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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Malpeque has the floor.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the individual walked out peacefully. Yes, there were security officers around him but he left--

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I find it very ironic that we are talking about decorum in the gallery and yet the House will not give the member for Malpeque the civility and decorum that the Speaker has asked for.

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact the problem, which leads me to the key point on why the incident took place in the first place.

The government member talked about respect for this institution. If we were to talk to the individual who held up the signs and shouted from the gallery, he would tell us about the respect that he has lost for democracy as a result of the government's actions in terms of how it is basically doing away with the Canadian Wheat Board.

Those individuals sat here while the minister answered questions. I can assure the House that, from their perspective, they do not believe the minister's answers were fully honest, if I can put it that way. The individual is a young farmer. Those individuals strongly believe that this is an important debate and that this institution and the government should be allowing hearings on this major issue in western Canada. That is what those people believe. They believe their voice has been taken away. They know their vote has been taken away. The individual did what is right in a democracy by standing up in civil disobedience against the actions of the government, which is doing undemocratic things.

That is why it happened. It should not have happened but the blame does not rest with the member for Churchill. The blame falls right on the shoulders of the very government that is doing these undemocratic things.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I find this outrageous. This has nothing to do with one party or another party. This is Parliament. We cannot have these outrageous demonstrations in Parliament. Civil disobedience is fine. Civil disobedience can be done anywhere in the country. It can be done on the lawn. However, this is the House of Commons, a very special place where laws are passed and budgets are passed. We cannot have these kinds of disturbances.

The member for Malpeque just made his comments. I notice that you are a member of Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board, as is Mr. Dean Harder, the person who demonstrated up there. Is that not an interesting coincidence? You also had your camera ready to take--

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I need to remind the hon. Chief Government Whip to address his comments through the Chair and not directly at other members.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Where I said, you, I meant you.

Mr. Speaker, this was an outrageous act in this Parliament that should not have happened. It would get resolved quickly if the people involved would apologize and promise not to do it again.

Members may remember that about a year ago a bunch of people from the environmental movement were also sponsored in here. They had their demonstrations. Why does demonstration after demonstration come from the same group of sponsors?

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I hesitate to allow this to turn into a debate about the merits of government policies in terms of the flow of debate, but I see the opposition House leader rising, so I will take that intervention and then I think it is time to move on.

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to stand, but that last comment cannot go without a response.

Mr. Speaker, you heard very clearly from our whip. We all sponsor members of the general public to come here and sit in the galleries. We do that every single day.

To then attribute misbehaviour on behalf of one of those people that we sponsored to the individual who was the sponsor is just totally inappropriate. To make that kind of comment is wrong because at any given time one of those people who we provided a pass to sit in these galleries could be doing the same thing.

This weekend I will have been here 11 years. I have been through five incidents and in not one of those incidents, and I include the one that happened yesterday, can we point to the member of Parliament, who allowed the person to have the pass, having any foreknowledge that there was going to be an incident.

We have had five incidents and I do not believe there have been any other incidents. I was in the chamber every single time and there has never been an occasion when we could show that the member who was the sponsor had any knowledge of what was going to happen.

Disturbance in GalleryPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I understand the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans is rising on a different point.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with some sadness that I stand today to make this point, but if you will allow me some indulgence.

Concerning the five incidents that the opposition House leader just referred to, passing coincidence that in each of those five cases the individual was sponsored by a member of Parliament from the New Democratic Party.

As we just discussed, emotions were running high yesterday in the House. In addition, the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier rose in the House when I was not here with the specific goal of accusing me of saying things about the Auditor General that I did not say. Her statement can be found on page 3,456 of yesterday's House of Commons Debates.

For the record, I would like to remind the members of the House that I support the government's decision. We wanted bilingual candidates. Upon completion of a rigorous process, it was determined that the candidate chosen was by far the most competent applicant. I am happy to know that Mr. Ferguson has committed to becoming bilingual and that he has already been taking language courses for several weeks.

The hon. member knows full well that I am careful not to play partisan games. She also knows that I welcomed her here with all the dignity she deserves. She could have a promising future in the House, serving the riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, her province and her country. For that to happen, she should avoid picking up bad habits and stick to what was said instead of putting words into the mouths of other members.

I would be pleased to provide you with a transcript of the speech I gave the day before yesterday before the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

In fact, I would be prepared to table it at this time if the House would give me unanimous consent.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the document to which he is referring?

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

There is no consent.

The Chair will take the matter under advisement and come back to the House if necessary.

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville is rising on a different point.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is a separate point of order but ties in a bit with what has been happening in the last little while.

We are concerned about decorum in the House. The applause yesterday for the demonstrator is an encouragement for decorum to continue to decline. The NDP made a pledge for proper decorum in the House, but I was very disturbed today by the fact that the NDP applauded the statement made by the member for Halifax that was very demeaning to seniors in Canada. This occurred during question period.

At first one could view this as just the view of the one member for Halifax, but the laughter of the members opposite, like the member for Winnipeg Centre, demonstrates an attitude that really concerns me. The label given to seniors by this MP is totally unacceptable. The laughter she engaged in after making those derogatory comments reflects a problem that goes a lot deeper than just the comments made. The decorum in the House on the part of the NDP has slipped considerably.

I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, what could be done to remedy this situation?

The comment is an insult to seniors across this country. The member did not retract her statement. She had lots of time to do that. I would like you to review that and if you agree with me that this is demeaning to Parliament, I would like to pursue this further.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by the hon. member in defence of seniors. That being said, the comments that the minister is making about the hon. member for Halifax having twisted herself into a pretzel are no more ministerial or sensible.

We will take no lessons from a government that treats the opposition in such a cavalier manner, denies it the basic right to debate most of the bills introduced in the House and is acting almost like a dictatorship.

This results in a type of behaviour that is somewhat unfortunate. Indeed, we would like there to be decorum, but decorum and respect have to be earned.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will keep my remarks short. What is disturbing is using legitimate points of order as an attempt to create a narrative that then can go out to the public. That undermines the role of a point of order.

The idea that members of the New Democratic Party are to sit and be polite to whatever government insults they receive on a daily basis—

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

An hon. member

A point of order.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

This is a point of order.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have just been informed that the earpieces are not working.

They are working now. The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. colleague is concerned that the term that the member was acting like a grumpy old man was somehow to be inferred as a complete insult to senior citizens across this country. People back home would think this is kind of like the bully who suddenly gets challenged.

If we are going to talk about legitimate points of order, we should be following basic parliamentary procedures, not “he called me that” or “she called me this”, especially when we see the kind of ridicule that comes off the government benches on a daily basis.

I would urge you, Mr. Speaker, to be mindful of the larger role of parliamentary democracy and not be taken in by these attempts to rewrite the public record as being malicious attempts to undermine everything that is good in this country just because we are doing our job of challenging ministers who are refusing to answer questions.

DecorumPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I appreciate that some members may want to add, but we have gone on now for over half an hour on these points. The Chair has heard enough on all three issues raised today and we will move on to orders of the day.

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh is rising on a different point of order.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsPrivilegeOral Questions

November 24th, 2011 / 3:30 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had advised you that I would be responding to the question of privilege that was raised by the President of the Treasury Board yesterday.

I stand to respond to the question of privilege he raised. He raised it with respect to the apparent altering of the official record of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The first note I would make is that there seems to be some ambiguity. I was not quite sure where he was going with this, so I will perhaps pose this rhetorical question. Is he asking the Speaker to rule on whether and how the blues were altered? It was not entirely clear, but I think that is where he was going.

If that is the thrust of his question of privilege, certainly members on the official opposition side would—

Standing Committee on Public AccountsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I have just been informed of a problem with channels 2 and 5. In the interim, I would suggest members use channel 1, which is the floor channel, and there should not be any interference. In the meantime, we will try to resolve the problem.