House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was witnesses.


Presence in the Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to follow up on the statement by the hon. member for Tobique—Mactaquac, who reminded the House of the tragic death of Cpl. Jamie Brendan in Afghanistan.

I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of a survivor of that explosion in Afghanistan, Corporal Richard Michael Newman, from Hartland, New Brunswick.

Presence in the Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

May 13th, 2004 / 3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is the 54th sitting of the third session of the 37th Parliament, with a day to go.

I am wondering if the government House leader could tell us what miracle he has for the next day and a half to save us from probably the least productive session in the 30 years I have been involved in politics.

I also want to say to the government House leader, in all kindness, that I am looking forward to coming back after the election when he will be asking the new prime minister questions from this side of the House.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie


Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the true miracle is the number of bills we have been able to pass, notwithstanding their opposition to them.

This afternoon, the House will continue with the opposition day motion. Tomorrow, we will return to Bill C-34, the migratory birds legislation. This will be followed by a motion to refer to committee before second reading Bill C-36, respecting communicable diseases. We will then return to Bill C-33, the Fisheries Act amendments, Bill C-10, respecting marijuana, and Bill C-23, respecting the first nations.

When the House returns on May 25, it will resume this list and take up bills that are introduced or reported from committee in the interim.

Thursday, May 27, shall be an allotted day, something that may not interest them.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton West


Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in this House to pay tribute to a fellow Albertan, and an outstanding parliamentarian and public servant, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre, the man from High River.

Although we have spent years on opposite sides of the House, no one can but have enormous respect for the member's commitment to this place and his profound belief in the importance of the democratic discourse that takes place here. Because of that commitment, the right hon. member displayed on a daily basis his love of language and his understanding of its power; its power to inform, to elevate and to inspire, and at times, dare I say, its power to irritate, to exasperate and to move to anger.

Some have said that the hon. member was able to say more in 35 seconds than others could say in 35 minutes. It is perhaps not surprising that the right hon. member understands the power of language.

He is the son and grandson of newspaper owners and his mother was a French teacher. I am told that as a young man he considered a career in journalism. Indeed, he was the editor of the student newspaper, the Gateway at the University of Alberta.

As a student he quickly became involved in his lasting passion, politics. I understand that at the university he debated vigorously the issues of the day with fellow students, such as Jim Coutts, Preston Manning and Senator Joyce Fairbairn. By the late 1960s, the right hon. member had decided to make politics his career. He worked for some time as a speech writer for the late hon. Robert Stanfield.

The right hon. member was first elected to Parliament in 1972, becoming leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1976 and Prime Minister in 1979. He left elected politics in 1993 but returned as leader of the Progressive Conservatives in 1998. His commitment to progressive conservatism has never wavered.

As minister of external affairs, the right hon. member represented our country with distinction around the world. I want to particularly note the important role he played, and our country played, in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa.

While he served as the minister responsible for constitutional affairs between 1991 and 1993, the right hon. member's commitment was obvious throughout the country, as he worked tirelessly to bring about constitutional reform through the Charlottetown accord.

While the Charlottetown accord was not finally accepted by Canadians, no one could ever doubt this right hon. member's commitment to a strong and united Canada where policies like official bilingualism are at the heart of who we are and what we aspire to be.

As we all know, the right hon. member has never stopped working on behalf of Canadians, both in and outside the House, either in an official party or not. For example, yesterday he asked a key question about the government's commitment to the fight against HIV-AIDS in this country.

It will be 25 years ago this week that the right hon. member became Prime Minister of Canada.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I wish to thank the right hon. member, his wife, Maureen McTeer, and his daughter, Catherine, for their selfless, courageous and inspiring commitment to this country and its people.

Mr. Speaker, the member had the honour to lead the political party that was there at the founding of our country.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as Leader of the Opposition, it is my honour today to rise and pay tribute to the right hon. member for Calgary Centre and to his political career.

I wish to begin by admitting that we have not always been on the same side of political issues. I think we have spent most of our careers and political lives as opponents, but in this business, while this may colour one's perspective, it should not blind one to the abilities and accomplishments of others.

Because of the rivalries that we have had from time to time, the right hon. member and myself are sometimes compared, and I am sure will be more frequently in the future. These comparisons to me are, from my perspective, not always flattering.

I can give one example. A few months back I was on the road as I often am for a number of days at a time and left my family to travel alone back from the riding to Ottawa. My seven year old son Benjamin found himself seated with the right hon. member for Calgary Centre on that four hour plane flight.

Well, a few days later my harshest critic, my wife, delivered the verdict. She said, “Do you realize that lately you have been spending less time with your son than Joe Clark has?” Man, I tell you, some things hurt.

However, there was a point there. As we all struggle with the challenges of living in public life, we cannot help but admire an individual who has been in public life almost his entire adult life and who has not only managed those challenges but has sustained a strong family life, an enduring and loving marriage to his wife Maureen, and a wonderful father-daughter relationship with Catherine who I understand also grew up at Stornoway, like my daughter Rachel.

Today we pay tribute principally though to a long and distinguished career in public service. Whatever our differences, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre has had a career here of well over 30 years. He has by my count been elected to this House eight times. He has served with distinction in key roles such as the constitutional affairs minister and has been minister of external affairs.

He twice led a national political party. He occupied the post of leader of the opposition during some of the most critical battles ever to take place in the history of this Chamber. And it was almost 25 years ago that he received the mandate, albeit briefly as it turned out, to be Prime Minister of Canada, one of only 21 people in the entire history of this country to be so honoured.

As a consequence, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre will leave here with only history to judge him, which makes him a historic figure. Many people come here with the ambition to be historic figures but very, very few ever achieve this. And for that, we salute his career and we wish the right hon. member and his family health and prosperity into the future.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.


Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout his very long parliamentary career—he was first elected in 1972—the member for Calgary Centre performed his duties with dignity, a keen sense of public interest and, I might add, a good sense of humour. He is a gentleman.

In March 2002, he joined us to vote in favour of a Bloc Quebecois motion calling on the government to recognize the fiscal imbalance. He advocated the rejection of the clarity bill. He did so with arguments that we do not support, but nonetheless, he urged his party to vote against this disgraceful bill.

We did not always agree with his stand on the Quebec issue, as it did not meet our expectations or Quebeckers' expectations for that matter. Standing by his convictions, at the end of the 1980s, when the Progressive Conservative Party was in power, he made a sincere attempt to reconcile the aspirations of Quebec and Canada, but unsuccessfully. Nonetheless, he was always open to Quebec, sharing with Quebeckers values common to both peoples.

In all sincerity, I hope he enjoys his political retirement with his family, who supported him at all times. I wish him a good retirement and good luck.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.


Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP caucus, I certainly want to wish the right hon. member for Calgary Centre well as this Parliament comes to a close, and to thank him for his distinguished service as a parliamentarian, as a prime minister, as leader of the opposition, as a minister and as a Progressive Conservative.

It should also be said that the right hon. member served Canada particularly well as Canada's foreign affairs minister during the Mulroney years, as I, who was his assigned critic for part of that time, can well attest. It has already been mentioned the role that Canada played under his leadership and the leadership of the prime minister at that time in the fight against apartheid and I think this is a Canadian story that we do not tell well enough or often enough.

One hesitates to be too complimentary about the right hon. member because some of his adversaries have said a political goodbye to him before and lived to hear their praise repeated in a different context. The right hon. member has a history of responding to duty and one never knows where or in what way duty may call again.

The NDP has a relationship, probably not remembered with affection by the hon. member, with one of the most difficult moments in his political life. We moved the motion that ultimately brought down the newly elected government in 1979. We did not, however, determine the government's tactics in response to the motion. That is a responsibility still to be sorted out.

However for the record I want the right hon. member to know that I argued in caucus at the time for letting him govern for a time while we saw what he would or could do. Perhaps it was because it was my first Parliament and I was not anxious to go back to the streets, I am not sure what the reason was, but that was my position at the time and I stick to it.

I would also like to commend the right hon. member for setting an example for western Canadians by being truly open to and aware of Quebec's aspirations and the reality of a bilingual Canada. Although we could debate certain constitutional matters at great length, I think the example he set in this regard is and will be part of the legacy of the right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

I think the right hon. member was also precocious in his attitude toward women, championing the cause of women's equality long before it was always popular to do so.

Finally, I want to commend the right hon. member for his appreciation of the role of Parliament and, in particular, the role of the House of Commons. Remarks have already been made by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois about the right hon. member being a gentleman and about his sense of humour. What I want to say of him and what I think is one of the highest compliments that can be paid a member of Parliament is that he is a House of Commons man who took seriously this place, its procedures and its possibilities, no matter what side of the House he was on, and saw the importance of doing the nation's business in this chamber and not across the street in some other contrived, unelected and unaccountable venue.

We hope he will write a book, for few have more to teach us about the nature of political commitment, through all the ups and downs that political life offers, than the right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Good luck and thank you very much.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in this tribute to a man who, for over 30 years, spanning four decades, has dedicated his life to serving the public interest.

Canada is a complex country. It has been said that if other countries suffer from having too much history, Canada has too much geography. All that geography makes our great country a place in which diverse and sometimes divergent views and interests coexist and in fact flourish.

Throughout his political career, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre strove to understand that diversity and bridge those divides.

The son of a newspaper man from High River, Alberta, it would have been easier for him to be a man of his roots. Instead, he became a man of the world, always reaching out to the other, whoever the other happened to be.

The right hon. member learned to speak both of Canada's official languages. He named the first woman to serve as foreign affairs minister and the first black cabinet minister. He has always been an ardent supporter of human rights. He fought Canada's fight against South African apartheid. He was instrumental in Canada securing an acid rain treaty with the United States, and he welcomed the Vietnamese boat people.

The constitutional accord he negotiated would have, for the first time, recognized aboriginal peoples in our basic law. In each case there was a political risk and a political price to pay.

Not all of these initiatives were in fact successful but together they speak to his unwavering commitment to make this country a place anyone can call home, no matter their history, no matter their background.

He spoke of Canada as a community of communities long before the concept was fashionable. Indeed, our recent history has shown how truly prescient his vision was.

When I was young, I observed the right hon. member, who served our country as party leader, prime minister and then secretary of state for foreign affairs. He played a role, in a number of ways, in my decision to enter politics. His commitment to Canada and his protection of the public interest are an inspiration to us all.

Too often political pundits, media commentators describe what we do in this chamber in terms of winners and losers. That is, of course, important to our system. At its core, our system is in fact adversarial. It starts, after all, after an election, but that, dear friends and colleagues, does not tell the whole story.

At its best, politics is about making the big play in the interest of Canada. In an age of careful political leadership and government by opinion poll, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre stands out as a man who in every circumstance tried to make the big play.

Far removed from the back rooms, focus groups and polling questionnaires, he had a vision and he made his case to Canadians in public places, but more often than not in this House of Commons. He is a fierce opponent in question period and a formidable debater. On occasion, Mr. Speaker, you may have recognized that he is capable of being a tad partisan as well, but his motives were never in question. At all times and in all things he was motivated by the desire to make Canada a better place.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to acknowledge his wife and partner in this long political journey, Maureen McTeer, and my friend, Catherine. Political life, as we know it, is hard on families: long hours, time away, stress and hectic schedules, but their approach has always been a team approach. His achievements are their achievements as well.

This House of Commons and indeed this country will always be in the right hon. member's debt, both for the things he did and for the things for which he stood. He has taught me a great deal about the country that we serve and I think we all collectively are better parliamentarians for having known him.

Thank you, Joe.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that I preferred these parliamentary tributes when they were about someone else but I appreciate deeply the tribute that the House has paid. I thank my fellow Albertan, the Deputy Prime Minister, for her remarks. I want to thank the Leader of the Opposition and, more particularly, his very engaging son, Benjamin.

I would of course, like to also thank the leader of the Bloc Quebecois. He is right, we do not see eye to eye when it comes to certain basic issues relating to Canada, but I think that we both, myself as much as he, appreciate each other's sincerity of commitment to our objectives. He is a little less bilingual than I, but these things happen.

My colleague, my friend and, dare I say, former youth member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, when there was such a thing, has now, I am pleased to see, confessed his collaboration or the collaboration of his party with the Liberals in bringing down my government in the beginning of our life.

I have to express a particular appreciation to my friend and my colleague in the other part of the Progressive Conservative caucus in the House of Commons, the member for Fundy—Royal. I admire him as a parliamentarian and an individual, and I very much appreciate his words today.

Mr. Speaker, I think this will be one of the least controversial interventions of my career. I want to begin my remarks where I began my career, which is with the men and women who elected me in the four constituencies in two provinces which it has been my privilege to represent here in the House of Commons.

I am immensely grateful to the voters of that spectacular but short-lived riding of Rocky Mountain in Alberta; the riding of Yellowhead, which I had the privilege to serve for so long; and the riding of Kings—Hants, from which the Deputy Prime Minister comes as does her now colleague, the current member for Kings—Hants; and of course my constituency of Calgary Centre.

I want to express my thanks to literally thousands of other individuals in Canada and abroad, in this House and outside, who have helped me in good times or in bad times or in both.

Everyone here knows, and it has been acknowledged, just how much members of Parliament owe to our families. That is always true but I have to say that in no case has it been more true than in the case of Maureen McTeer and of Catherine Clark.

Maureen sought election here herself, in a difficult constituency and time. She would have been a formidable presence in this House of Commons. It may also be appropriate for me to say, and this is perhaps the most controversial thing I will say today, that Maureen, Catherine and I, under fire, have learned something about family values.

The spokesman for the NDP referred to the defeat of my government in 1979. I have had the privilege of several dramatic moments in this House. I will not recite each one of them.

I remember clearly how that defeat came about after a vote on our budget in 1979. On that vote, the Liberal Party wheeled in every member who could draw breath. They literally evacuated the hospitals. Members of Parliament, on whose desks cobwebs had grown, showed up miraculously to vote. The present Prime Minister should have seen it because I learned that night that just because a member of the Liberal Party might be worn out, battered and beaten up, he can still come back to haunt you.

Now, almost everyone who serves here leaves with a larger vision than they brought. The diversity of Canada becomes a personal experience which lifts most of us beyond the natural Canadian boundaries of region and language and local experience.

The real privilege of working here goes beyond service to our constituents or to our country. In an age of invention and uncertainty there is no other profession so consistently subject to change and to surprise. In an era where people are always learning, there is no better school than public life.

I learned the other official language here, learned it in my fashion. That helped me understand that the distinct society is not a dead phrase in a constitution, but the living reality of most of French-speaking Canada, and a defining feature of our history and our future.

Serving in this Parliament became my passport to communities and realities I would otherwise never have known so well: aboriginal Canadians, Canadian Jews and Canadian Arabs confronting ancient tensions, farmers seeing their way of life threatened, the transforming imagination of our artists and scientists.

But this Parliament is more than a school. It is a place to act. It is the principal place where the Canadian community can act together.

This House can reflect our country at its worst or at its best. I have been here for both experiences. At our best this House of Commons defines the public interest of Canada. That happened, I believe, when we argued for and against specific constitutional changes in at least two Parliaments; when we argued for and against a free trade agreement; and when we acted together, as others have mentioned, as a Parliament in a practical campaign against apartheid.

In such debates there are bound to be deep disagreements, because that is in the nature of a diverse country that is continent wide with roots and interests reaching literally everywhere. That very diversity makes it imperative that there be a place where broad public interest can be expressed. There are plenty of voices for private, regional or special interests. At our best in this House of Commons, the whole community can find its Canadian voice.

I have been honoured to serve here. Maureen and I look forward to the next chapters in our lives. I hope my colleagues in the House are able to draw as much satisfaction from their public service as I have from mine.

Right Hon. Member for Calgary Centre
Oral Question Period

3:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to thank the right hon. member for Calgary Centre for his remarks, as well as the hon. members who rose today to speak about their own retirement or that of other hon. members.

In case we do not sit the week after next, I want to say what a pleasure it has been to work with hon. members, particularly on a great parliamentary occasion like this one, where we recognize in the House the election, 25 years ago, of one of our colleagues as Prime Minister of Canada. It does not happen that often.

It is a pleasure to be here on an occasion like this. I am certain all hon. members have appreciated it. I want to pass on my thanks to those who put this together and made this possible.

I also want to thank all hon. members for their cooperation throughout this Parliament which has always been forthcoming from the point of view of the Chair. Thank you very much.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Government Orders

3:45 p.m.


John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is quite an honour to rise in the House for my final speech just after the tributes to the hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Before I go into a discussion of the subject before the House, I would like to build on a remark of the right hon. member for Calgary Centre. He was saying how this place reflects Canada. My time in the House is much less than that of the right hon. member for Calgary Centre. I have only been here 11 years. However, I can say that it has been a wonderful experience and I have learned something that outsiders perhaps would not really appreciate or appreciate in the same sense as we who serve here, and that is, how very human the House is.

I have found, whether I am on this side or that side, my colleagues to be people who are motivated by sometimes the highest principles and sometimes by the most human principles. We have everything here from debates concerning the grand issues of the nation and the grand issues of the world, to the expression of petty personal and political rivalries.

That latter point is important. What makes this place work--in my opinion after the years I have been here--is the fact that it is so human. It is not just the strengths of people that we see here; it is also our weaknesses. That is terribly important because in a true democracy the human psyche has to be represented in the House. Otherwise we would have an elite.

If Parliament were to select members of Parliament based on their education only, or based on their experience, or on their ability to speak in the House, then we would not have the kind of democracy that this country is so fortunate to have.

It has been genuinely a pleasure here. I am impressed by the fact that, unlike any other democracy I know, the happenings in the House are watched by the nation. We are genuinely a real drama that is followed by Canadians from one end of the land to the other. We have television cameras. We have the scrum after question period. These are all the things that bring parliamentarians before the people.

What is so great and important is that we do not have to be a cabinet minister, and we do not have to be a prime minister to have an effect on the nation. We do not have to be anything more than a member of the House.

This gives me an opportunity to actually mention one of the things that has always bothered me. It is the suggestion that there is some kind of democratic deficit in this Parliament. It is something that the current Prime Minister has commented on or suggested, and also the former leader of the reform party. I remember away back in 1993-94, he was constantly saying that Parliament was broken.

This Parliament is not broken. Any shortcomings that occur here are shortcomings that belong to we who serve here. Anyone, and I like to think I am an example, has an opportunity to speak out in this place, to speak out in caucus, and to promote those items of legislation or those causes that are near and dear to them.

I do not think there is another country in the world in which that type of opportunity is afforded ordinary individuals who become ordinary MPs. I think it is an absolutely marvellous thing.

As always, I always try to take advantage of the time I have in the House. Even though this is my last occasion before the election to speak in this Chamber, I am not going to say goodbye because I am not a person who says goodbye. I like to think that, whether I am here after the next election or not, I will be haunting the corridors of the House in some way or another.

I will use the opportunity of my time here today to promote one of the things that I as a backbencher have been working on for years. That is access to information reform. The reason why it is relevant is the debate we have before us today involves the sponsorship program and the investigation that has taken place over many months, using the public accounts committee and, if I may say so, an investigation in which I took part two years ago.

The bottom line to me in this whole question of transparency and accountability is changing the protocols to make it impossible for this type of situation that we see in the sponsorship program to occur ever again, where it would appear that documents are not in the file, things have gone missing, and we have a senior bureaucrat who declares that one of the reasons why he did not keep the appropriate records was because he was afraid of the Access to Information Act. I fear that in the debate before public accounts, this point, this tangent shall we say, of transparency and accountability, which is the need to reform and elaborate on the Access to Information Act, has so far been lost.

I will remind members that two weeks ago in this chamber, this House voted on private member's Bill C-462, a bill sponsored by myself, which is a comprehensive reform of the Access to Information Act. It is a product of many years of work. It is a product of backbench MPs working together on all sides of the House. There is a lot of expertise in this bill. Because of that and because of the will of the House, it was passed at second reading by a unanimous vote of 198 to zero. That sends a very strong message from this House about where we as backbench MPs, where we as every MP, stand on transparency and accountability. Where we stand is that we now know it must come forward.

Now, here is my problem. I have sponsored the bill, and the bill is before the House. An election is coming and there seems to be a very strong probability, if not a certainty, that I will not be returned. Consequently, I will not be there to promote in the next Parliament my access to information bill, which I believe is absolutely in the interests of this House, this Parliament and the country.

Therefore, what I am saying to the members gathered here in the House is to remember, if I am not here, that access to information reform is a backbench initiative, a torch if you will, that has to be taken up by other backbench MPs. I believe the groundwork is covered. I believe the will of Parliament is there. I believe that the leadership on all sides of the House and the leadership in the civil services are behind the legislation, and so I do hope it goes forward, and I will be content. It is not necessary to have one's name attached to a bill. It is not necessary to have one's name attached to any initiative that is positive and in the public interest in the House. The important thing is that it be done.

Let me end on one final note so that people watching can perhaps understand a little more about what motivates us here, what motivates us on all sides of the House when we are at our best. The thing is that we as parliamentarians here, be we ministers, prime ministers or backbench MPs, have an opportunity to change the lives of Canadians and we have the opportunity to change the lives of people who we will never know and never see. I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that this is the highest form of charity, the highest form of good, not simply to help people whom we can see and get the satisfaction in our hearts and souls because we have made their lives better, but the really greatest good is to do something in this House that will help people we will never see, but that makes the lives of Canadians better.

Government Orders

3:55 p.m.


Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope you will accept the latitude extended to many members today, this day being near the end of what is likely to be the end of our Parliament. I just want to note the hon. member's remarks on this subject, but as he has indicated he may not be back here.

I want to let the record show his contributions to this place, while he has been here on behalf of his constituents, in the area of access to information, public accountability and transparency. He was one of the few individuals in the House who had a background in security intelligence that allowed him to also contribute what I will call value added to this place, not just in that envelope but in many others.

He has in his remarks made reference to his private member's bill. It is the largest private member's bill I have ever seen here and as complex as any. I remember him working on this years ago, not just alone but in collaboration with other members, not just one party but all parties. He is a member who has made contributions here on issues involving members from both sides of the House. He has been able to focus on public interest issues in a value added way. He was able to put the partisanship aside and really focus on what he and others believed were in the best interest of Canadians.

I wanted to make that comment as a form of tribute. I will not take more time, but thanks to the member and thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to say that.

Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

If I could suggest, maybe what I will do is recognize other members who may want to make a comment or ask a question and ultimately the final word would go to the hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot.