 2004.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the pleasure to present to the House a petition dealing with marriage. It is signed by close to 500 Canadians.

The petitioners wish to draw to the attention of the House that the traditional understanding of marriage has deep historical roots in our society and it should not be modified by the courts.

The petitioners pray and request that the Parliament of Canada take every possible action to maintain and protect the present understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting five petitions from a variety of citizens across Canada.

The petitioners indicate that marriage is the lasting union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of others and it cannot and should not be modified by legislative act or a court of law. They are requesting that Parliament take whatever action is required to maintain the current definition of marriage in law in perpetuity and to prevent any court from overturning or amending that definition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present two petitions.

The first one deals with the use of intense active sonar. The petition sets out in detail the significant detrimental impact on marine life, mammals and fish. There are approximately 250 signatures on the petition. The petitioners call on Parliament to intervene with the navies of the world to reduce, if not totally eliminate, that type of sonar and replace it with less intrusive and low frequency sonar.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with the cutting of trees that is going on in the county of Kent in southwestern Ontario as an attempt to head off the emerald ash borer which is flowing through that area. There have been many reports about the way trees have been destroyed.

The petitioners are calling on the government to intervene and provide for an environmental assessment that would determine whether in fact the cutting of trees is an ecologically sound practice and to stop the cutting of trees until that assessment takes place.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 and on behalf of the constituents of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, I would like to table a petition.

The petitioners ask that Parliament pass the appropriate legislation to affirm the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting two petitions calling on Parliament to recognize in federal law the definition of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

The petitioners are from Ontario and there is a total of 783 signatures.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Leeds—Grenville Ontario

Liberal

Joe Jordan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.