House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Correctional Investigator of CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the special report of the Correctional Investigator of Canada into the death of Matthew Ryan Hines, in accordance with section 183 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

I am also tabling, in conjunction with the aforementioned special report, the responses from the Correctional Service of Canada, in both official languages.

Canada PostRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, pursuant to section 150 of the Financial Administration Act, in both official languages, the 2016 annual report of the Canada Post Corporation.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 23rd report, entitled “Report 6, First Nations Specific Claims of the Fall 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”; and the 24th report, entitled “Report 1, The Beyond the Border Action Plan, of the Fall 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 2nd, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the great honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, entitled “Protecting Canadians and their Rights: A New Road Map for Canada’s National Security”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative Party, Canada's official opposition, in response to the hon. member's report, I have the honour to table a dissenting report, entitled “There Can Be No Liberty without Security”.

Unfortunately, while the aforementioned study on the national security framework was an opportunity to examine ways to make our laws work better so that Canadians are safer, the Liberal government members chose to focus on ways to handcuff our security services and take away necessary powers. For this reason, among others, the Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security could simply not support the report as tabled.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “Main Estimates 2017-18: Vote 1 under Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Votes 1, 5 and 10 under Department of the Environment and Votes 1 and 5 under Parks Canada Agency”.

Yazidi PeoplePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour to present a petition signed by hundreds of Canadians protesting and asking for action against ISIS, given the atrocities it has committed against the Yazidi people. The petition asks the government to recognize that the Islamic state, or ISIS, has committed genocide, and it asks for action both at the International Criminal Court level and with respect to support for victims of genocide.

I believe this is a very worthy cause, and I congratulate the organizers of this petition for bringing awareness to such atrocities and to such an important issue for the world to consider.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour today to present a petition on behalf of retired master corporal Collin Fitzgerald. In 2007, Collin was awarded the Medal of Military Valour for helping wounded comrades in a burning vehicle under enemy fire in Afghanistan. Collin was recognized for his incredible bravery and heroism on the battlefield. Unfortunately, he has faced a second battle since returning home to Canada. Collin is one of many veterans who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, something he has struggled with for many years. Collin's story is one of a military hero who has returned home to later face charges he claims are as a result of his PTSD. Luckily, he is supported by friends and family to help him through these difficult times.

His story has inspired hundreds of Canadians to sign a petition, which calls upon this House to do three things: first, to hold an independent inquiry into his 27-month prosecution; second, to determine how to right the wrong by overhauling the relationship between the police and the crown attorney; and third, to compensate thousands of unjustly accused Canadians.

Canadian Firearms Advisory CommitteePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition in regard to the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee, which was created to ensure that the views of Canadians be heard when changes are considered to firearm policies, laws, and regulations; and to ensure that the committee, including firearms experts and representatives of the gun industry in Canada, advise the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of those views when considering these items.

The majority of the new membership of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee announced on March 3, 2017, have either publicly stated that they are in favour of stricter gun control or are in fact members of the Coalition for Gun Control.

Only two members of this committee have a firearms background. Law-abiding target shooters, hunters, trappers, farmers, and collectors want increased representation on the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee and so have signed this petition.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the debate be not further adjourned.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today. We want to know the exact purpose of this decision by the government. We are talking about protecting the rights of the people who have been elected by Canadians to defend their policies, to defend their constituents. We belong to our constituents. We not only belong to the people who voted for us, but we also belong to all of the people we represent in our ridings. Today we consider this a threat to our duty.

Why is the government doing this today?

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the hon. member's question.

We recognize that this is a very serious issue. That is why we have been discussing it. We have discussed it for six days. Including today's debate and discussion, it will be seven days. We are supportive, as I believe all members in this place are supportive. Members of Parliament should have full access to this place, including the entire parliamentary precinct. It is an issue we take very seriously. The committee should do its work and definitely study this issue to sort out why it took place and to ensure it never happens again.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is happening today has never before happened in the history of this Parliament. The Speaker ruled that the Liberal majority government's first attempt to curtail debate on our privileges as elected representatives should be blocked. The Speaker's job is to protect the rights of MPs, and that is what he did.

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is at it again today. She stood before you, Mr. Speaker, hoping to put an end to a substantive debate on a question of privilege. Two members, the member for Milton in Ontario and the member for Beauce in Quebec, were denied their most basic right as elected representatives, the right to vote in the House. This is a matter of vital importance that must be debated here. Member privileges have always been an integral part of the history of our institution.

What is happening today is unprecedented. For a government to attempt to silence every member of Parliament on a question of privilege says a lot about what it really sees as privilege: the privilege of the majority to squash the minority in the House; the Prime Minister's privilege to send a convoy of empty official vehicles to block elected representatives summoned to vote on the most important bill, the budget bill. That is what we are dealing with here.

I have just one question for the person who is here representing the Liberal majority: is she not ashamed of her government's behaviour?

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we have said time and time again, the government supports the amendment and the subamendment in relation to the privilege motion because it is an important issue that should be a priority at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

We understand how important this issue is. The committee must do its work in order to ensure that this never happens again. Members must be able to do their work. We want to discuss this matter at committee and we support what the members have said. I think we can work better together.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague, the member for Outremont. What is troubling is that the Liberals do not seem to learn from their past mistakes. It is hard to know if it is blatant arrogance—and that is what it seems to be, unbelievable arrogance—that they can repeat the same controlling behaviour in the House time and time again. They have this attitude that they can just get away with it. We certainly recognize that they have the majority and they are going to bully their way through everything they want to do.

We have just learned that our opposition day, which we were supposed to have this week, is now not going to happen, from what we are hearing. We have been preparing. We have very few days to bring things forward, as you know, Mr. Speaker, and now the government is shamefully telling us that we cannot have an opposition day. I think the Liberals are afraid of what might be happening on that opposition day, so once again, they are arrogantly bullying their way through the House, pushing their agenda through.

It is unacceptable, and I am wondering how long this dysfunctional Parliament is going to continue because of the terrible mistakes and terrible judgment of the Prime Minister and the Liberals.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a question of privilege. As I have said, as many members on the government benches have said, we support this question. We believe the committee should be studying this. We recognize that members of Parliament should have unfettered access to this place so they can do the important work they are elected to do.

We agree with the opposition that the committee should make it a priority. We support the subamendment. We have said this time and time again. We have studied and had discussion on this issue for seven days, including today. We know there is very important work here. When it comes to the privilege of members of Parliament, something we take very seriously, we are saying that we support what the opposition is saying. We are saying let us work better together.

I do not believe we need to resort to name-calling. I believe we all have a responsibility when it comes to the way we function in this place. I believe we all have a responsibility to work in the best interests of all Canadians.

I have always kept my door open, and I will continue to do so. I will always encourage conversation. Let the committee do its work. That is why we are supporting the question, the amendment, and the subamendment.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is very important to remember what the debate is about, which is access to the Hill. I was a staffer when I watched Yvon Godin get stopped from crossing the road to get to a vote a few years ago. It is really important that this gets to PROC to have a discussion and figure out how to solve the problems so this stops happening.

How important does the minister consider it to be to get this thing out of here and into the committee where we can study and resolve the problem?

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is actually very important to allow the committee to study it to ensure we see what happened. It can actually examine evidence and make sure this does not happen again.

Every member of Parliament should have unfettered access to this place. This is an important issue that has been raised in the House. We take it very seriously, and we want to ensure that it does not happen again. The way to do that is by allowing the committee to do its work so that it can report back here to ensure it is not repeated.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important for Canadians to understand what is going on here today. There are 338 people, representing every region of this country, who were elected to come here to represent 35 million Canadians.

The most essential thing we do is vote. We vote on motions. That is how we make things progress in this House. It has to do with refining and modernizing our laws. It has to do with budgets. These are essential things in our democracy.

Unlike the American system, where there is a real separation between the executive, the legislative, and the judicial, our executive sits on the front bench. That gives it enormous power over everything that happens in this place.

What we are seeing today with the use of closure to shut down debate on a question of privilege is an abuse of power by the executive, but it goes beyond that. The essential question here is one we raised a couple of years ago when the RCMP was being brought into the House of Commons, which they were never allowed to do in the past.

After the shooting in the fall of 2014, there was a big scuffle to figure out how we change security here on the Hill. A fundamental mistake was made. Right now, instead of being protected by the services of the legislative branch, services that are under the orders of the executive branch are now taking over what happens here in the Parliament of Canada. That is a fundamental breach. It is a fundamental error, and it is at the root of what happened here. It was the Prime Minister's personal RCMP motorcade leaving Parliament Hill, empty, that blocked all rights of parliamentarians to come and vote on that most fundamental question: a budget. That is what this is about.

I repeat the question I asked earlier to the government House leader, using her majority today to shut down the right of parliamentarians to raise this very essence of privilege. Does she not understand what privilege is and why it exists? It exists to guarantee and protect our right to speak and vote. It is fundamental.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like the hon. member to know that I understand very well what the question is, and that is exactly why we take it very seriously. What I cannot understand, though, is why not allow this important issue to go to committee.

Why is the opposition filibustering such an important issue that should go to committee?

Motion that debate be not further adjournedPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Where is the organ grinder? You are not the monkey.