House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.


Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:15 p.m.


Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague brings up a very good point, which is one of the reasons why we should have further debate and send the bill to committee.

The reality is that under this bill everyone would know right off the bat that if they are going to cross the floor they are instantly either independent or going into a byelection. It is as simple as that. Whether the party receiving the member or the party the member departed get involved or give proper notice really is an afterthought.

The reality is that what the constituents are concerned about is what their member of Parliament will be doing. It is quite clear: if members think they have to cross the floor they should go back to their constituents and seek the nomination. If they are fortunate enough and if they are right, their constituents will bring them back under that banner.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:15 p.m.


Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would certainly not want to challenge all the work done by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore. Nor, however, would I want the public to get the impression that sitting in this House as an independent gives a member all the rights normally vested in those who belong to a party.

Since I was elected to this place, I have had the opportunity to notice that our involvement in committee work is probably one of our most valuable responsibilities. In committee, we really get to examine issues in depth and to improve legislation.

But sitting in this place as an independent member poses a problem, in that the involvement of independent members is almost nil, at best very limited.

How could the hon. member convince the Canadian public that those members will be providing effective representation without sitting on the various committees to speak on behalf of their constituents? This is one aspect of his proposal that I find worrisome.

I have another point to raise very briefly. It might be interesting to see what the practices of other countries are in this regard. Perhaps the hon. member had an opportunity to look into that as well.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:15 p.m.


Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, but the reality is that the bill also states that if a member of Parliament is elected as an independent, he or she comes to the House as an independent and cannot join a political party while here precisely because he or she was elected as an independent.

God bless his memory, Mr. Cadman, who was a great individual, was elected as an independent. In that situation, if he wanted to join or was persuaded to join a political party, he would have had to seek a byelection in that regard. It is just like Mr. John Nunziata's situation. He was elected as an independent. Under my bill, a person elected as an independent who wanted to join a political party during his or her term would have to go back to the constituents to seek that mandate.

In terms of other countries, I will be honest, I have not researched it that much because I have not been elected in another country. I have been elected to this House of Commons and it is this House of Commons that I am concerned about.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:15 p.m.


Russ Powers Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore for bringing the bill forward for debate before the House today. He has my assurance that I will seriously consider his suggestion about speaking to my constituents about this. His latter suggestion was that if we were in opposition to what he was proposing, we should go back and talk to our constituents. Not only myself, but I would suggest a vast majority of members on this side of the House are not in support of the bill.

Bill C-251 raises very important issues for our government and the people it represents. Should members of Parliament be required to vacate their seats if they leave their political party between elections? It is our duty to debate the bill today and discuss its merits for Canadian democracy.

Other countries have struggled with this issue and it has been floated in and out of our Parliament in the form of private members' bills not less than five times in the past few years. Of those times, only once has the issue of requiring a byelection for changing party affiliation been fully debated. That time was when that member's Bill C-218 was debated in the second session of the 37th Parliament.

When we compare the circumstances of that debate and this one, three key differences stand out on whether Bill C-251 should be adopted by the House.

When the crossing the floor bill was last debated, like most private members' business, it was non-votable. In 2003 the entire manner of doing private members' business changed. Now the accepted presumption for private members' items is that they will be votable. This is significant. Individual MPs have more power than ever to influence the legislative agenda, to make law and to create policy.

Through motions, bills and concurrence motions for committee reports, members are acting as independent legislators in the House. In a fair and equal process, individual members get the opportunity to have their items heard through a draw to be placed on the list from which the order of precedence is created. Members can be put on the list regardless of party affiliation or the aim of their motions and bills.

Notably the space that private members' business offers is often distinct from the member's own party's agenda. For private members' business, many local constituency concerns get voiced in legislative form. The ability to address local issues in a national forum is invaluable to complementing the work of the federal government. In addition, individual MPs get to voice their own initiatives and policies that may not be reflected on any party agenda, injecting novel and interesting issues into the parliamentary process.

This difference in the manner in which private members' business works is momentous in the way this place operates. Last time, a significant portion of the speaking time of the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore was spent speaking to the point of non-votability rather than the merits. Today, we get to have a full debate on the merits because the bill has the potential to become law.

Indeed, the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore acknowledged in a recent interview with the Hill Times that “The beauty of private members' business is you don't need caucus consent”. Because it is not dependent on party politics, he or she can bring his or her bill to the House, even though support for it is not consistent in his or her own party or others.

The second difference between today's debate and that of the last Parliament is intimately related to the way in which we do business in the House. In the current minority government context, governing in a common purpose is the best way for all members of the House to transcend party lines to improve the lives of all Canadians. We are each joined by a commitment to unity and an inclusion of all regions and all voices on the national stage.

As such, to complement the changes in the standing orders around private members' business, the government has worked diligently to improve the processes of government, infusing the spirit of inclusion throughout our public institutions. For instance, parliamentarians are increasingly involved in key government appointments and are more empowered to affect the government policy in parliamentary committees. All these measures are aimed at renewing Canadian democracy so we can be effective in representing the people of Canada.

However, Bill C-251 presumes that we operate under a completely different electoral and political framework. By requiring members to leave Parliament if they change their party, Bill C-251 ignores the function of MPs as “individual parliamentarians” and places a primacy on party politics over democratic governance.

Governing in a common purpose should be about seeking to build partnerships and compromises on important issues facing Canadians. In contrast, Bill C-251 seeks to entrench factionalism and create discord between parliamentarians. The bill disregards shifting circumstances that may legitimately drive an MP to change parties between elections.

This disregard is closely related to the third difference between the last debate on crossing the floor and this one. That was a time of great transition in the House. New parties were being formed, membership was splitting and merging, and the degree of party switching understandably heightened. Technically, some members changed their party affiliation more than once or even twice.

Were the provisions of Bill C-251 actually in place, there would not have been enough time to set up byelections between party changes from Reform to Alliance to Democratic Reform to Progressive Conservative to Conservative. The resulting cost to taxpayers and the administrative burden on Elections Canada would have been enormous. Would such byelections have really furthered Canadian democracy? I would suggest no.

Historically, MPs in Canada, as in England, have used floor crossing as a necessary last resort in seeking better ways of representing their electorate. Over time, many parties have divided or transformed as they try to structure the best organization for serving the people. The creation of new parties to accommodate regional or grassroots interests is a primary example of civic engagement and democratic participation.

Bill C-251 would capture all these instances of party changes, expanding the vulnerability of a member's seat far beyond anything that we have ever seen. Currently, aside from death and conviction of a very specific set of criminal acts, members are secure in their elected positions.

This system creates an environment that lends confidence and power to the individual member to act as she or he believes is in the best interests of the people and the people that they represent. Bill C-251 would turn this system on its head, essentially according party leaders the power to eject members from Parliament if they then sit with another party in the House.

Much has changed since this bill was last debated in the House. Changing circumstances are the business of politics. It is what we address and manage to protect and advance the lives of Canadians. Sometimes that change requires changing parties, building new alliances or reorganizing our current ones. For that to entail a loss of our status as a member of Parliament, our mandate from the people, is an unprecedented step that does not strengthen our democracy.

Members have more power to influence government than ever before and we should each be harnessing this power to govern with the common purpose of improving our country. This is why I personally, and as I have indicated the vast majority I expect on this side of the House, cannot support Bill C-251. The issues it raises are important, but the measures it proposes are counterproductive.

Each member of the House wants to strengthen and renew Canadian democracy. This is why we entered politics and came to Ottawa. That is the reason why I came here. Revoking a member's elected mandate because they change parties moves us backwards rather than forward toward this goal. I urge all parliamentarians in this House to reject this bill for this reason.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:25 p.m.


Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to speak to Bill C-251.

Let me start by indicating that from the point of view of my party's caucus, we feel this ought to be a free vote for members of Parliament. Hopefully, other parties will adopt a similar attitude.

On the one hand, I want to congratulate my hon. colleague for trying to infuse some ethics into what he feels is a House where ethics are not as strong as they should be. However, I believe this is a misguided attempt. I am afraid I will be encouraging members to vote against this legislation.

I will lay out my arguments to explain a little about what I think is problematic with the bill, but let me start by giving an outline of the general problem that exists with the bill.

I think it is misguided in this case to try to regulate by law that which is governed largely by convention and largely by rules of the House within this chamber. The definition of parties within this House, as opposed to under the Canada Elections Act, is very much a matter that is governed not by legislation, not law but by the rules of this House which may be changed by this House. Therefore, it seems to me that trying to establish laws that govern the behaviour of members of Parliament within the House and starting to try to use legislation to determine how parties are defined within the House and what members may do within it is taking away the independence that the House, as a collegial body, needs in order to function properly is a step in the wrong direction.

I find the road it takes us down, as a practical matter, is one about which we ought to worry. In general, I oppose anything that increases party discipline or the control of the party leadership over individual members of Parliament. The bill, although it is not as severe in restriction as it could be, seems to have that general effect.

We are elected partly as representatives of our parties, but also partly as individuals. Were this not the case, I suspect there would be a great deal less constituency work done by members of Parliament. Members understand the importance of doing good constituency work in order to get themselves re-elected. That is part of the political goodwill or in the case of non-performing MPs part of the political baggage they take with them personally. We ought to be doing everything we can to strengthen that part of the political equation as a way of building up the independence of a member of Parliament.

As someone who has voted against my party on a number of occasions, for example on the Species at Risk Act and on the anti-terrorism law a few years ago, what I did was consult with my constituents. I asked them how I should vote. When they advised me to vote for or against a bill, regardless what my party did, that put me in opposition to my party. However, I was able to do so and do so freely, partly because that is the attitude my party takes toward allowing a great deal of freedom for individual members of Parliament. However, in doing that, I was establishing myself as a constituent's representative. That is a very valuable thing, something that is lost when one is simply a representative of one's party.

We elect individual MPs in individual districts in our country. There is discussion of changing this system. For example, there is discussion of introducing a list system in parallel to the system of individual MPs being elected in individual ridings, in which case the assumption is people are voting for the party exclusively. Many New Democrats support this. This is done in a number of countries, including New Zealand and Germany. It has some good aspects and some bad aspects. One of the bad aspects is that members of Parliament elected under this kind of system tend to simply be voting machines.

In New Zealand, in particular, a law called the anti-party jumping law, and that was not its formal name, its was popular name, was introduced and passed a few years ago for members elected on the party list system. The effect has been to introduce an ironclad discipline where the member of Parliament stands for nothing whatsoever. Each party gets a certain number of MPs, which are a certain number of points or automatic votes in the House. If the member tries at any point to leave the party, the member is removed from the House of Commons and the next person on the list is taken.

MPs from New Zealand understand very clearly that if they become a list member of Parliament, if they are subject to the anti-party jumping law as opposed to being constituency MPs, their freedom of action is greatly reduced. I know this from having met and chatted with a number of New Zealand members of Parliament about this when I was down there a few months ago.

However New Zealand has taken an additional step, which I pray will never occur here. The House of Representatives is allowing members to cast their vote even when they are absent. Those are all things we would not want to see in this House of Commons.

I want to add that there have been distinguished individuals who have crossed the floor on various occasions and have been re-elected, so there are cases where it is legitimate. Winston Churchill, who was first elected as a Conservative, crossed to the Liberals and served for over a decade as a Liberal member of Parliament. Indeed, he served as the first Sea Lord of the Admiralty during the first world war and then he re-crossed to the Conservative Party.

As members can see, there have occasions on which this has occurred and the individual member of Parliament was not punished by his or her constituents for doing so because they judged that it was the right thing to do.

These are very frequent occasions, more frequent than not, where someone crosses the floor and is punished by his or her constituents and loses his or her seat. Probably the most famous example of this is the example of Jack Horner who in 1977, as the member for Crowfoot in Alberta, crossed to the Liberal Party and joined the cabinet of Pierre Trudeau as a minister without portfolio and then became a minister of industry, trade and commerce. He went on in the 1979 election, despite having been prior to this an extraordinarily popular member of Parliament, to be defeated by more than 20,000 votes in his constituency. He attempted to come back in 1980 as a Liberal candidate but actually went down from his 1979 total. Punishment came for his action.

The option exists for the voters to deal with things in this way. It is possible one could design a system whereby there would be sort of a half-way house in between waiting for an election and the immediate byelection that would be proposed by my hon. colleague in this bill. One could, for example, say that we would allow, if there was genuine support for a byelection in the relevant riding, a byelection to occur and we could measure this by saying that if more than x % of the voters of that constituency sign a petition calling for a byelection to occur, that byelection will occur.

This idea was actually proposed about 10 years ago for Jag Bhaduria who had left the Liberal Party and was sitting as an independent. A petition was circulated in his riding and produced probably enough votes under any reasonable system to justify the byelection. However there was no system for allowing this and he wound up being defeated in the next election, which suggests that although justice was not as swiftly served in that case as it could have been, it was not unreasonable action.

The second concern I have is that I do not think this law would actually achieve its intended goal. I say this because parties are reasonably informal mechanisms. It is possible for an individual to sit as an independent but always vote with another party in the House of Commons providing all the de facto support necessary to ensure, for example, the survival of that government.

The hon. member for Newmarket—Aurora, for example, could have crossed, sat as an independent and voted nonetheless with the government on that critical vote a few months ago. As we all recall, there was an independent MP in the House, the late Chuck Cadman, who did not cross to the Liberals, but nonetheless had a vote that was just as effective in sustaining them in power, as was the vote of the member for Newmarket—Aurora. Therefore, the problem that is attempting to be addressed is not actually effectively addressed in the legislation.

I want to conclude by pointing out that I disagree with one characterization that the hon. member used in proposing his bill. He said that this House was not the no tell motel. Surely, when one crosses the floor this is not something done surreptitiously like checking into a motel room for a romantic liaison. It is something that happens very publicly. When someone makes the decision to cross the floor everyone knows about it. They will either reward the MP or punish the MP, as the case may be. As I have indicated, punishment occurs more frequently than reward, but it is certainly not something that happens in secret.

I believe the informal safeguards we have in place are the best ones and therefore I encourage members to vote against the bill when it comes up for a vote shortly.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:35 p.m.


Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the debate on Bill C-251 comes at a time when the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is reflecting on a reform of our electoral system.

It is not the first time that the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore has proposed such a measure. I can remember that he did it during the first session of the 37th Parliament. And before him, during the 36th Parliament, Bill C-265, dealing with the same issue, was rejected by the House.

For the benefit of those who are following our proceedings on the parliamentary channel, this bill can be summarized as follows: when a member decides to change political parties or allegiance, that member's seat is immediately deemed to be vacant and the Chair of this House has a duty to call an election. The same goes if an elected official who sits as an independent member in the House decides to join the ranks of a political party.

So, this bill targets those who, for all sorts of reasons, no longer feel comfortable in their political party and wish to join the ranks of another party that better reflects their values.

Need I remind my colleagues that this is how the Bloc Québécois came into being under the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney? Lucien Bouchard, my colleague from Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour and others were no longer comfortable within that party, which had become too narrow for them and for the legitimate aspirations of Quebec.

This bill raises some interesting questions. Subclause 30.1(1) of the bill makes reference to crossing the floor. How can this be defined?

In fact, there is nothing in this bill that clarifies this. Are we to understand that belonging to a political party is limited to political parties registered with the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada? What would become of the splinter groups that run candidates during an election, but do not get any members elected to this House? What does Bill C-251 do for a member that leaves his party and wants to give a voice to a party that is not already represented here, such as the Canadian Action Party, the Communist Party of Canada, the Marijuana Party, the Marxist Leninist Party or the Green Party, to name a few? The hon. member will agree that there would indeed be a change in the political landscape.

However, the bill allows a member elected under one party to leave its ranks and sit as an independent. This provision does not solve anything, since the member can choose to be recognized by the House of Commons as an independent, but can decide, following negotiations, to still support the positions of a certain party until a future election when he will seek office under the new label. Bill C-251 misses its target.

We refer to members who leave one political party to join another as “transfuges”. I want my colleagues to know that the Quebec National Assembly library has an entire series of documents or work on this subject. Bibliography No. 107, entitled Transfuges au sein des partis politiques describes what happens elsewhere, in no less than 15 countries.

There is also the work done in 1987 by Michel Rossignol, from the Library of Parliament, called Les transfuges à la Chambre et le système de parti .

It is my personal opinion that it is vital to address this phenomenon of changing parties, to understand the dynamics involved, its impact, and how frequent a phenomenon it is in this Parliament. That would be a worthwhile study. I know that changes of political affiliation are very common in countries like Brazil.

Hon. members will have figured out that we do not intend to support this bill. The reference tool of this House, Marleau and Montpetit, is unequivocal on the subject of the election of members and their role. Members must assume the responsibilities inherent in their status.

Ours is a central role, and a very important one; in a way we are the incarnation of direct democracy. We are elected directly by our constituents. Our own names are given on the ballot, not just the name of the party with which we are affiliated.

To quote Marleau and Montpetit:

Members sit in the House of Commons to serve as representatives of the people who have elected them to that office. They have wide-ranging responsibilities which include work in the Chamber, committees, their constituencies and political parties.

Besides participating in debates in the Chamber and in committees, and conveying their constituents’ views to the government and advocating on their behalf, Members also have responsibilities in many other areas:

They act as ombudsmen by providing information to constituents and resolving problems.

They act as legislators by either initiating bills of their own or proposing amendments to government and other Members’ bills.

They develop specialized knowledge in one or more of the policy areas dealt with by Parliament, and propose recommendations to the government.

They represent the Parliament of Canada at home and abroad by participating in international conferences and official visits.

So members assume the responsibilities that they were elected to undertake and for which they are paid by the House of Commons. The party to which they belong should not have the right to declare that “a member's election to the House is void”. We agree that this right of termination is legitimate, however, if the member has contravened legislation setting out the overriding code of conduct by which members exercise their parliamentary duties. This termination is not however the responsibility of the party but rather of the authorities of the House or the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.

Is forcing a turncoat, defector or whatever you want to call them to resign equivalent to preserving the integrity of the electorate's decision? Perhaps at first glance, but we must still trust the public and the electorate. By voting, citizens are mandating someone to represent them and to speak on their behalf in the House of Commons. They turn to that individual; they hold him or her accountable.

We must give the benefit of doubt to the member who has such power, and who no longer feels able to use it properly within a given party. Assuming the individual to be acting in good faith, changing political party will allow him to better defend the interests of his constituents in Parliament. Voters will have the power to punish that person during a subsequent election if they do not approve of his decision.

By choosing to campaign for a political party, the member implicitly agrees with and shares the foundation and values of that party. If the party changes some of its policies with a new leader, if it changes its thrust politically, ethically, economically, constitutionally or whatever, the elected member still has the same responsibility, which is to put his constituents' needs above those of the party.

In conclusion, this bill further limits the political freedom of members who are, in our representative democracy, the foundation of our political system. The public elects the member; it must remain the only judge of his actions.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:45 p.m.


Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was very honoured to be asked to second this bill. I would like to begin by recognizing and paying tribute to my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore for, if nothing else, the sheer perseverance that he demonstrates in pursuing what he views as an important democratic issue. He has done so consistently since I have known him. He tells me that since 1999 he has been fighting for this issue of basic democratic fairness. I have heard him talk about it since I came here in 1997. My hat is off to my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore. I think he is underestimated sometimes. He brings great value and ideas to the House of Commons more often than not.

Having said that, I support this idea. We have to stop this criss-crossing, cross dressing, floor crossing, whatever one wants to call it, that is going on around here. I have just about had it. We never know when we come to work in the morning where everybody is going to be sitting. My colleague called it musical chairs. It does a disservice to constituents, the very people who sent us here, to be this erratic. My colleague pointed out that the broadloom in the House of Commons is very expensive carpet and members are wearing it out criss-crossing the floor the way it has been going on lately. Somebody has to put a stop to it.

Some of us get this grandiose view of what is really important about our political system, as if the members of Parliament are what our democracy is all about. In actual fact, the heart and soul of our democratic system are the thousands and thousands of dedicated volunteers, canvassers, sign chairmen and fundraisers in all of our political parties who knock themselves out to send us here.

I am fully conscious of the honour it is every day to take my seat in the House of Commons to represent my riding of Winnipeg Centre. I am also very aware that my riding was made fertile ground for my party by somebody else, a man by the name of Stanley Knowles, who represented my riding for 42 years. In many cases the people who vote NDP in my riding are voting in the memory of Stanley Knowles, and not because of who I am. In other words, they are voting NDP; they are not necessarily voting for me as a person.

When I am sent here in that context, I will not show disrespect for that view by flip-flopping and crossing the floor. People do that out of self-interest more often than not. People do not usually cross the floor for some moral or ethical conflict with their party. They do it because somebody says, “I will make you a parliamentary secretary,” or “I will make you a minister,” or “Would you not rather sit in cabinet than sit on the backbenches of an opposition party?” That is why people do it and they show great disrespect and do a great disservice to our democratic system every time they do it.

My colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore has come up with a reasonable proposal. Maybe it is not as fine tuned as it could be and maybe it needs some tweaking and amending. That is what committees are for. I am taken aback to hear the opposition to this idea at this stage of debate. This is second reading stage. We could send this bill to committee for a thorough analysis and review if there is still work to be done on this subject.

On the basic principle, I could not agree with my colleague more. If I was sent here under one banner, that is the choice of the people of my riding. I should not have the right to arbitrarily and unilaterally show disrespect for their wishes and intentions by criss-crossing the floor.

In his opening speech my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore pointed out that there are four motivations that make people vote. Sometimes they cast their ballot in opposition to the other guy because they are angry with the guy who is currently there. A good chunk of people vote against something instead of for it. A good number of people vote because the leader of that party appeals to them. That determines votes for a lot of Canadians. A lot of people vote for the party because their parents voted for that party, or they themselves are active in that party. Probably number four on the list is that some vote for the individual because of who he or she is. That is the ranking of people's motivations in my experience.

As individuals let us get our heads around the fact that it is not about us as MPs. We are not that important, frankly. If a member turns his or her back on the party and the party machine in the riding that worked so hard to put the member into the House of Commons, then the member should have to sit as an independent until such time as a byelection or election gives the member the opportunity to cross over to another political party. And good luck. If the person can win the nomination for the other party, then the candidate would represent that party banner in that election.

It would be a clean system. The best thing about it is it would do away with all this hanky-panky that goes on behind the scenes now. There would not have been the recent taping incident that embarrassed all of us as parliamentarians because there would be no offers made, or accusations of offers being made. It would stop that kind of backroom dealing that so offends the sensibilities of Canadians when they learn about it. It would be one more improvement in the interests of transparency, accountability, democratic reform and improvement.

I am excited about the idea. I am surprised there was not more passion in the remarks from some of the other parties. This is an exciting idea. This is one of the most interesting things we have had to dwell on in recent memory in the debates of the House. It speaks to respect for our constituents. It speaks to eliminating borderline corruption associated with trying to buy somebody's electoral support by an offer of inducements.

Let me use my last remaining seconds to simply say that Bill C-251 would make Canada's parliamentary system better. My colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore deserves great credit and the gratitude of the House for bringing the bill forward today in his tireless effort to make this a better place for all of us to work in.

Parliament of Canada ActPrivate Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired, and the order is dropped from the order paper.

It being 1:56 p.m., this House stands adjourned until Monday, October 17, 2005, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 1:56 p.m.)