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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, given that it was I, representing the Liberal Party, who raised the issue in terms of the government appearing not to be following the Standing Orders, it is important that I respond to what the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has now put on the record.

I admit I am not a lawyer, but I have a fairly good understanding of House procedures and what a day is and is not. I can read the Standing Orders just as well as I suspect many others inside the House of Commons can. I believe that the Standing Orders are fairly clear and that is why, earlier, I raised the point of order on behalf of the Liberal Party that the government would appear to be breaking the Standing Orders. It is an important rule that needs to be respected, so by raising it in that fashion, I was hopeful that the government members would respond by recognizing that they had made a mistake and that the mistake can be easily fixed by allotting a few extra hours to debate this very important bill.

In his response, the government House leader tried to confuse the matter. He said that there is this situation here or this situation there, giving the impression that it has happened before. Well, it has not happened before where it has been brought to the Speaker's attention that a rule has been violated.

It is much like if someone stands up and says something that might be determined as being unparliamentary but no one brings it to the attention of the Speaker, so the Speaker does not make a ruling on it. However, if someone stands up and points out that someone said something that is unparliamentary, there is an obligation on the Speaker to enforce the rule. I believe that the Standing Order is fairly clear on this point. There is nothing wrong in admitting he made a mistake, and the government House leader should just acknowledge that they made a mistake, that they did not read or interpret the rule properly and that they are going to have to extend the amount of debate on the bill in order to comply with the Standing Order.

I suggest the government House leader may take some time. Maybe we could recess for a few minutes so the government House leader can get his motion in proper order, so we can have a continuation of the half-hour question and answer on the time allocation. The government House leader would recognize that Canadians as a whole would love to see the government follow the rules and procedures of the House of Commons and that it is not appropriate for the government House leader and the Conservative Party to be abusing this rule.

Madam Speaker, I look to you and suggest we need to have a ruling on this. It is a very simple, straightforward issue. Regarding the examples the government House leader brought forward, there was no extended sitting that was being suggested. The bottom line is that we are sitting until midnight, which far exceeds the number of hours that this time allocation motion is stating, and that puts it in contradiction to the Standing Order. I suggest we have a recess so the government House leader can bring forward a motion that would be in keeping with the Standing Order. I leave it at that and I hope the government will do the right thing on this matter.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I thank all the hon. members for their comments. There were some interesting precedents presented, and there does seem to be some lack of clarity on that specific issue. However, for now I propose to the House that we continue the debate. I stopped the clock. I will come back with a decision in 15 minutes when this debate is over.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to ask the Minister of State for Finance a question with regard to something that is somewhat confusing for me,.

I know that the NDP put forward a number of amendments with regard to the bill. I believe that sometimes these amendments are simply delay tactics, which is unfortunate because delay simply for the sake of delay is, frankly, obstruction. Nevertheless, some of the amendments are confusing.

I would like to ask the minister of state about a particular amendment that would see the RDSP positive changes in the bill eliminated. I am confused because stakeholders, with regard to the registered disability savings plan, have been asking for these changes in order to allow for plan holders to be expanded, et cetera. It would help the most vulnerable. I would like to know why the NDP would want to eliminate these positive changes.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, I will have to disappoint my hon. colleague because I actually do not have the answer to that question of why the NDP would vote against that. In fact, it was the opposition finance critic and the opposition deputy finance critic who actually put forward the motion to delete clause 6 which deals with the registered disability savings plan.

We can find quote after quote all across the country about how effective this could be. We are adding these clauses in to make it more effective. We are working with the provinces, which have partial jurisdiction over this, but we have the tax law portion of that. This legislation in some provinces currently bars some people with intellectual disabilities from accessing the plan without compromising their legal status. The provinces want to move forward with this. The groups that are promoting this, in fact the families that are dealing with the issues of, we use the term “legally incompetent” or “disabled Canadians”, were expecting this.

I wonder whether the next speaker who rises from the NDP might give us a quick answer as why the NDP voted against the disabled people in this country.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Madam Speaker, if the Minister of State for Finance wants to talk about hypocrisy, we should take a look at the government. During the election, it did not announce the changes in its plans and it moved forward.

I would also like to say that the Canadians I have met are alarmed and worried about the tactics of this government, which is not only silencing this House, but is also silencing Canadians without leaving any room for debate.

I would like to ask the member how much progress he thinks the government can make when it is not listening to the public? How far can we go?

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, that is exactly what we have done. I have been consulting with groups, businesses and organizations across the country since early last fall, as has the finance committee. The all party finance committee travelled to different regions of the country and brought in witnesses from different regions across the country. This is a reflection of what we heard from those individuals.

It is very troubling when an hon. member stands in this House to suggest that something that is in the budget implementation act was not actually in the election platform.

I would remind that hon. member that the only party that ran in the last election that actually had an economic plan for this country was the Conservative Party. I do not remember even seeing that referred to in the NDP platform, so I guess the NDP ran on nothing.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I just want to make an addition to my colleague's point of order. The amount of time allocated for any stage may not be less than one sitting day.

Also, these proceedings were days when there was no extension.

Also, the Standing Orders have been amended several times since the citings. That is why the member is reaching back to 1970 for examples. The fact is that the Standing Orders have been changed.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I thank the hon. member, and, as I said, I will be coming back to the House in a few minutes with a decision.

Questions and comments. The hon. member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Madam Speaker, we heard the minister of state talk about what his party ran on in the last election. This is a very good point because the Conservative Party in the last election did not tell Canadians that it would change employment insurance and it did not tell Canadians that it would change OAS.

Like the minister of state, I travelled the country and did 47 town halls across the country and not once did I have anybody ask to have OAS changed.

From the standpoint of the finance committee, and being a member of that committee, we would be sitting there with six or seven people, some were there for fisheries, some for modified seeds and some for the environment, but in the five minutes we had each one of these people had to choose one person to ask a question of.

I am concerned about what is happening to the capacity of MPs to do the due diligence necessary. It does not require a lot of understanding of process to understand that changes to the Employment Insurance Act belong in a different place, or that the Fisheries Act belongs with fisheries, or that human resources development belongs with human resources, to get clear due diligence applied that is necessary but that has not happened.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, we have, indeed, heard from Canadians about employment insurance from all regions of the country for various reasons. One of the resounding complaints we heard was how people who are on employment insurance and want to work find jobs in their own region. It is not the easiest thing to do.

What the minister is attempting to do is to pair up those people who are now on the safety net of employment insurance. It is good to have it there when people have lost their jobs, but they want to be paired up. They would rather be working than be on employment insurance.

It is our role as government to ensure that we can pair those two up. It is that simple and we think it is important that the government play that role.

We have seen an incredible increase in jobs, almost 760,000 net new jobs, but if there is one Canadian still looking for work we should not give up on him or her.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I have two very quick points.

I appreciate my colleague making reference to page 667 of O'Brien and Bosc in regard to the amount of time allocation for any stage not be less than one sitting day. That provides clarification in terms of the point of order that my colleague had raised.

My question is for the government regarding Conservative backbenchers on Bill C-38.

We had an individual from Kootenay—Columbia, a Conservative member of Parliament, who made fairly profound statements. It is on YouTube if people want to click into it. He makes reference to the Conservative backbenchers and feels that they are not a part of Bill C-38. It sounded as if the backbenchers were blindsided by this.

Why were the Conservative backbenchers not allowed to engage the cabinet on this Trojan Horse bill? Were they consulted? Was the member from Kootenay—Columbia wrong when he sat down with his constituents to discuss the issue or was the government negligent in not working with the Conservative backbenchers on the issue?

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, I fly to Calgary every Friday night to get back to my riding, as does the member for Kootenay—Columbia to whom the hon. member referred. I remember very well that flight as the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia was studying the budget and underlining and highlighting things. He would lean over to me and say, “This is good. I'm glad we're doing this. Can you help me explain this to my constituents?” The hon. member understood what was in that budget.

What my hon. colleague for Winnipeg was talking about was obviously taken out of context. The member for Kootenay—Columbia studied that budget. I am not sure that everyone else in here did. However, he studied it deeply and actually went back and explained to his constituents the benefits in the budget implementation bill.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2012 / 11:05 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, my question with respect to limiting debate has to do with the fact that a number of government members represent similar areas to the one that I represent, not just in my province of Manitoba but across northern Canada and the far north.

The budget will have a devastating impact on the regions that many government members represent, whether it is the cuts to Fisheries and Oceans, like the work at the Experimental Lakes Area, or whether it is the changes to EI. I wish the Minister of State for Finance would speak in great detail to the impact of the EI changes on seasonal workers, like forest firefighters, the people we depend on to keep our communities safe, or the cuts being made to the immigration system, a model that exists in Manitoba, which, unfortunately, the government has failed to promote.

On a whole host of issues, the government is failing to stand up for our province and our regions and is limiting debate to boot.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, some of the member's constituents have been wondering why she did not listen to them when it came time to vote in support of their ability to use their long guns for their livelihood.

We are here representing our constituents and our constituents have told us that Canada is on track toward getting back to balanced budgets. This budget implementation act would simply move us from the stage of jobs and economic growth to long-term stability. We need to make some serious decisions that will help us in our long-term sustainability. Canadians have asked for that and it is time we get on with it.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, we have here a government that, in the past, has prorogued this House for purely partisan reasons. Again for purely partisan reasons, it also forced an election when, at the time, the election was supposed to be held on a set date. So then, it should come as no surprise that, for purely partisan reasons, the government is proposing an omnibus bill in place of a budget implementation bill. The government has included many measures that it said nothing about before.

Clearly, the government wants to hide all sorts of things in a bill that the public will not have time to thoroughly examine. That much is clear.

I have a very specific question for the minister of state about what has been hidden in the bill. The Public Appointments Commission was created under the Federal Accountability Act, which was passed by his government. Yet, the budget implementation bill does away with this commission.

In the minister's opinion, does the government no longer need an appointments watchdog, even though one was needed when the Federal Accountability Act came into effect? Given that the government has decided to do away with the commission in this bill, does that mean that the government is now going to be able to appoint whomever it wants to whatever position it wants without any oversight? This matter was not discussed, so the minister can hardly say that it was debated.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, every appointment that this government makes is based on merit. When we attempted to bring in a very credible individual whose background and reason for being nominated was based on non-partisan, unbiased merit, the opposition of the day chose to politicize an incredibly intelligent individual and a successful businessperson who was willing to provide advice to the government for virtually nothing.

We are getting tired of the opposition just simply opposing because it can oppose. Those members are opposing all of the good things that are in the budget. By the way, if they were hidden, as the hon. member is suggesting, then I do not know why he raised it in a question.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

This concludes the period of questions and comments.

I will now respond to the point of order raised earlier by the hon. member for Winnipeg North. I want to thank him, the government House leader, the House leader of the official opposition and the hon. member for Cardigan for their interventions.

The matter has been considered, and we find that the motion does respect the provisions of Standing Order 78(3). I am rendering this decision now for the purpose of the vote that will take place, but I can assure members that the Speaker will come back and provide substantive reasons to justify this. He will be returning at the earliest opportunity.

Therefore, I find the motion in order and will now put the question to the House.

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

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

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

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

All those opposed will please say nay.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-38—Time Allocation MotionJobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy 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 agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #280

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I declare the motion carried.