This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #192 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was open.

Topics

International Co-operationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

And a proud one at that, Mr. Speaker, for 40 years.

Under our government, we are achieving real results: 7.8 million chronically food insecure people have been given food in Ethiopia; 900,000 farmers and small business owners earn higher incomes in Bangladesh; and 7.8 million children have been vaccinated against polio in Afghanistan.

We will continue to deliver real results for taxpayer investments and not go the rhetoric route as the Liberals have.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, federal institutions, like port authorities, are not paying their property taxes. Even the Supreme Court said that they must pay up. These tax dodgers are costing communities tens of millions of dollars. In Vancouver, the port authority owes $50 million to the good people of Vancouver. In Toronto, it is $58 million.

When will the minister enforce the law and order these laggards to pay up?

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear that the Minister of Transport has to enforce a law in organizations that are arm's-length from the government. This is between the municipalities and the organizations. We will ask them to do what they need to do in respect of all the laws, as we have always done.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government is focused on economic growth and job creation, yesterday, the opposition tried to play risky partisan games to kill key measures to grow the economy. Last night, the NDP-Liberal-Bloc-Green coalition united to force hours of voting on the budget implement bill in an attempt to deny Canadians economically critical support they are depending on.

Despite the opposition's reckless attacks, could the hard-working Minister of Finance please update the House on the status of the jobs and growth act?

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, last night the jobs and growth act passed unamended at report state. We will vote on the bill at third reading later today. I look forward to the vote.

However, Canadians should be disappointed in their NDP members and their reckless opposition allies in their tactics trying to delay Bill C-45, the jobs and economic growth bill. With global uncertainty facing the economy and a fragile global economy, our government will move ahead with the economic action plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the Conservatives made promises about Revenue Canada, their disastrous management of this agency will hurt the economy of the Mauricie and Saguenay areas. It also casts doubt on their ability to protect personal information.

The announced layoff of about 60 employees in Shawinigan and Jonquière will directly affect telephone services and storage of confidential documents. There will be even fewer services and even less security.

The Conservatives are leaving the door wide open to identity theft.

Why is the government not making the protection of personal information a priority?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our top priority is the economy and this includes ensuring that we spend Canadian tax dollars wisely. This change will ensure the privacy and the security of taxpayers' records and will do so at a lower cost to taxpayers.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

December 5th, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa's response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is nothing short of immoral. All of the key players, even Israel's allies, have condemned the resumption of settlement activity, but Canada has not said a thing.

What will spur the government to adopt a more balanced position like the one adopted unanimously by the National Assembly yesterday, which urges the Canadian government to acknowledge the UN vote and maintain its financial aid to Palestine?

When will Ottawa support a negotiated settlement that honours both Israel's right to live in peace and the Palestinians' right to create their own state?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been a strong supporter of the peace process. We have been a strong supporter of economic development and security relations in the West Bank through our humanitarian and foreign aid developments with respect to the Palestinian Authority. However, the PA's action and provocative rhetoric at the United Nations would obviously elicit a response from Israel. Neither is helpful to advancing the cause of peace and we do not support either.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period, fond memories of the former MP for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier came to mind and came out in my question. Since I certainly would not want to tarnish his reputation, I must correct the facts: the name of the former CEO of the McGill University Health Centre is Arthur Porter.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order today to ask you to revoke the illegitimate final vote that took place last night on the report stage of Bill C-45. The motion put to the House was moved by a member who was not in his place and was, therefore, indisputably out of order, preventing a legitimate vote from being held.

Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, motions form the basis of all debate and all decision making in the House. Without them, we simply cannot function.

The House of Commons Procedure and Practice second edition, is clear on this matter. It states:

The most basic components of this process are the “motion” and the “question”—the motion being a proposal that the House do something or express an opinion with regard to some matter; the question being the mechanism used to ask the House if it agrees with the motion.

It goes on later to say, “Without a motion and a question, there can be no debate”. I would add that neither can there be a vote, which is a decision on that motion.

The admissibility of a motion is a rule that is fundamental to the proper order and practise of our work. There are clear rules set out for all members to follow in terms of how motions must be constructed and proposed so that we are all working on a level playing field. Those rules even apply to a Minister of Finance.

Parliamentary Rules and Forms, sixth edition, states clearly:

Every motion that is duly moved and seconded is placed before the House by the Speaker as a question for the decision of the House.

The logical result of this rule in the negative is that a motion that is not duly moved cannot be placed before the members of this place for a decision. If a motion “finds no seconder”, it is dropped immediately. That is the result in the absence of a seconder. Therefore, the result for the absence of a mover can be no less severe. I am sure you will agree, Mr. Speaker.

O'Brien and Bosc, on page 556 and 557, states:

...the Speaker will first ensure that the Member wishes to proceed with the moving of the motion. If the sponsor of a motion chooses not to proceed (either by not being present or by being present but declining to move the motion), then the motion is not proceeded with and is dropped from the Order Paper, unless allowed to stand at the request of the government.

No such request was made last night by the government. When the member is not present and a motion is not moved on his or her behalf, the Speaker can have no option but to conclude that the member no longer wishes to proceed.

Erskine and May clarifies this process in Parliamentary Practice, twenty-first edition, where it states in chapters 17:

A motion of which notice has been given may be moved by one of the Members in whose name it stands....

But a motion standing in the name of a Minister may be moved by any other Minister in accordance with the constitutional practice which permits the Ministers to act for each other on the grounds of the collective nature of the Government.

There is no problem with this rule, to be perfectly clear, and had one of the colleagues of the Minister of Finance moved the motion on his behalf, there would be no problem at all. However, this did not happen last night. The theoretical procedural possibility of something is not the same as it actually happening itself.

I was witness to what happened and I have reviewed the tape from last night and the facts are 100% correct. The Speaker moved the motion for report stage on Bill C-45, unamended, in the name of the Minister of Finance, but he was not in his place to move that motion. If the Minister of Finance had bothered to stay for the last few votes, this would not be an issue. If he had bothered to arrange with a colleague to move the motion in his name, this would not be an issue.

I have two final things to say. I note that Journals from yesterday reads that the government House leader did in fact somehow move the motion on behalf of his absent colleague. If you review the video, Mr. Speaker, and the Hansard from last night, the official record of Parliament, I am sure you will agree with me that it is not the case. Journals is not correct.

I am aware of my obligation to raise such questions at the earliest opportunity. To be clear, my colleague, the chief opposition whip, raised this with the Table as soon as was possible last night. She could not interrupt the Table during the vote and the House then moved to adjournment proceedings immediately after the vote because of the late hour.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, when the House entered the adjournment proceedings, there was no longer an opportunity to raise this issue and, therefore, this is my first chance to do so.

The government has been let off the hook for not following the letter as well as the spirit of too many rules too many times in Parliament: systematic curtailing of debate using time allocation; the absurd creation of a flawed system for more than one committee to study Bill C-45; the total denial of opposition amendments to all respects of its bills; and finally, the minister responsible for a bill could not be bothered to sit with his colleagues in the House while his motion on report stage was being dealt with.

The remedies are a few. The concern is that, in a few moments, debate will begin on the next stage of the bill.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

I will thank my colleagues to hold their comments until they actually have something of value to say.

For the next debate of the bill that was passed erroneously from the vote last night, a potential remedy is to conduct a vote immediately and properly with the Minister of Finance in his place to move the motion on his budget bill, but the remedy is entirely up to you, Mr. Speaker.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the process on voting is very much in the hands of the Chair and the Chair clearly interpreted properly, as reflected in the record of House, the intention of the government. It was obviously the intention of the government that the report stage of the bill be moved. The record, as the opposition House leader indicated, reads as follows:

Pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(9), Mr. Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons) for Mr. Flaherty (Minister of Finance), seconded by Mr. O'Connor (Minister of State), moved, — That the Bill be concurred in at report stage.

We had been through the process of time allocation and of setting up the votes to take place that evening on the very multiple motions in amendment put forward by the opposition, which took a considerable amount of time and which did cause inconvenience to members of the House that made it impossible for the Minister of Finance to be there for the entire duration. There are people who have legitimate issues and reasons why they cannot be here at all times for such votes. We recognize that people face those issues from time to time.

However, in this case, it was understood by everyone that the government was moving report stage of the bill. The government is represented amply by a number of cabinet ministers in the House, including the House leader who, as the record indicates, in my role I was content to move on behalf of the Minister of Finance, as was the intention of the entire government, report stage concurrence in the bill.

It is also very important for us to look at this intervention in the context in which it arrived, a context in which the opposition has chosen to attempt to delay every possible effort to move forward with the bill.

You, as Speaker, have a responsibility to ensure the orderly continuance of the work of the House, notwithstanding the efforts by the opposition every way possible to try to disrupt the work of the House. In that spirit, I expect you to consider this question.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of collegiality, I thought my colleague had a procedural point to make rather than one of debate.

The point that we made very clearly and he did not address this, was that the record of Journals was not the record of this place, and he knows that. Hansard and the video from last night clearly shows that there was a mistake made, that the finance minister was not present to move an important motion. He actually did not have to be there for many of the other votes that my hon. colleague complained so much about, but the vote under his name, he did. To have a vote conducted in this place without his being there, is absolutely critical to the function and practice of this place.

We quoted the text quite extensively and the government did have some options, as the he will know, that another minister of cabinet could have moved the motion in the Minister of Finance's stead. It chose not to do that. It was under his name and read as such into Hansard and on video record, which I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you have access to as well as the hon. House leader for the government.

Clearly, the Conservatives are not rising on any procedural strength. They are simply rising on what their intention was. There are a lot of places paved with good intentions, but what stands in this place is our ability to conduct ourselves in a regular and proper fashion when moving through important legislation. I would think the budget would be one of those things the government would seek to do it on.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all of us can agree that this issue is at least as important as the question of where the Minister of State for Small Business left his car keys. We have to recognize there are issues of form and there are issues of substance.

On a matter of form, there is no dispute or no debate with respect to the overall fact that none of the votes that were held last night were won by the members on this side, including members of our party. It is difficult to believe that anyone thinks that whether or not the Minister of Finance happened to be in his chair or not, the result of that vote would have been any different in any way shape or form.

On the other hand, there is a substantive issue with respect to how the Journals were changed, which is something we have to clear up. However, on a matter of substance, either the House can vote again on the same issue and reach the same conclusion and the same result, otherwise let us get on with the debate on third reading.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I feel the need to correct one matter that the opposition House leader represented that was not accurate, and that was what the official record was of this place. He indicated Hansard was. In fact, Debates is indicated as the transcribed, edited and corrected record of what is said. Journals, according to O'Brien and Bosc, is the official record of what is done in the House. I thought that should be corrected. It was Journals that recorded the motion was made properly.

Concurrence Vote on Bill C-45Points of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I appreciate all of the interventions made. This is a very interesting question for the Chair to consider. I understand there is some urgency for a decision on this, so I will get back to the House very quickly with a determination of the best way to proceed.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 50 petitions.

Since I have been recognized, I move:

That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

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

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.