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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was identification.

Topics

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am having trouble following a point of order in all this. It sounds to me like vigorous debate and it seems to be ongoing. I have grave doubts that this is a point of order. This might provoke more reaction and I am not sure this is helpful.

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Noon

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to check the Hansard and you will see the words, the quote. What the member for Bourassa said was not consistent with his words earlier in the day.

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Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I will review the Hansard and if there is something that has been raised today by either hon. member that appears to contradict what is there, or leads me to believe that there has been a breach of the rules of the House, naturally I will get back to the House at once. I am sure the hon. member will be relieved to know that I will make that review.

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary, in his answer to my question, failed to provide proper information to the House on an organization that he has responsibility over.

He quoted from an article in the French press that has been since clarified by the CEO of the Canadian Wheat Board, an appointment of theirs, and I will quote into the record what he said:

Mr. Kacem has advised us that some of his comments in the original article in the French daily were not properly interpreted by the journalist...A review of the original press article in French clearly shows that at no point does Mr. Kacem say that they enjoy 'very low prices'. The main message in the—

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think we really are getting into a debate. The hon. member quoted the article. The member for Malpeque could send him another, and if there was an error made, he could stand up and correct it. However, I do not think we can have a debate about what was said by somebody else outside the House as a point of order. I do not think it is a point of order, what other people have said.

What has happened here, from what I have heard, is the member quoted something that was improperly translated. These things can happen. There are sometimes errors in translation of our debates.

I will hear briefly from the hon. parliamentary secretary on this point.

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12:05 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think what we can do, if you like, is to provide the article in French and translate it into English. I think we will find that it says basically what I said, which was the Algerian grain buyer was quoted as saying that the Canadian Wheat Board's “selling prices in Algeria are very low since our country benefits from preferential prices. This preferential price saves Algeria several tens of dollars per tonnes purchased. No other country gives us such benefits”. I think that is clear.

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Might I suggest that we have already heard this one. Might I suggest the hon. member for Malpeque put his question on the late show and have a more extended debate then. It will ensure that he has four minutes to read whatever text it is that was there and have it translated by our own translators, so he has the benefit of excellent translation services right here in the House. I think that might be the useful one for this.

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the words “intentionally mislead,” but the minister could not have stated the opposite of the truth with greater precision. I refer to the Hansard of yesterday's question period where the minister referred to my question as “misleading and deception”.

The groups received the very first phone call last night at 5:50 eastern time, a full three hours after she answered my question. In effect, she is still misleading the House today and misled the--

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I stress that this seems to be all debates arising out of questions and answers that are given in question period, which is not the normal subject for debate, except on the late show. Members are free to raise these issues there.

Is the minister seeking to respond to this in some way? I am not sure there is a point of order her.

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12:05 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I have responded with the information. If I might say, I think the important thing for us to do to help women is to ensure that there is a meeting. We are enabling to make myself available to listen to the women who would like to speak to me.

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12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Again, this is a debate. We are not dealing with points of order here and I stress that. The hon. member should put her question on the late show, as I have suggested to the member for Malpeque and have a more extended discussion about it.

When questions are asked and answers are given in question period, or replies are given, it is question period and not answer period, there is bound to be disagreement from time to time on what is said in either the question or in the answer. It is not for us to continue the debate after question period. This is unnecessary. It happens, in my view, with a little too much regularity these days. I prefer we move on to tabling of documents which is next.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I do have a legitimate point of order with regard to Bill C-288, the Kyoto implementation bill.

In your ruling of September 27, 2006, you concluded that Bill C-288 did not require a royal recommendation. I would appreciate your consideration of two developments that have occurred since that ruling.

First, the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development amended Bill C-288. In particular, I would like to draw two of these amendments to your attention.

One amendment was to include the require in clause 5(1)(a)(iii.1) that the government report:

measures to provide for a just transition for workers affected by greenhouse gas emission reductions

The second amendment added a new requirement in clause 10 for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy to undertake research, gather information and advise the minister on the new climate change plan required by the bill.

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy is funded through government appropriations and reports to Parliament through the Minister of the Environment. While the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy does currently undertake research on the environment, the specific research this amendment requires is a new and distinct responsibility and as such would involve expenditures for a new and distinct purpose.

On May, 2005, the Acting Speaker ruled that expenditures for a new purpose require a royal recommendation:

—a royal recommendation is required not only in the case where more money is being appropriated, but also in the case where the authorization to spend for a specific purpose is being significantly altered.

The second development that I wish to draw to your attention is recent public comments made by the member for Honoré-Mercier that Bill C-288 would necessitate the spending of public funds.

In a CBC radio program on December 9, 2006, the member stated, “The bill forces the government to meet its Kyoto commitments”. When the member was asked to elaborate on the cost to meet the emission reduction targets in the Kyoto protocol, the member stated:

Even the worst case scenario, which would be to buy almost all the credits on the international level, is within the range of the cuts of the GST they made.

The 2006 federal budget estimates that the cost of reducing the GST from 7% to 6% will be in the $8.69 billion range over the next two years.

It seems to me that Bill C-288 has been written in a way that appears to avoid specifying a requirement for direct new government spending.

However, the member's recent media statement indicates his belief that the bill would result in a very large requirement for new government spending. To use the member's own example, this could involve costs of over $4 billion a year.

Since this new information has become available after your ruling on Bill C-288, I would request that you clarify your ruling on whether Bill C-288 obliges the government to spend additional public funds.

If the House agrees, I am prepared to table a copy of both the transcript of member's remarks in both official languages.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two different issues.

Bill C-288 does not propose spending. It proposes monitoring. That is the whole purpose of it. What the government does outside the bill to meet climate change is the government's business. The bill does not do more than simply say the government must have a plan for Kyoto and must tell how that plan works.

The second point is that the two amendments do not propose specific programming spending. Both amendments could be dealt with by reallocating funds within the relevant agencies, whether it is the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, which could reallocate within its spending package what it chose to do and drop something else. So could the worker adjustment funds. There is no specific spending proposal that cannot be met by reallocating funds within those two categories.

Therefore, I request that this be taken into consideration in making your decision, Sir.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary's intervention at this point really does underscore the government's great fear with respect to climate change and the Kyoto protocol.

Even today in Paris the Minister of the Environment said that he was, as of today, surprised to learn that climate change occurs as a result of human activity. Maybe that surprise is the reason why, as President of the Treasury Board, he spent the last year cutting $5.6 billion in climate change programs, which goes directly to the issue of fiscal flexibility available to the government and the very point the parliamentary secretary made.

One of the ministers, in answer to a question today in question period, made the point that the government now has, as of the last two months, $2 billion in new money on the table with respect to climate change.

All of this reinforces the point just made by the member of my party who spoke before me, which is that indeed the flexibility exists.

There is nothing that has changed that would materially affect your previous ruling, Mr. Speaker, and the government in fact does have the resources available, and this bill does not call upon the government or require it to spend anything new. It is indeed a matter of reallocation, as you yourself found in your previous ruling.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Wascana just underscores my point that this bill will obligate the government to spend new money. As you know and I know, this requires a royal recommendation.

I thank the member for Wascana for supporting my case.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not surprised at this new move by the government, which from the start has done everything in its power to kill this bill. It does not want to do anything to implement the Kyoto protocol or fight climate change.

I would like to point out that absolutely nothing has changed. We debated all this the last time around. You deliberated on this point and, in your wisdom, rendered an articulate, thoughtful ruling that a royal recommendation is not required.

My colleague is trying to distort what I said. But I stand by what I said: it is up to the Conservatives to decide that they want to do. They do not have to spend a cent. The bill says that there are measures to be taken, but it is up to them to decide. They can take action simply by making regulations if they want, which would cost absolutely nothing. None of the amendments changes anything in this respect. What I said on the radio the other day was that, if they wanted, they could purchase credits from other countries. There would be a cost associated with that, but it would be their choice. The bill does not force them to do so. The bill does not force the government to do anything. It can regulate, it can buy credits abroad, and it can set limits. There can also be credit trading. All that is possible. It may or may not cost money. The ultimate choice is up to the government, and only the government.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to add that the member opposite just pointed out that it could or it may not, but the fact is that the member himself said that it could cause the spending of government funds, and on this side of the House, we follow the rules when it comes to spending taxpayers' dollars.

Bill C-288—Kyoto Protocol Implementation ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I think we have heard enough on this for now. I will take the matter under advisement. I want to thank all the members who have made submissions. Obviously in my view the ruling was correct, but I will examine the amendments and the arguments that have been made in respect to the amendments to the bill and get back to the House in due course.

I also note that this bill is up for debate today.

I will not likely make my ruling before the debate begins today, but another day. In that case, the vote will no doubt be delayed.

The hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier on another point of order.

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12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I raised a question yesterday and hoped that the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons could address this point of order.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, in one of her answers, cited a letter from a minister in the Government of Ontario. I feel that the Standing Orders of this House require that the letter be tabled here in this House.

Did the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons follow up on that request?

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12:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I was unaware of the request to table it, but I would be happy to pursue that.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2007 / 12:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I wish to table the draft legislative proposals to amend the Income Tax Act.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present the 30th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership of the committees of the House, and I should like to move concurrence at this time.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Cambridge have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

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