House of Commons Hansard #346 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was meeting.

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Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, one element that has not been discussed yet with this point of order, on which I would like to see a ruling, is the relationship to costs. Parliamentary associations are afforded the resources of the House. A lot of resources are expended for organizational meetings. Even the meeting last night had translator services and the services of the clerk. However, above and beyond that, these parliamentary associations have a great degree of House expenditures related to them.

My understanding is that the delegation afforded by this committee would be travelling to Halifax for the committee coming up. Should this matter not be resolved ahead of that, my concern is that we would be sending and expending House resources inappropriately, given that we would be putting somebody on the parliamentary dime essentially.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.

An hon. member

Illegitimately.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Illegitimately, absolutely.

I guess my addition to the point of order would be that this decision has to be clarified and rectified prior to any sort of announcement being made around who is going to be leading the Canadian delegation.

My colleagues here have raised some very strong and adequate questions with regard to the procedure, but there are also the costs for last night. I would also ask for clarification as part of this point of order. If procedural rules were bent, is there some sort of a requirement on behalf of the member to have to pay the cost back? That has not been clarified at all as well.

Going forward with regard to parliamentary delegations, we need some clarity on when there is a procedural breach like this and should somebody then illegitimately lead a delegation, what are the cost implications and is there a payback mechanism?

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what you think of this point of order raised by my colleague. There are two elements that must be taken into consideration with respect to this non-existent meeting.

First, each parliamentary association has two vice-chairs. At least that is the case for the NATO Parliamentary Association. What right did one of the two vice-chairs have to decide to ask again that the meeting continue when the second vice-chair did not agree with him? That is an extremely important point.

This is how things work at committees. At a parliamentary committee, such as the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, there is a chair, a first vice-chair and a second vice-chair. In the matter before us, yesterday evenings's meeting of a parliamentary association, one of the two vice-chairs decided on his own, without speaking to the second vice-chair, to reconvene the meeting.

We must absolutely seek your guidance on this matter. Otherwise, anyone can do what they want when they want at these parliamentary committees and associations. That is completely unacceptable.

I want to raise a second very important point. What happened yesterday is a real threat to democracy. I was there in the room and I stuck around for the second part. When the deputy chair decided to take the chair's seat, I heard him reconvene the meeting. Strangely, the Liberal members were the only ones convened to the meeting. None of the Conservatives members were convened.

Does that not reek of partisanship? Why did the vice chair not get the message to all of his colleagues so that everyone would be reconvened? This action was partisan and unparliamentary, and it showed a lack of respect for the House and for the Canadians who elected us.

Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe that you must consider these two factors and find that the second meeting violated parliamentary rules. I am not particularly well versed in the rules, but this quite simply showed a lack of respect for the voters who sent us here to represent them.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

This is certainly a serious matter. I have heard pretty well enough to take back. I will take it under advisement and I will come back with a response.

The hon. member for Brandon—Souris.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was listening to my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable just now and I wanted to add the fact that I too was one of the people who were at the first meeting as a member of the NATO association. I was a witness to the process that went on whereby the first meeting was legitimately adjourned because of a point of order—

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

We have already heard that story. I am looking for new information, if he has anything to offer. If not, I believe I have enough information to come to a decision.

The hon. member can continue if he has something new.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, as a new member of this committee, I believe it is my imperative duty to let you know that I was not even called back for this farce of a second meeting. There was no second meeting. It is irrelevant. Once the committee meeting adjourned, as you know and which you have heard, it is adjourned. Therefore, if it takes two weeks. There has to be proper notice. It has to go through the process again, as for any association, particularly one with a record amount of members who have shown up for this meeting.

I believe it is incumbent upon you, Mr. Speaker, to rule in that regard and I look forward to your ruling. However, I want to assure you that I was not called back for whatever took place after the main meeting. I called it a farce before. It could be a shambles, as my colleague has said. Many of my colleagues have stated they were not called back either. It is extremely important to note that.

Meeting of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary AssociationPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I will take all of the statements made under advisement and get back to the chamber with a ruling shortly.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to subsection 94(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the annual report to Parliament on Immigration, 2018.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have not given an hour's notice for this question of privilege in accordance with Standing Order 48(2), “Unless notice of motion has been given under Standing Order 54, any Member proposing to raise a question of privilege, other than one arising out of proceedings in the Chamber during the course of a sitting, shall give to the Speaker a written statement of the question at least one hour prior...”

As I have been sitting in the House, I have had media requests related to the immigration levels plan. My staff had a conversation with the media that were looking for comment from me and they told me that the numbers were 350,000. I am wondering how the media got a copy of a confidential document that has not been tabled in the House, asking me for comment prior to being tabled in Parliament.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

4 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this question of privilege, I would draw the Chair's attention to past Speakers' rulings on this matter, particularly that of Speaker Fraser, that information distributed to the media prior to being tabled in the House constituted a clear prima facie breach of the privileges of the House. I would request that the official opposition be provided the opportunity to come back with additional information and citations on this matter, confirming this egregious breach of the privileges of parliamentarians in this place.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

In my view, the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill should have given an hour's notice. I recommend that she give notice and in an hour, she will be able to speak.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

4 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Standing Order that the member for Calgary Nose Hill read clearly indicates where one hour's notice is not required. The Minister of Immigration has just tabled his immigration levels. Somehow the media received the data prior to the member for Calgary Nose Hill receiving it. This is happening in real time in the House of Commons. She does not require one hour's notice because it is happening during proceedings in the House. The minister has just tabled documents and the member's privileges were clearly breached by not having this data before the media did.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

4 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of clarification on the question of privilege. I am working in real time and for the record, my staff is informing me that the media says that the year three plan goes up to 350,000. That was the comment we were looking at.

Again, I would go back to the fact that the minister has tabled these plans. I would reference Standing Order 48(2) in terms of my ability to raise this as a question of privilege as it just happened and the fact that we have this information ahead of time.

Also, I am happy to table an email with the request that I received for comment on the levels plan earlier today.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I will take that under advisement and return to the House with a ruling.

Foreign AffairsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaties entitled, “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the State of Kuwait on Air Transport”, done at Kuwait City, Kuwait, on August 1, 2018; the “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Serbia on Air Transport”, done at Belgrade, Serbia, on May 21, 2018; and, finally, the “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of El Salvador on Air Transport”, done at Ottawa, on October 4, 2018.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary 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 21 petitions.

Credit Card Fairness ActRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-419, An Act to amend the Bank Act, the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Insurance Companies Act and the Cooperative Credit Associations Act (credit cards).

Mr. Speaker, it is a tremendous honour for me to present my private member's bill, known as the credit card fairness act, to the House of Commons today.

Since being elected in 2015, I have talked with thousands of Canadians from coast to coast, in every corner of the country. They are telling me that they are concerned about fairness and transparency when it comes to credit card use, which takes place every day. We live in a society where it is nearly impossible to function without one. We need a credit card to book flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, shop online, etc. Unfortunately, consumers are not being treated with the respect they deserve.

Due to rising interest rates and the fact that life is becoming more and more expensive, Canadians are struggling to make ends meet and they are falling further and further behind. The credit card fairness act calls for seven specific changes that would advocate on behalf of Canadian consumers. By increasing fairness and transparency, the reforms outlined in my bill would empower credit card holders to make informed decisions, pay off their debt quicker and achieve greater financial freedom.

I want to thank Canadians for giving me the opportunity to advocate on their behalf. It is my hope that all members in the House will join me in this important advocacy work.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I move that the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, presented on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, be concurred in.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to stand in the House and speak to this motion today. I am proud to be splitting my time with my deputy critic, the capable member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

With respect to the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, I want to focus specifically on the order in council appointment of the hon. Stéphane Dion to the position of special adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The House will recall that Mr. Dion had a very distinguished career in the House of Commons. In fact, his order in council appointment took place at the conclusion of that career, and speculation at the time was that the conclusion of his career in the House of Commons was not his own choice but was the decision of the Prime Minister.

Think for a moment about that career. This was a former minister in the Chrétien government, the author of the Clarity Act and a strong federalist.

I had a good relationship with Mr. Dion, but he was pushed aside as the member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent to become a special adviser, and ultimately, Canada's ambassador to Germany, with a cross-appointment as a special envoy to the European Union. We still have not really heard a good explanation of that cross-appointment or the specific outline of his role as special adviser.

When the Liberal government was formed in 2015, Mr. Dion became the first foreign affairs minister. It is very unusual that partway through his mandate, that minister was not just shuffled but was shuffled right out of the House of Commons. The ninth report outlines that order in council process and how that transition of Mr. Dion happened.

Members may recall that he was elected for the first time in 1996. When I was first starting to follow politics, Mr. Dion led the Liberal Party. Clearly, for the Prime Minister, after a while Mr. Dion was not helpful, or he was seen as a hindrance, and he was disposed of. He was dismissed from his role. The report covers the order in council appointment and where the government shuffled him to.

It is clear that after a while, if people are not helpful to the Prime Minister, he makes sure that they are out of the way.

I would add that in the same time frame we are dealing with this order in council appointment for Mr. Dion, the same thing happened to Mr. John McCallum, a former minister as well in the previous Liberal governments of Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Martin. He is now Canada's ambassador to China. The foreign affairs committee, and I am the shadow minister for foreign affairs, is now seized with Canada's relations with Asian countries and with China, although Ambassador McCallum was not there when the foreign affairs committee went to Beijing to meet and study. It was quite unusual that he was not there.

In the same time frame when Mr. Dion, a former leader of the Liberal Party, was shuffled aside, Mr. McCallum was also shuffled aside. He had not served quite as long as Mr. Dion. He was the member of Parliament for Markham, and later Markham—Unionville, from 2000.

There is a pattern emerging, starting with foreign affairs specifically. The pattern is that for distinguished Canadians, once they are not helpful to the Prime Minister, there is a plan afoot to slide them out. This motion highlights the report and the order in council process that slid Mr. Dion to the side.

I cannot help but think that the same thing happened last night, on October 30, to someone the Prime Minister was upset with.

On September 17, the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill made a decision, after a lot of reflection, after consultation with trusted friends, after canvassing on issues she was here to safeguard, to leave the government benches and sit on the Conservative opposition benches.

The Prime Minister, on September 17, at the beginning of this fall sitting, said that is what happens in our political system from time to time and said, “I wish her well.” That is a quote from the Prime Minister of Canada. He said, “I wish her well.”

However, sometime after that date, a plan was afoot to push the hon. member out of a role in the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, much like, as this report references, the order in council appointment of Stéphane Dion. The Prime Minister no longer needed these people or no longer felt that they were helpful to him, so not only were they slid aside, they had to be actually removed from a position. That is what happened last night. The member for Etobicoke Centre rushed the stage. We outlined some of the concerns about that.

It is a pattern. We saw it with the former leader of the Liberal Party. We have seen it now with the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran and a strong and proud former business executive. She was not just shoved aside but was treated with disrespect by a Prime Minister who suggests, quite frequently, that he is a feminist.

On that point, Christine Innes, someone who was a very active person in politics and whose partner, Tony Ianno, was a member of Parliament in this place for the Liberal Party, was shoved aside as well, in Trinity—Spadina, and was not permitted to run.

There was Julie Desjardins in Mississauga Lakeshore. In fact, a former Liberal MP, Paul Szabo, was quite upset about the way that was handled.

Another colleague on my benches, the hon. member for Lethbridge, was elected by her constituents and given the trust of her colleagues and her leader to be shadow minister for the status of women. She was denied the ability to chair a committee because she does not agree with the Prime Minister on all issues.

We see a pattern emerging with this Prime Minister. There is a public persona presented to Canadians in hashtags and photos, where the Prime Minister will suggest that he is a feminist and that there is a feminist foreign policy. In fact, the member for Etobicoke Centre has this ridiculous position of being someone who is championing a position to have an ambassador for women in peace and security, and last night, he besmirched the good name of one of the few women in this House who have worked in uniform in peace and security. It was shameful. No doubt, he was ordered by the Prime Minister's Office to do that.

It was quite distasteful to see a lot of the cabinet of the federal government marching into a room and allowing the member for Etobicoke Centre to turn it into a farce, and, after there had been an adjournment, recommencing a meeting, after people had left, all to extract revenge.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sure the hon. member is trying to get to his point. He is moving concurrence on a half-page report, and the member is not saying anything about it. I am hoping the Chair can direct him back. I know that you, Mr. Speaker, have made rulings that members eventually get to their point. However, we seem to be on quite the tangent, and I am hoping the hon. member can be directed back to this half-page report he is seeking concurrence on.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I will leave it to the hon. member for Durham to come back to the point. I will let him continue.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am not surprised to see another Liberal member questioning a decision of the Chair. We saw that last night as well, Mr. Speaker, on an adjournment.

I would remind the member of the order of council appointment of Stéphane Dion. I know that the member for St. Catharines was a Liberal Party activist. He probably pledged support for Mr. Dion. Mr. Dion, for a time, led that party, until he was not helpful to this Prime Minister or did not agree with him and it was time to be shuffled aside.

This is the motion I am speaking to, but it is a pattern that has emerged with this Prime Minister. If someone disagrees with him, or perhaps even hogs a bit of his camera shot, he or she is to be disposed of.

Liberal MPs, including hon. ministers, being marched in to allow a sham to take place should concern that member. I am sure it concerned Mr. Dion, whom I wish well in his role as a dual-hatted ambassador in Europe. However, the question on the order in council appointment is this. Did Mr. Dion ask to serve, or are the hand marks of the PMO of our Prime Minister still on his back? We are seeing a lot of that callous conduct from the Liberal government.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, the Environment; the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, Natural Resources; the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, International Trade.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 31st, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a side note, I want to say that I had the privilege of studying under Mr. Dion's father in university, and I then had the privilege of working with Stéphane.

I met the ambassador in Germany twice and have worked with him, so I know how hard he works and what an asset he is to our country in Europe. I am very disappointed to see that members keep talking about administrative procedures and are resorting to mudslinging and antagonism. They refuse to recognize Mr. Dion's accomplishments and expertise. We recognize Ambassador Dion's expertise, as we do with everyone we promote.