House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.


National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.


Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have done a lot of surveys and discussions with specific groups, and they are aware that there is nothing really protecting the park. Over the years we have seen some changes in the park. In the early nineties, lots were sold by the National Capital Commission to private people, and we all disagree with that. People were really enthusiastic about my bill and about making sure it reflects what they were looking for. Also the first nations; I met with them and the mayors, and they are really happy about the bill and what it protects.

Going back to why we cannot say it is a national park, it is because 2% of the park belongs to private people. In the bill we encourage the National Capital Commission to buy those lots inside the park to make sure it becomes better and becomes a national park. There is also the Quebec part. Quebec has some interest in this park, so if we want to call it a national park we have to negotiate with Quebec and we have to look at the private people who own part of the park. It is only 2% but enough that we cannot call it a national park.

National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta


Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak about the importance of protecting Gatineau Park and why Bill C-565 misses the mark on this important issue.

We can all agree that Gatineau Park is one of the jewels of the national capital region. The park represents 7.5% of the total land area of the national capital region and comprises 361 square kilometres of green space; 200 kilometres of exhilarating cross-country trails; 165 kilometres of breathtaking hiking trails; 50 lakes; a downhill ski resort; multiple ecosystems, such as the Eardley Escarpment and Pink Lake, as well as boasting a great diversity of wildlife.

Remarkably, this pristine natural environment lies within a 15-minute drive of Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, a fact that no doubt contributes to its over 2.7 million visitors each year. We, as Canadians, and especially as residents of this region, are lucky to have Gatineau Park but also the greenbelt and other urban parks situated so close to the capital.

The government entrusted the hefty responsibility of protecting the park and all of the capital region's green space to the National Capital Commission through the National Capital Act in 1959. The commission was mandated in that act to prepare plans for, and to assist in the development, conservation, and improvement of, the national capital region, including Gatineau Park, to ensure that the nature and character of the seat of the Government of Canada reflected its national significance. That mandate remains relevant and important to this day and the commission continues to implement it faithfully. Notably, the government reaffirmed the importance of the commission's continued implementation of that mandate of planning, conserving, and improving the entire national capital region, including Gatineau Park, in the first budget implementation act of 2013.

This government understands and shares Canadians' interest in Gatineau Park and continues to support the NCC's efforts, and itself also continues to play a leadership role in taking meaningful action to protect and conserve the park. Our government wants to reiterate to Canadians its absolute commitment to protecting Gatineau Park and other green spaces in the national capital region.

The government has demonstrated its ongoing commitment by twice introducing an act to amend the National Capital Act and other acts in the recent past, once as Bill C-37 in 2009 and then again as Bill C-20 in 2010. Both of these bills contained strong legislative protections for Gatineau Park, including provisions that defined the boundaries of Gatineau Park, strengthened the importance of the environmental stewardship role of the National Capital Commission, and both defined and required the commission to apply the concept of ecological integrity. These bills also sought to comprehensively update the commission's outdated authorities and governance structure to ensure that the commission had the necessary tools at its disposal to truly protect the national capital region's natural spaces and to fulfill its entire mandate.

While both of these government bills unfortunately died on the order paper, I am pleased to note that the government plans to introduce a similar bill in the near future, again illustrating its commitment to protecting the park. In this respect, our government's position is that Bill C-565 does not offer a particularly effective approach to protecting Gatineau Park and is far too restricted in scope.

Need I remind the opposition whip that in the national capital region we live and work in close proximity to many more green spaces than Gatineau Park alone? We are also surrounded by the greenbelt and multiple urban green spaces that fall under federal authority and the NCC's stewardship. Bill C-565 unfortunately only introduces measures to protect one of these parks, Gatineau Park, coincidentally the park closest to the opposition whip's riding.

Our government feels that the approach in Bill C-565 is far too narrow, and we have always taken a strong position, as evidenced by the previous bills just mentioned, that any reopening of the National Capital Act must ensure the enhanced protection of all green spaces in the national capital region, including Gatineau Park and the greenbelt.

Bill C-565's restricted scope also means that it would only focus on one dimension of the National Capital Act concerning Gatineau Park, and in so doing would neglect to address some of the other aspects of the act that could use updating.

While the government strongly believes that the National Capital Commission remains the federal body best placed to ensure the promotion, protection, and conservation of green spaces in the capital region, including Gatineau Park, we also need to provide this crown corporation with a modernized governance structure and updated authorities, in addition to strengthened protective measures for the park, the greenbelt, and other properties held by the commission. This would enable it to better continue to successfully implement its mandate.

As I noted earlier, the government is committed to reintroducing new legislation in the near term, similar to previous Bills C-37 and C-20, which would offer these more comprehensive reforms to the act and provide a more broad-based protection to the green spaces in our capital region.

Its ambit aside, there are also insurmountable and substantive problems with Bill C-565. I will only address one here, that being its problematic imposition of an obligation on the NCC to buy all real estate property in Gatineau Park. We are talking about 377 properties that are privately owned in the Park, with a roughly estimated current value of $100 million. Adopting this amendment in Bill C-565 would clearly cause the market prices of properties in the park to inflate, while concurrently legally obligating the commission to purchase these same properties, regardless of the price. This is far from a responsible way to spend taxpayers' money.

It is important to note that in September 2008, our government sought and obtained an order in council that grants the commission with the authority to purchase private properties in Gatineau Park without seeking Governor in Council approval for each specific purchase. This has already provided the commission with a more efficient and streamlined process for increasing its ownership of property within the park according to the established priorities and resources available.

The National Capital Commission has explicitly identified the acquisition of properties in the park as one of its priorities, and has set aside funds exclusively for this purpose. Our government provided a $10-million increase in ongoing annual funding for capital expenditure to the National Capital Commission in its 2007 budget.

The commission has to date adopted a balanced approach that maximizes the benefits to taxpayers by buying properties based on availability, price, and pre-determined priority. The commission plainly already has the authority, the funds, and the solid policy and planning mechanism to effectively manage acquisitions in Gatineau Park.

I will conclude by reiterating the government's commitment to introducing comprehensive legislation to amend the National Capital Act in the near future. This legislation would protect Gatineau Park, as well as other federally owned green spaces like the greenbelt. It would provide updated tools for the National Capital Commission to continue to deliver on its mandate and to perform its valued work.

The government is committed to protecting Gatineau Park for Canadians, not only in the present, but for decades to come.

National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

1:45 p.m.


David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I will share the reasons why I believe Gatineau Park needs better legal protection and why the Liberals will be supporting Bill C-565 at second reading. We will vote to have this bill studied in committee, where we will propose amendments to the sponsor, the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.

Gatineau Park is the only federal park that is not protected by Parliament. Unlike national parks, this park's boundaries can be modified and its land sold and roads can be built through it without Parliament's involvement. Gatineau Park is managed by the National Capital Commission, which does not ban commercial or industrial activities or land development.

Because of inadequate legal protection, Gatineau Park has lost a significant amount of land. When the National Capital Commission redrew the boundaries in the 1990s, it severed 48 properties, a total of 1,508 acres. At the same time, 334 acres were allotted for the construction of roads—roads that were built in violation of the commitments made in the master plan—bringing the total number of acres severed up to 1,842, or nearly 5 km2.

In addition, because the land management system is inadequate, the NCC has allowed considerable urbanization within the park. Since 1992, 125 residences have been built inside the park.

Despite repeated NCC commitments to acquire private property, some 296 private properties consisting of 2,112 acres remain within Gatineau Park. Moreover, several large private properties remain inside the park, which risk being turned into major subdivisions, impeding the park's evolution as a conservation site intended for public enjoyment.

Gatineau Park must be given the same kind of legal protection and parliamentary oversight as national parks across Canada. Through amendments to the National Capital Act, the park must acquire the legal status, borders and effective land management mechanism needed to ensure transparency in its administration and guarantee its long-term protection.

We must give this park the protection framework that various citizens' groups have been advocating for decades, and help the NCC fulfill its commitment to gradually acquire private properties, while respecting landowners' rights to continue to live in the park.

The Liberal Party of Canada has long been committed to the preservation of Gatineau Park and its environment, heritage and many social and recreational attractions.

In 2004, Liberals were first to put the issue of Gatineau Park legislation on the floor of the House for discussion, followed by the NDP with Bill C-444, Bill C-367, and Senator Mira Spivak with Bill S-210, Bill S-227 and Bill S-204. All bills died due to elections or prorogation.

On June 9, 2009, the Government of Canada tabled Bill C-37 with much criticism from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Gatineau Park Protection Committee, who argued that the bill fell well short of offering Gatineau Park a proper legislative framework, failed to meet basic park protection criteria, would allow boundary changes, perpetuated development and road building, and would thus impair the park's ecological integrity.

On November 8, 2012, our colleague for Hull—Aylmer introduced Bill C-465, which the Gatineau Park Protection Committee criticized for encouraging residential development inside the park, ignoring issues related to Quebec's territorial integrity, providing no mechanism for public consultations, and placing private property interests above the public interest.

Reintroduced with amendment as C-565, this bill establishes only a moral obligation to ecological integrity by dedicating the park to future generations. Necessary measures to ensure the protection, preservation, and management of Gatineau Park for the benefit of current and future generations are put forth with little framework and no legislative backing.

Additional amendments are clearly needed to better back NCC objectives of management and long-term conservation and restoration. As it stands, the bill lacks statutory protection and adequate parliamentary oversight, and thus fails to effectively support the establishment of measures that would better protect and preserve the ecological integrity of Gatineau Park.

Even more, the bill contradicts section 14 of the National Capital Act, which stipulates that the NCC can resort to expropriation of private lands whenever it becomes necessary for the purposes as its mandate.

As stated by Jean-Paul Murray, secretary of the Gatineau Park Protection Committee:

By stipulating that the NCC cannot infringe on private property rights, this bill is an open invitation to landowners to subdivide and develop their land as they see fit, since it will entrench their right to do so... [T]hat clause works against another section of her bill mandating the NCC to acquire private park land—acquiring private land and encouraging its development are contradictory objectives....

It is clear that additional amendments are needed to better back NCC objectives of long-term ecological integrity while still respecting the rights of land owners.

At this point, before further consultations and discussion, at least two amendments are needed.

First, there is a need for a right of first refusal. Clear regulations would obligate a property owner to give the NCC the first chance to purchase the property should the owner decide to sell, subsequent to which park land may be bought and sold on the open market. By no means does a right of first refusal limit property rights of land owners. Only owners themselves have the power to bring about the circumstances that vest any right in the NCC to buy their property. Rights of land owners must and should continue to be respected.

This amendment requires that landowners give the NCC a right of first refusal. It in no way limits property rights. It allows owners of real property located in Gatineau Park to continue living there and pass their property on to their children through inheritances or trusts.

Second, the bill should provide protective legislation for Gatineau Park via an amendment to the National Capital Act. Such a legislative framework by Parliament would support the NCC's role as park manager and would give the park the same kind of statutory protection and adequate parliamentary oversight given to national parks throughout our beautiful country.

It is likely that other amendments will also be required. Indeed, critics also argue that the bill provides no mechanism for public consultation, provincial or community; completely ignores the issues of Quebec's territorial integrity; and fails to make conservation the first priority of park management, which is a cornerstone of the National Parks Act and a requirement different citizen groups insist is necessary.

We have some work to do. We are looking forward to examining this issue thoroughly in committee with the member for Hull—Aylmer and all of our colleagues, as well as anyone who gives testimony before the committee, so that we may give this extraordinary park, Gatineau Park, the legal protection it deserves.

To conclude, I am very disappointed by the remarks from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs was previously the minister of the environment and has been the minister for this region for eight years now. In that eight-year time span, he has appointed two CEOs to the NCC and one chair of the board, but has taken no action whatsoever to strengthen the ecological integrity of this beautiful national park on our doorstep. Shame on that minister with all his powers and influence. To hear again the parliamentary secretary claim that some legislation is forthcoming is disappointing at best.

National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

1:50 p.m.


Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Hull—Aylmer for introducing this bill. The NDP has been bringing this issue forward in the House for a long time. My colleague from Ottawa Centre also introduced a bill in this regard, as did his predecessor, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, in 2005.

As a member who represents Montreal's south shore, I find it worthwhile to speak about this bill. It contains principles that are important to everyone, particularly in Quebec. The bill seeks to put Gatineau Park on the same footing as other national parks by creating a proper legislative framework to make sure the park receives the environmental and other types of protection necessary to preserve our heritage for future generations.

With all due respect for my colleagues from the Outaouais region, I am going to tell a story about my riding in order to show my constituents why the values reflected in this bill are important to us, to all Quebeckers and to all Canadians.

My riding is home to Mont Saint-Hilaire, the first biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO in the 1970s. The biosphere extends beyond the borders of my riding. In my region, there are many orchards, and apple picking is very a popular activity. People banded together and demonstrated to protect certain borders of this green space and keep it safe from private development by various contractors. Population growth is a significant issue for a region like mine. That is what I am hearing about the national capital and Outaouais regions. This is a challenge that is becoming more and more common.

Two of the five Quebec municipalities that had the highest number of births in 2012 are in my region. In 2011, one of the municipalities in my region was among the three cities with the highest growth in Quebec. There is a lot of growth in the second tier of Montreal suburbs. Population growth results in a need for some municipalities to rezone and build more housing, for example. We accept this reality. We want to welcome people to live in our area. What is important to the NDP is to do it in a balanced way. I hope that this is also important to the other parties. We need to understand the economic, demographic and environmental realities.

From my reading of the bill and research I have done about Gatineau Park, I can see that there is a similar issue. We want to make sure that there is no confusion. Giving Parliament more power to change boundaries is one way to achieve that goal via compromise. The work needs to be done by taking everyone's opinion into account, not by decree.

I would like to go back to the example I gave earlier. A group of citizens got together to protect the orchards on and around Mont Saint-Hilaire. People managed to create what they call “the green belt”. That is interesting. The green belt is very good for the region's economy. People from all over Quebec, Canada and the United States, including Massachusetts, go there to pick apples. The orchards are protected thanks to the work of citizens in my riding. They worked to maintain the integrity of part of that land and to take a balanced approach to development going on in the region, especially in the municipality of Mont-Saint-Hilaire. That is the kind of vision we see in the bill introduced by my colleague from Hull—Aylmer.

It is a little disappointing to hear what the government has to say about it. Unfortunately, during private members' business, we do not have much of a chance to respond to the government's position.

The government seems to be rather closed-minded. I find that very difficult to understand. Especially since this bill, as I mentioned, would put Gatineau Park on an equal footing with other national parks. I believe my colleague from Ottawa Centre mentioned that in the question he asked my colleague a little earlier.

It is very surprising to see such a lack of legal protections for a park that is so important at the regional and national levels. When we take that into consideration, we realize that improvements are necessary.

The government's position seems even more curious when we consider that it introduced related bills in the past, which unfortunately died on the order paper as a result of an election or prorogation. Those bills had the same objective. At the time, we believed that the bills did not go far enough, but at least they were a step in the right direction.

I hope that the government members will think about this issue. I did hear some comments indicating that the government seems to understand the importance of protecting this legacy and this park. We shall see how the remaining MPs vote. I hope that they will realize that this is very important.

My colleague has a clear mandate to do this work on behalf of the public. After all, this was brought forward during the election. The petitions presented are indicative of the NDP's support for the bill. We all worked with my colleague from Hull—Aylmer to present petitions signed by several thousand people. They all believe that this bill is a step in the right direction and that it is needed to properly protect the park.

Even though I am not from the national capital region, I know that the National Capital Commission takes a different approach to running parks and historic institutions in the region. It is not managed like anything else. That is not a criticism; just a statement of fact.

This reality calls for some nuance, which is taken into account in the bill. I do not think that should be an argument against the bill. This bill takes into account the legal provisions that already exist in the National Capital Act. That is important to point out in the House today.

At the end of the day, the NDP thinks it is very important to consider protecting this environment and heritage.

Far too often, in matters of the environment and heritage, there is not enough consideration for future generations. It is great that we can enjoy Gatineau Park today. We must certainly take advantage of that. I have had the chance to visit the park, and it is a gem not just for the region, but for Quebec and Canada as well.

However, it is important that we be able to enjoy it beyond today. The park must be maintained for future generations to enjoy. We must not be greedy with this type of park. Of course we should enjoy it now, but we must also pass it on to the next generation. That is extremely important.

The NDP's balanced position is to promote environmental protection and understand the nuances that must be taken into account when considering the various existing laws, while moving forward in a progressive manner. After all, we are forward thinkers. That is exactly the position we advocate when it comes to the environment. These legal provisions and this bill constitute a common sense approach.

We clearly must support this bill. I join with my colleague from Ottawa Centre and my colleague from Hull—Aylmer, the bill's sponsor, in supporting this bill. I would like to congratulate her once again for her efforts.

I urge all my colleagues to follow this example and support the bill.

National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

March 7th, 2014 / 2 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba


James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Bill C-565.

Gatineau Park has an important place in our national capital region's history. The idea for a park in the Gatineau hills dates back to the 1800s.

In the early 20th century, two reports were commissioned, both of which recommended that the Canadian government create a park in the hills.

On July 1, 1938, the Government of Canada recognized the concept of Gatineau Park and the groundwork was laid with the introduction of a budget for the purchase of land in the Gatineau valley.

In 1959, the government introduced the National Capital Act. This legislation created the National Capital Commission, which was given the authority and responsibility to protect Gatineau Park, as well as many other properties, parks, and green spaces in an extensive area defined in the act as the national capital region.

The act states that the commission's mandate is: prepare plans for and assist in the development, conservation and improvement of the National Capital Region in order that the nature and character of the seat of the Government of Canada may be in accordance with its national significance.

Gatineau Park is fully subject to this mandate, as it forms part of the national capital region.

Today, the park's millions of annual visitors, who are both residents of the region and tourists, enjoy its trails, forests, and lakes year-round, and I certainly enjoy them myself.

In recent years, there have been numerous efforts made by the government to study and improve the tools and mechanisms by which the commission administers and protects land and properties within the capital region.

In 2006, an independent panel was commissioned to study the mandate, mission, and activities of the commission. Many people and interest groups who were consulted felt the long-term sustainability of the green capital lands—especially Gatineau Park and the greenbelt—were at risk and strongly advised that formal protections of these lands be strengthened.

The panel subsequently published its report, which included 31 recommendations regarding the commission's operation, governance, and resources.

One key recommendation was to strengthen the commission's environmental stewardship role with respect to green spaces in the capital region, including Gatineau Park.

In 2009, and again in 2010, this government introduced Bill C-37 and Bill C-20 respectively, both titled “An act to amend the National Capital Act...”.

These bills defined boundaries for Gatineau Park, strengthened the importance of the environmental stewardship role of the National Capital Commission, and defined ecological integrity.

These bills were much more proactive and forward-looking than Bill C-565 and, unlike the chief opposition whip's bill, they also updated the commission's outdated authorities and governance structure and protected other federally owned lands in the region, following closely the recommendations of the panel from 2006.

The intention of these legislative proposals was to provide the National Capital Commission with all the tools it needs to fulfill its mandate.

Unfortunately, both these bills died on the order paper.

I wish to inform the chief opposition whip that I will be opposing her bill, for the following reasons.

First, the government will be introducing, shortly, a bill to amend the National Capital Act, which is far more comprehensive than Bill C-565. The government's bill would modify the governance structure of the National Capital Commission; clarify the commission's responsibilities regarding planning and sound environmental stewardship; establish boundaries for Gatineau Park and the greenbelt; enhance the National Capital Commission's regulation-making powers; as well as reduce some outdated constraints related to real property authorities.

It would be similar, in fact, to the former legislation introduced by the government in the recent past.

Second, Bill C-565 would impose a mandatory and legislative obligation on the National Capital Commission to acquire all real properties in Gatineau Park. This obligation would be extremely costly as there are presently more than 300 privately owned properties in the park. The consequences of legislating this obligation would be to inflate the prices of the properties within the park, and the National Capital Commission would be required to purchase them at any price. This is not a responsible way to spend taxpayers' money. This element of Bill C-565 is neither necessary nor desirable.

In 2008, the government put in place responsible measures through an order in council providing the commission with the authority to acquire any available real property inside Gatineau Park. The National Capital Commission uses due diligence to take into account the availability and the prices of properties, as well as the resources it has available in prioritizing property purchases in the park. These purchases, I think members will agree, must be made responsibly.

Third, although Bill C-565's proposed legislated obligation on the National Capital Commission to protect biodiversity in Gatineau Park would generally align with government policy, the current mechanisms in place, as well as the forthcoming government bill, would accomplish this goal more effectively.

The National Capital Commission is already mandated to protect biodiversity and promote educational and recreational activities in the entire national capital region, which includes Gatineau Park. The commission's 2005 Gatineau Park master plan also establishes priorities for actions in the areas of conservation and stewardship. Moreover, the forthcoming government bill would define and implement the concept of ecological integrity, which more accurately parallels existing government conservation legislation and policy, including the Canada Parks Act, and which would ensure that sound environmental stewardship is a main priority in managing the park.

Fourth, with regard to the boundaries of Gatineau Park, Bill C-565 proposes the same delineations as the previous government bills on the subject, using the 1997 boundaries established by the NCC board of directors. However, Bill C-565 also includes a prohibition on selling or transferring any public lands within the boundaries of the park. The inclusion of this prohibition in Bill C-565 illustrates the lack of knowledge and experience of the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer concerning the flexibility required to ensure effective long-term management of Gatineau Park.

Currently the National Capital Commission has designated Gatineau Park as national interest land mass, or NILM. NILM properties cannot be sold or transferred without Governor in Council approval. This NILM designation enables the National Capital Commission and the government to protect parks and federal lands that are of national interest, but it also provides the necessary flexibility to sell, transfer, or acquire properties when necessary in the public interest and to service communities.

Fifth, Bill C-565 states that the National Capital Commission cannot infringe on real property rights. In my opinion, this amendment is redundant, as real property rights are protected in the Code civil du Québec and are an area of provincial jurisdiction.

Sixth, Bill C-565 states that the National Capital Commission is to take into account the needs of the aboriginal populations and local communities, including the use of subsistence resources. Bill C-565 does not elaborate on whether this is meant to create hunting and fishing rights within Gatineau Park. If so, the National Capital Commission would have to modify or create regulations to ensure proper oversight and monitoring of these activities. This would be costly for the National Capital Commission and could have consequences for visitors to the park. An impact assessment would also have to be done to ensure that this inclusion aligns with government-wide aboriginal policy and treaty rights.

Finally, Bill C-565 would amend the Department of Canadian Heritage Act to specifically refer to Gatineau Park. The reason is that in September 2013, economic action plan 2013 transferred the activity and event mandate to promote Canada's national capital region from the NCC to the Department of Canadian Heritage, and a corresponding amendment was made to the Department of Canadian Heritage Act. However, since Gatineau Park is already part of the national capital region, there is no requirement to specifically identify this part of the capital region and not others.

Moreover, pursuant to an memorandum of understanding signed in October 2013 between the NCC and the Department of Canadian Heritage, the National Capital Commission continues to assume responsibility for, among other things, the management of activities, events, and promotions for Gatineau Park and the Mackenzie King Estate, while the Department of Canadian Heritage continues to manage activities relating to the urban lands for the capital region.

I am of the opinion that Bill C-565 is not an effective vehicle for protecting Gatineau Park. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the government's commitment to introducing comprehensive legislation shortly, which would ensure the continued long-term protection of Gatineau Park and provide the National Capital Commission with the tools necessary to manage and protect the entire capital region for all Canadians.

National Capital ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired, and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the order paper.

Before I read the order, I would like to extend, on behalf of the speakership, best wishes to all hon. members as they go to their ridings over the next two weeks. May you remain safe and productive. We will see you back here in two weeks.

It being 2:15 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, March 24, 2014, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:15 p.m.)