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House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #203

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion lost.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Arts and Culture; the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra, The Environment.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to the hon. member's speech. He was reflecting from the perspective of his role as chair of the procedure and House affairs committee and said that he felt Canadians were discouraged last week when they watched the proceedings in committee.

Does he feel Canadians were discouraged when the current government was elected and took office and the Conservatives actually wrote and distributed to their members and committee chairs a 400-page manual on how to thwart the work of parliamentary committees? Was the hon. member somehow embarrassed by that?

Does he believe Canadians are discouraged by a governing party that writes a manual on how to disrupt the work of parliamentary committees? Does he believe Canadians were discouraged when the Prime Minister shut down Parliament twice? Does he believe Canadians were discouraged that members of Parliament, like the hon. member and his colleagues in the Conservative caucus, refused to do their jobs, hold their government to account and ensure that taxpayers and Canadians knew what the cost of their legislation would be?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Madam Speaker, the member for Kings—Hants mentioned a manual full of information. That is exactly what he got last week in committee and people should have seen his surprise, “Holy cow, I can't read this. I don't have enough time to read this. This might actually be what I asked for”. I shared in my dissertation, for those who were not there, that Liberals looked like dogs who finally caught the car. They did not know what to do with it when they got it.

The member brought up manuals. I will talk about being discouraged. That is what I am reading in emails from people across the country about the shenanigans and happenings in last week's committee. The manual the member for Kings—Hants mentioned is not the one I used. The one I used is House of Commons Procedure and Practice. It is right here on the table if he would like to read it, and maybe he should.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I was listening to the chair of the procedure and House affairs committee talk about binders with information that was delivered to committee. I am pleased to again table in the House the information that the House requested, which shows we were fully in support of the House's resolution.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I would call the attention of the House to the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer who, after examining the information in those binders, said in his report to committee:

There remain significant gaps between the information requested by parliamentarians and the documentation that was provided by the [government], which will limit the ability of parliamentarians to fulfill—

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I did not hear anything that was a point of order. There has not really been a point of order. The minister rose to table some documents.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, due to the importance of what I think are the documents, the minister was not quite clear as to what he was tabling. Is this all of the information initially requested by the finance committee, so members will know what information is available?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, they did not even read the documents before they said they did not answer the questions they had asked. This shows what a kangaroo court that committee had become.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Order, order.

We are in the period of questions and comments. If members have a question for the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, he will answer it.

The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London will answer the question and then we will move on to another.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the House was presented all the information just now, I was still finishing my response to the question from the member for Kings—Hants. He asked me if I was discouraged. I did share in my speech that I was discouraged. I certainly was discouraged with the behaviour of the members last week at the meeting and have been discouraged with some of the emails I have had about their behaviour since them.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. member from the Conservative Party. I heard him say how discouraged he was about the way the committee acted, about all the emails he is receiving and all that. It is odd, but I am not receiving the same kind of emails.

Given the way it was presented, I would like to pursue the matter. He was talking about the way that big stack of information was delivered. Does he remember when Professor Franks from Queen's University told us during his testimony that it would take at least until July to read everything in detail? The Standing Committee on Finance had requested these documents four months earlier. It took the Speaker of the House of Commons to force the government to present its stack of documents through the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, who is not even answering members' questions today.

I would like the hon. member to say a few words about that.

Also, I noticed in committee that the Conservatives were able to illustrate every possible way a committee should not work.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member from the NDP shared most of his time at committee with the member for Winnipeg Centre which really was part of the problem. I have received more comment on the behaviour of the member for Winnipeg Centre than anything I have ever seen in this House. As chair of a committee, I have never seen a more disruptive member than that member. I would ask his own whip, and perhaps his leader, to take him under control.

There is a meeting of volunteer firefighters and fire chiefs right here on the Hill tonight. For those who are thinking of voting against the budget, why do they not go and talk to them?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise and ask my hon. esteemed colleague a question about this. I want to ask him what his constituents think? Because back home in Wetaskiwin here is what my constituents see. They see the plaintiffs, who consist of the majority of coalition members, putting a motion before a Speaker, who is elected as one of the members of the parties, who makes a ruling that sends it to a committee where the plaintiffs actually outnumber the defendants, and they come to a conclusion that we are in contempt.

Do this member's constituents see this as the sham that it actually is, as my constituents do?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with my colleague's question, that yes I do. However, the real answer is it went further than that. The report was written before the committee was finished hearing witnesses. There was the report in front of us to try to find the guilt. This is like the members of a jury, before they arrive to be picked, all agreeing that it is going to be that way.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst on a point of order.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were already of the mindset that there was no violation of the rules of the House or the rights of the MPs. They were already of the mindset to defend their government without even listening to the witnesses.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

That is not a point of order.

The hon. member for Mississauga South is rising on a point of order.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

March 23rd, 2011 / 5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the House is now seized with a question of the government being in contempt of Parliament and the questioner and the chairman of the committee both have stated in this place, denigrating Parliament and its processes under the rules of this place. This appears to be yet another example of contempt for the rules of Parliament.

I would like both members to withdraw their comments about characterizing Parliament as a kangaroo court.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have a hard time with a Conservative MP saying that the Speaker referred the question of privilege to committee because the Speaker was not from his party.

The Speaker was democratically elected by the elected members of this House. The hon. member may recall that his party also voted for this Speaker. He is showing a lack of respect for the Speaker of the House of Commons.

I would like the hon. member to apologize to the Speaker of the House of Commons. What he just said in the House is shameful.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no way we call into disrepute the Speaker of this House. He is an honourable gentleman. He makes his decisions on the basis of the law.