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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was region.

Topics

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Amendment agreed to)

The question is on the motion, as amended. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion, as amended, agreed to)

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been consultations among all parties and I think you might find unanimous consent that in relation to the suspension of the House in lieu of private members' business, we see the clock as 6:30 p.m. so we might proceed directly to the special debate on the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Finance.

Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsPrivilegeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Before we proceed to that item, in view of the general support that has been expressed in the House earlier with respect to Bill C-34 dealing with Tsawwassen, I wonder, in the interests of expediting that matter, if we might, now by unanimous consent, deem that bill read a third time and passed?

The House resumed from June 16 consideration of the motion that Bill C-34, An Act to give effect to the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will deal first with the opposition House leader's request. Is it agreed that Bill C-34 be read a third time and passed?

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

I will now deal with the request of the chief government whip. Is there unanimous consent in the House to see the clock as 6:30 p.m.?

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(2), the motion to concur in the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Finance (recommendation not to proceed further with Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States social security payments to Canadian residents)) presented on Wednesday, May 7, 2008, is deemed to be proposed.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:15 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Essex for bringing forward this proposal. We all recognize the laudable intent behind this proposal is helping seniors. Accordingly, we applaud the government for bringing it forward. Indeed, the member for Essex has been a strong advocate on behalf of his constituents ensuring their issues and concerns are well represented in Parliament since his initial election in 2004.

Because of the member's hard work, he is able to spotlight this issue, surrounding the United States social security payments to Canadian residents, for parliamentarians. We have been able to discuss and debate it both on the floor of the House of Commons and at the Standing Committee on Finance.

A decision was made by the majority of members on the standing committee to not go forward with this proposal at the present time. However, by facilitating the debate on the matter, the member for Essex has raised the profile of the issues and concerns. Hopefully, some of the matters and concerns that we have had a chance to review in our debates will be considered as we go forward and in future debates.

This government stands for responsible leadership. We need to be prudent during these times of global economic uncertainty and we need to be responsible for determining fiscal policy and how best to manage the competing priorities of Canadians.

That is what budgets are all about and the integrity of the budget process is important to Canada. It allows us to ensure spending decisions and tax measures are thoroughly discussed, debated and considered in a thoughtful manner, where options can be weighed to determine how best to manage competing Canadian priorities, all of which are fighting for scarce resources.

The budget process enables the government to fully consider such factors and to balance priorities and undertake new fiscal commitments only to the extent that they are affordable. Accordingly, the House should return Bill C-305 to the House finance committee for more thorough discussion, debate and consideration, especially as we enter the period of prebudget consultations.

Therefore, I would like to move the following amendment. I move that the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: The seventh report of the Standing Committee on Finance (recommendation not to proceed further with Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States total security payments to Canadian residents)), presented on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 be not now concurred in but that it be recommended to the Standing Committee on Finance with instruction that it amend the same so as to recommend that the committee be authorized to consider Bill C-305 beyond the deadline set out in Standing Order 97.1.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West is rising on a point of order.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in regard to the amendment to the motion.

I submit that the amendment to the motion is in order. The motion that is before the House is a motion to concur in a committee report. It is clearly established that a motion to concur in a committee report is procedurally acceptable.

For example, on May 5, 2005, the Speaker recognized:

--an amendment to refer a report back to a committee with an instruction is in order.

The Speaker also stated that:

--our practice has been to allow the House to give a permissive or mandatory instruction to a committee to amend the text of a report.

This concurrence motion is being considered under Standing Order 97.1. The language used in this Standing Order suggests that amendments too are possible. For example, Standing Order 97.1(2)(c)(ii) states that at the conclusion of the debate:

--the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment, every question necessary to dispose of the motion;

By putting every question successively and without further amendment, the Standing Order implies that amendments to the motion are permissible.

It might be argued that proceeding this way would be inconsistent with the spirit behind the Standing Orders for private members' business, which are designed to ensure a conclusion on a private member's item.

However, while there are provisions to give some assurances that a private member's bill would come to a conclusion, private members' business is not totally immune from procedures that would cause a bill to fall outside of those provisions.

For example, at third reading, the House can refer a bill back to a committee for further study. This is what happened to Bill C-423 at third reading on May 16. An amendment at third reading to refer a bill back to committee does not require the consent of the sponsor, even though Standing Order 93 requires the consent of the sponsor for amendments to the second reading motion.

Although there are strict time limits for debate on private members' bills at second reading and at third reading, there are no limits on debate on Senate amendments to private members' bills. Therefore, the Standing Orders do allow for exemptions to the general manner by which private members' business is managed.

I would also argue that it is permissible for a committee to present a report requesting the authority of the House to have further time to consider a bill beyond what is contemplated in Standing Orders. Ultimately, it is up to the House to decide such matters and the House can choose to give a committee authorities that go beyond what is found in the Standing Orders.

For these reasons, I submit the amendment to the motion is in order.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, a number of members in the chamber are trying to understand what is happening.

I am not sure whether or not the Chair ruled whether the amendment was in order or whether we are waiting for that decision, but the member who rose was debating a decision that we had not heard. One does not rise on a point of order to debate whether or not it is admissible before we have a ruling.

Either the Chair will ask for interventions on the admissibility of the amendment, or it has been ruled inadmissible, so we had quite an interesting intervention, but I think we need some direction so all members can be on the same wavelength.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Mississauga South and all other members will be interested to know that I have not ruled on anything, but I have been very attentive on everything, as I will be attentive to the hon. member for Essex.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think what is happening here is that, obviously, we are moving to amend the report, hoping that it gets sent back to committee. I have asked for this because I had an amendment proposed that did not get consideration at committee. It did not get moved at committee. I would like the committee to have an opportunity to at least fairly examine that particular amendment and its possible implications. Perhaps it will accept it or not.

I know this is sort of an exceptional case, but I am hoping that the Speaker rules that this motion is in order, so we can vote on amending the report.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am familiar with the amendment, but I want to be sure about its technical interpretation. Could the Speaker clarify this? If not, everyone will interpret it their own way. If it means that the bill will just be referred to committee, we will adjust our position accordingly. I just want to be sure that it does not mean that the bill is dead and that only the subject will be referred to committee.