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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was care.

Topics

Commissioner of Official Languages

10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour pursuant to section 66 of the Official Languages Act to lay upon the table the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, in both official languages, covering the period from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)( f ), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development TechnologyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Yukon Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the 2004 corporate plan summary of the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 31st, 2005 / 10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the United Nations oil for food scandal investigation.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Health. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and a motion adopted by the committee on Thursday, May 19, your committee recommends that Health Canada initiate a campaign to ensure compliance with the Tobacco Act.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. The committee has studied the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006, and has agreed to report them without amendment.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition with respect to an organization called STAND Canada, Students Taking Action Now: Darfur. Between March 16 and April 7 they put together signatures from universities across the country and from various high school campuses as well. The petitioners call upon Canada and the Government of Canada to take a leadership role in Darfur by broadening the AU mandate, gathering international support for the African Union, bringing criminals to justice at the ICC, and considering intervention with like-minded states.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of a number of Canadians, including petitioners from my own riding of Mississauga South, on the subject matter of marriage. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that the majority of Canadians believe that the fundamental matters of social policy should be decided by elected members of Parliament and not by the unelected judiciary.

The petitioners also wish to point out that it is the duty of Parliament to ensure that marriage is defined as Canadians wish it to be defined. Therefore, the petitioners would like to call upon Parliament to use all possible administrative and legislative means, including the invocation of section 33 of the charter, commonly known as the notwithstanding clause, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as being the legal union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

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

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

moved:

That this House call on the Government to amend section (k) of the Gomery Commission's terms of reference to allow the Commissioner to name names and assign responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.

I am pleased to rise today to speak to our first Conservative opposition day motion in what is coming up to a couple of months now. Although we would have liked to have had one sooner, I can assure the House that we are here to work, to ensure that democracy is upheld and to continue to do the business of the House.

I would like to read for members the motion that would change section (k) of the Gomery commission's terms of reference:

That this House call on the Government to amend section (k) of the Gomery Commission's terms of reference to allow the Commissioner to name names and assign responsibility.

For the benefit of those who are not familiar with section (k) of the Gomery commission's terms of reference, the current wording states:

--the Commissioner be directed to perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization and to ensure that the conduct of the inquiry does not jeopardize any ongoing criminal investigation or criminal proceedings;....

Because of the current wording, there is some ambiguity about whether Justice Gomery has the ability to name names or organizations responsible for the ad scam.

We want to make it absolutely crystal clear so that there is no ambiguity. We want to ensure that he can deliver a report on what went wrong in terms of process, but more important, recommend changes and also ensure that if there are people who should be further investigated this will be done. It is critically important that at the conclusion of Justice Gomery's commission people are held to account and will suffer consequences.

It is of some concern that under the current terms of reference the commissioner is directed to perform his duties “without expressing any conclusion or recommendation”. That is our concern. We want to make this crystal clear. I know that the government's response has been that under the current wording he now has the ability to assign responsibility and name names. If that in fact is the case the government members should support this motion, because this just really confirms that.

By almost any measurement, with the money involved and the depth of the corruption in ad scam, with the involvement of senior activists, the sponsorship scandal is the worst scandal in Canadian history. We owe it to Canadians to use every available tool to get to the bottom of what happened and punish those responsible.

Members opposite are fond of saying that we should let the commission do its work. I agree. The problem is that the limitations of section (k) in the current Gomery commission could prevent Justice Gomery from completing his task. It is arguable, and I acknowledge this, that the government would say this is already there. If the government truly believes that, then it will have no problem in supporting our motion because it removes any ambiguity.

It is the Liberals who have established a $1 million taxpayer funded war room in the PCO to help reduce the damaging daily testimony from the Gomery commission. When we see the actions of the government and when it sets up a war room to spin its way out of this using taxpayers' money, one has to question what its motives are and where it is going. Political parties set up war rooms. Governments do not.

Let us imagine the current Prime Minister, days after the commission started, taking a million dollars of taxpayers' money to set up a war room to do damage control for the Liberal Party. It goes from bad to worse. The Liberals just do not learn. Political parties spinning a story using taxpayers' money is absolutely unacceptable. That is exactly what they are doing. That party across the way does not need a wire brush. Those members need to finally acknowledge and make a commitment to the truth.

Let us look at what has happened over the past 10 years. We have had information about what has been going on in the program, yet nothing has ever happened. Let us look a few of the facts.

In 1995 a memo from Public Works warned that the program was seriously flawed but nothing was ever done. In 1999 the Treasury Board Secretariat warned that Groupaction was charging exorbitant amounts of money for work that was never done and yet there was no response from the government.

In 2002 an internal audit at Public Works showed that the sponsorship was not being properly tracked. Nothing was done. Worse than nothing, a new agency was created to run the program which had even fewer financial controls.

In 2002 the Prime Minister, then minister of finance, received a letter from the Liberal national policy chair stating that there were “persistent and growing rumours that funds from the sponsorship program are being diverted to partisan purposes”.

What did the current Prime Minister do when he received that memo? He did absolutely nothing. Instead, we have seen nothing but procedural delays ever since this scandal came to light in 2002.

First the government claimed the Auditor General would solve the problem. The Minister of Finance, then minister of public works, stated, “in terms of the management issues, the value for money issues, the proper government framework and administrative issues, there is no more public forum...than the Auditor General”.

The current Minister of Finance, who was then the minister of public works, said that the Auditor General would look after it and solve it. However at the same time we saw years and years where millions of dollars of taxpayer money was being funnelled into the Liberal Party.

It is worth nothing that the minister made these statements as an argument against holding a public inquiry. They refused at the time to have an inquiry. When the Auditor General's report was ready in November 2003, was it tabled? No. What happened? It was the government that prorogued Parliament, another delay. What were they doing? The Liberals were buying time.

In February 2004, the report came out but now it appeared the Liberals required a public inquiry. This decision was something the opposition had been calling for over two years.

However the Liberals were not done with procedural delays. They had a few more tricks up their sleeves. First they used the majority to shut down the public accounts committee before key witnesses could appear. They had some witnesses prior to that but they shut down the committee before all the key witnesses were about to appear. It is important to emphasize that this was not a government scandal but a scandal inside the Liberal Party, so obviously they knew the damaging witnesses.

Today we see yet another concern with section (k) of the inquiry's mandate. It is important to note that section (k), which I quoted earlier, states that:

The Commissioner be directed to perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization....

I heard the Minister of Public Works state in a news conference that the commissioner does have the authority to name names and assign responsibility. If they believe that, then they should just support the motion. We are not asking them to do anything that would be inconsistent with recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings with respect to inquiries or the Inquiries Act. We just want to remove any ambiguity.

Members have heard the litany of the involvement of the Liberal Party in this file. It is our duty in this House to ensure that the public gets answers, that we get to the bottom of this and that people are held to account.

This issue is incredibly deep with corruption. Millions of dollars were improperly taken from taxpayers. Over half the money was used to buy votes, the other half was used to pay Liberal friendly advertising agencies and millions more were funneled back to the Liberal Party. This is the worst kind of corruption that we have seen in Canadian political history, where millions and millions of dollars were funneled back to the Liberal Party. We have heard witness after witness all implicate--

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It may be helpful to the House to deal with this matter right at the outset. To suggest that all of the activities the member has just gone through, of buying votes, of funneling millions of dollars and saying that this about the government, as you know, Mr. Speaker, all of these are illegal acts but they have not been proven in court.

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest it is improper to allege these things. We should clarify whether or not the Chair will accept in this place a definitive statement that there is corruption. It has to be qualified that it is allegation or it is based on somebody's testimony but it is not based on the rule of law of innocent until proven guilty.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I thank the hon. member for Mississauga South. In the debate members will have to be careful of course not to ascribe motives or actions to members of Parliament that are improper or illegal. However in a debate like this we will probably get into discussions about political parties and their involvement or lack thereof and the innocence and guilt on both sides. In that case we are going to hear it.

However we will not accept accusations against individual members of Parliament, nor should we. I have not heard anything like that. I have heard talk about parties and so on and that is something different than members of Parliament. I think we have to accept that.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Chair has often ruled consistently that the only way this will be a matter of concern to the Chair is if an individual member is accused of committing a criminal act. What could be worse than accusing all the Liberal members of being corrupt and of having done illegal acts?

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I thought I was clear but let me repeat it. I have not heard any accusations against Liberal members of Parliament at all or any other members of Parliament. We are all hon. members. What I have heard are accusations about a political party. We are going to accept that because I think those discussions will take place throughout the day.

Again, that is different than someone saying that members of Parliament have engaged in some illegal or improper activity. No one has said that and we will not get into that but we will hear discussions about activities of political parties and that will be heard on both sides of the House throughout the day.

I urge members to be careful about the difference between talking about activities of political parties and individual members of Parliament.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the commission has heard months and months of testimony from numerous witnesses. Admittedly, there is conflicting testimony but we can pick whatever version we want and it is all bad. Not one version has anything actually good to say about the Liberal Party.

Compounding that is the evidence that has now been submitted in documents that could not be refuted. We have heard from the forensic auditors who have confirmed the paper trail of Jean Brault, the president of Groupaction, who confirmed that envelopes of cash and suitcases of money went to the Liberal Party.

The reason it is important that everyone in the House support this motion is to make it crystal clear that the commissioner has the ability to name names and assign responsibilities.

This commission is different than any other commission we have had. The others all related to public policy, whether it was Krever or Somalia. This is the first time we have had a commission where millions of dollars have gone to a governing Liberal Party. Therefore it is imperative that responsibility be assigned and names be named.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member to clarify the language for all who are watching the proceedings. I believe there is an insinuation in certain words, such as “to assign responsibility and name names”, which also means to be identified as being guilty of a criminal or civil offence. The words are very carefully crafted and I want to be sure that everybody understands.

If the member is going to suggest that naming names and assigning responsibility means finding out who is guilty and naming who is guilty of offences, maybe he should apologize to the House simply because if someone is going to be found guilty of any criminal offence or civil liability, that individual would have had access to due process under the rule of law and had an opportunity to call witnesses in his or her defence. That person would have to have been charged in the first place and been part of a process. We have to separate this idea of assigning responsibility. It could not in this particular inquiry conclude guilty of a criminal offence.

I will ask the member very sincerely to please explain to this place, in the clearest terms he understands, whether or not he interprets assigning responsibility as being guilty.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely ridiculous to even suggest that. The only place that can assign guilt to a criminal offence is in a court of law and it has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That is not what we are suggesting. Some people are facing criminal charges now as we know and there may be more.

What we are suggesting is that Justice Gomery have the ability to name names and assign responsibility. If subsequent further actions result, then so be it, that is what needs to happen. People need to be held accountable, whether it is a civil action that is beyond a balance of probabilities or whether it is a criminal action that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

However what we are getting to is the fact that there is a much higher standard for elected officials. We have a duty of care as members of Parliament. I would argue, from the litany of testimony and evidence that we have heard before Justice Gomery, that standard has been breached. I think it is imperative that Justice Gomery name names and assign responsibility. We are not talking about criminal responsibility. That would be in a separate action and it has to be done before a court of law. The same thing goes for civil action.

What we have heard in the evidence is unrefuted. No one has ever denied that millions of dollars went into the Liberal Party. I believe elected officials were involved and a lot of the evidence suggests that.

I believe the duty of care is so much higher as we have a higher public trust. That has been breached and that is what we are talking about.

We are asking the government to amend section (k) to read:

That the House call on the Government to amend section (k) of the Gomery Commission's terms of reference to allow the Commissioner to name names and assign responsibility.

People need to be held to account. Yes, criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt and yes, a civil suit is a balance of probabilities, but I would argue that elected officials have a much higher duty of care and they have breached that. Justice Gomery has heard a mountain of evidence. Yes, there are some conflicts but we can pick any version we want and it is uniformly bad. The Canadian people have every right to be outraged and they want to get to the bottom of this.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today on the first supply day that we have been granted due to the stalling of supply days by the Liberal government. This is the first one we have had a chance to get back in the groove on and it is a great day for Canadians.

In the tremendous job Justice Gomery is doing we are going to see section (k) changed in his terms of reference. Right now that really handcuffs him in his final report. I know we have struck a nerve because I saw the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Works on television this morning talking about how this would disable Gomery, how procedurally it would be unfair and unjust to witnesses, and that this was not a court or tribunal but an inquiry.

However, if that is the case, why are they so concerned with Justice Gomery naming names? All of the witnesses have given sworn testimony before Justice Gomery. These are not allegations any more. Certainly, there are some cross purposes here as we see one faction of Liberals try to point the finger at another faction of Liberals, but the bottom line is they are all Liberals. This is a Liberal crisis, not a Canadian crisis. It should not even be a government crisis. The Liberals have taken another $1 million of taxpayers' money to set up a war room to counter a lot of the negative media reports coming out of Gomery.

As the public works critic, I took this to heart when a lot of this broke a couple of years ago. We received a tremendous number of anonymous brown envelopes with undocumented and unsubstantiated claims. It is amazing to watch what has happened at the Gomery inquiry over the last six to eight months and much of the testimony coming forward. Those names are there; the dollar figures are there. It is amazing how accurate those brown envelopes were.

We were not able to use them because we could not substantiate them, but now we are seeing those same names and numbers coming out of Gomery. It really speaks to the fact that there is a lot of credibility in that inquiry, which we called for months before the government got around to calling for it.

The Prime Minister gets some credit for calling Gomery, but let us look at the chronology that led up to that. We started in November 2003 when the Auditor General came forward with a scathing indictment of what was happening at the sponsorship program saying there was over $100 million that did not have any value for taxpayers' money. But no one saw that report.

The government received that report in November. It quickly prorogued the House due to a little leadership contest that happened over there. It actually went on for 10 years and culminated in November, but the report did not see the light of day until February. The Liberals had it for three months to clean it, sanitize it, and actually put their spin on it. We finally saw the Gomery inquiry called later that spring just before the election.

The Gomery inquiry did not start. It was actually held in abeyance until September. Justice Gomery had holidays to take. He had a couple of trial procedures that he was working on that he had to finish up. Basically, the Liberals bought some time. They came back here with a minority government. Canadians took this scandal to heart. The polls at that time said 66% of Canadians believed that all politicians were crooked.

That paints us all with that same brush and the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who just spoke, talked about the public trust. That is what is so important about letting Justice Gomery name names, trace the cash, and actually prepare a report to that end. We are not seeing that with the way he is handcuffed under section (k) and the way the Liberals set this up.

The public works minister stood in his place one day during question period and said that section (k) is standard in any inquiry. Maybe it is, but not in a case where public money has been abused and misused to this extent. Then section (k) becomes a roadblock to getting to the bottom of this.

As Justice Gomery gets to the end of his witness list and starts to think about putting together his report, it is incumbent on us to take those handcuffs off, to let him get to the bottom of this, and actually name some names, put them on paper. He is not going to ascertain guilt at that point. He is going to say that this is where his allegations lie because these people have come forward and this is what is being said about them. He must be able to do that.

That sets the stage for the criminal investigations to follow after the Gomery report. The witnesses will get their day in court again. This is all sworn testimony that can be used again. He has been very careful with publication bans on several of the civil servants who are facing criminal charges, but there are always political masters when it comes to bureaucrats.

We have a problem here. Either the minister of the day, and there have been several at Public Works, did not have a clue of what the department was doing, which is incompetence, or the minister was involved at the political level and then we have a whole new problem.

These guys took it serious enough that they brought Alfonso Gagliano home from Denmark. They had him over there in the witness protection program. However, he came back and he sang like a canary when he got before Gomery.

We saw these folks come before the public accounts committee, which the existing Prime Minister shut down and would not allow to go any further saying that Gomery would take over when the public accounts committee was doing a great job. I sat in on some of those meetings. We had guys like Chuck Guité before the committee. He did not see anything, he did not hear anything, and he did not know anything. I could not for the life of me understand why we kept this guy on the payroll. If he did not do anything, did not see anything, and did not know anything, what was he getting paid for?

It turns out that under Gomery's cross-examination and testimony this guy was the linchpin, or one of them. However, he did not do it in a vacuum. No bureaucrat has access to $355 million and is able to funnel it out there as was done. It just does not happen.

Then we see other folks come forward and testify that they had Liberal staffers who were paid for with cash. They had them on their payroll on a cash basis doing work for the Liberal Party in Quebec. That is a total misuse of taxpayers' money.

We had a little hiccup in Saskatchewan a number of years ago under then Premier Grant Devine. There was $180,000 of party communications money, not public money, and not to the same extent that we are talking about here. We are talking millions here. That took that government out of existence. That party does not even exist in Saskatchewan any more.

However, these guys are so busy trying to hide from the fallout from this because they are so concerned about their Liberal Party future, and they should be because they are going to wear this into the next election and beyond.

Under the Gomery inquiry, we have seen that they have run the last three elections using bad money, dirty money. They are saying that there should be no ramifications and that Justice Gomery should not be able to name names. They are saying to keep them hidden and send them all to Denmark. How many ambassadors can we use? It just goes on and on. These guys just want this public inquiry for the media spin. They have set up a war room with $1 million of taxpayers' money to counter the negative spin that is coming out.

I do not think the Gomery inquiry would ever have happened if the Liberals had come back with a majority government. I think Justice Gomery would have had the shortest job in history. He never would have started. However, with a minority government, they had to go forward with it. Now they are starting to face the wrath of public opinion out there. They are dropping like a rock in the polls as more and more people see the degree of the tainted money and the way it was followed through.

The firm that is investigating this, Kroll Lindquist Avey, an American firm, are the guys that got to the bottom of the Enron scandal. They tracked down Saddam Hussein's money. Now they are in Canada. That speaks to the degree of this. They are saying they are stymied in some of their reporting by the roadblocks set up by the government. There are criminal charges facing a few folks. The government is suing some ad companies for $41 million worth of money because it says there was no work for those dollars.

We talked about that years ago. We remember the three sets of photocopies that was done for $500,000 a pop. Three pages were photocopied three times for $1.5 million. The Liberals were saying there was work for money at that time. They were trying to hide behind that. If we were to go back in Hansard , we would see where the government was trying to justify what happened. Now it is saying, “Oh, my God, this thing was off the rails. It was just a few rogue people taking advantage of the largesse of the Liberal Party”.

Can members imagine somebody taking advantage of the Liberal Party in government and using taxpayers' money in that way? There is no political connection here. That is what they would like us to believe.

If that is the case, why were we hiding a former public works minister in Denmark? Why do we have a litany of them rushing through here? Nobody wanted the job. It was the kiss of death to take that on. They all know how corrupt a cesspool it was.

Justice Gomery needs every tool available to him when he starts to write that report. He needs to be able to name names. He is not going to assign guilt, but he is going to be able to name those names and turn that over to the RCMP for the proper investigation that this merits.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not think there is anybody in this place, or those watching, who would question whether or not Justice Gomery is going to name names. Clearly, in a public proceeding that has been in the newspapers for months names are going to be mentioned in the report. I think the context of what the member has been talking about is more about assigning guilt.

I believe the member is going to find that the Gomery report will in fact identify who made what allegations and who was responsible in the context of accountability for certain actions and activities, but will not comment on whether or not there is guilt or innocence with regard to something that would require the due process of law.

Has the member checked with legal counsel to determine whether or not a change in the mandate of Justice Gomery may lead to a charge by some persons involved in that inquiry to say that since the mandate has changed, this must all be redone? These individuals may now want an opportunity to defend themselves because we are now doing something different than what they were told in the first place. Has the member checked this? Is he in fact absolutely sure that he is not going to jeopardize the Gomery inquiry?

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, members opposite cannot have it both ways. They argue that this is not a courtroom, so it cannot be binding and we cannot name names. Then they hide behind the fact that it is only an inquiry, so we cannot name names. The hon. member opposite asks if this will disable Gomery? Of course it will not. This is all done in his report. He will not ascertain blame, but he will be able to name names. Let me read section (k) again. It says:

the Commissioner be directed to perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization and to ensure that the conduct of the inquiry does not jeopardize any ongoing criminal investigation or criminal proceedings;

All we are saying is that we should take out the terms that say “without expressing any conclusion”. Justice Gomery must be able to follow the money trail like everybody else. He must be able to connect the dots. Everybody is innocent until proven guilty in this country. No one is going to jail the day Gomery presents his report, but the report from Justice Gomery will set the stage.

He has done the groundwork. The RCMP will not have to go back and reinvent the wheel. He will be able to carry on from that point. This will actually enhance the Gomery report, not take away from it by any stretch of the imagination. The members opposite would love to say that this will somehow disable Gomery.

The public works minister is announcing today that he is coming forward with his own motion. If that is the case, why did we not do it six months ago? Why did we put section (k) in to begin with? Why did we jeopardize the outcome of the Gomery inquiry by handcuffing Justice Gomery to begin with?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Discussions have taken place between all parties concerning the debate that is scheduled for later this day on a motion from the member for Nunavut concerning the adoption of the third report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. I believe that you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That today's debate on the motion from the member for Nunavut and the amendment from the member for Kitchener Centre concerning the third report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development be deemed to have taken place, the questions deemed to have been put, recorded divisions requested and deferred to the end of government orders on Wednesday, June 8.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has head the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion.