Mr. Speaker, given the item on today's Order Paper for private members' business, I ask to raise an objection concerning the amendment proposed to this item by the member for Joliette. We believe this amendment is out of order.
Motion No. 164 reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government should establish, in compliance with international agreements, a policy of assistance to the textile and clothing industries in order to enable the industries to compete throughout the world, particularly by broadening the TPC program to include these two sectors.
At the conclusion of the first hour of debate, the member for Joliette proposed the following motion, and I quote:
That Motion M-164 be amended by inserting the following after the words “in particular”:
by maintaining the tariffs on imported clothing and the types of textiles produced in Canada;
by establishing, as required, quotas on Chinese imports under the protocol on China's accession to the WTO;
as well as ten other proposed requirements.
This amendment was proposed at the end of the first hour of debate and this is the first opportunity to seek your ruling on whether this amendment is in order.
According to the authorities, it is clearly not acceptable for an amendment to a substantive motion to expand the scope of the motion to deal with a new question or proposition.
Erskine May states at page 343 in the 22nd edition that:
The effect of moving an amendment is to restrict the field of debate which would otherwise be open on a question.
Marleau and Montpetit states at page 453 that:
An amendment is out of order procedurally if:
it is not relevant to the main motion (i.e. it deals with a matter foreign to the main motion or exceeds the scope of the motion, or introduces a new proposition which should properly be the subject of a substantive motion with notice).
Beauchesne's at paragraph 579 states that:
(2) An amendment may not raise a new question which can only be considered as a distinct motion after proper notice. (Journals, October 16, 1970, p. 28).
Private members's motions are “substantive motions” and the precedents on substantive motions are clear.
Speaker Fraser ruled on December 17, 1987 that an amendment to an opposition day motion which puts a new proposition to the House should be put forward as an independent motion on notice.
On January 16, 1991 Speaker Fraser ruled that a subamendment to a government motion on the middle-east conflict was out of order since it went far beyond the terms of the motion by introducing “a variety of entirely new concepts.”
Speaker Fraser noted that while the concepts involved were “perhaps germane” to the issue, they were nonetheless new and therefore not in order.
On March 26, 1992, the Speaker ruled out of order an amendment to an opposition day motion on health care, since the intent of the amendment was to expand the scope of the debate.
That is also the case here. The main motion deals with the issue of assistance to textile and apparel industries.
The amendment lists a whole series of issues which are broader than assistance to the textile and apparel industries, including assistance to elderly workers, the increased transfer of training programs to Quebec, restrictions and quotas on international trade, and foreign policy such as labour standards and environmental policy.
The government has sought to be cooperative with the member on this important issue and is prepared to support the initial motion.
However, it appears that the Bloc now wants to try to widen the scope of the motion to include many new and complex issues which require much more analysis and consultation.
These matters may be considered by the House at another time, but they expand the scope of Motion No. 164, and are not in order.