House of Commons Hansard #332 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. I have two very brief points to make regarding the use of language by the Prime Minister yesterday in the House following question period.

First, I want to add to the point of order regarding the statement by the Prime Minister when he referred to the member for Milton as an ambulance chaser, which is described in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as a derogatory term meaning, “a person who strives to profit from the misfortune of others”. Page 619 of Bosc and Gagnon reads:

Remarks which question a Member's integrity, honesty or character are not in order. A Member will be requested to withdraw offensive remarks, allegations, or accusations of impropriety directed towards another Member.

The Prime Minister's statement of yesterday clearly breaches the rules of order and decorum. I trust that you will request he withdraw those offensive remarks as soon as possible.

It would appear that the member for Milton was not the Prime Minister's only target yesterday. My second point will address the rules regarding reflections on the chair. Pages 620 and 621 of Bosc and Gagnon state:

It is unacceptable to question the integrity and impartiality of a Presiding Officer and, if such comments are made, the Speaker may interrupt the Member and request that the remarks be withdrawn or immediately give the floor to another Member. Only by means of a substantive motion, for which 48 hours' written notice has been given, may the actions of the Chair be challenged, criticized and debated. Reflections on the character or actions of the Speaker or other Presiding Officers have been ruled to be breaches of privilege.

As you know, I raised a point of order regarding a question by my deputy House leader. In response to the Prime Minister's behaviour toward you, the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie asked the Prime Minister, “Are you in charge of the Speaker?” The Prime Minister replied, “Yes, I am,” suggesting that you are not impartial.

Now, a number of members witnessed that. According to our practices, this is clearly unacceptable, and the Prime Minister is obligated to withdraw those remarks. If the Prime Minister refuses to withdraw those remarks, I reserve the right to return to the House with a question of privilege.

I expect the Prime Minister to have a bit more respect for this House, its members and for you, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister must take responsibility for his actions and return to the House as soon as possible to withdraw the insults to the member for Milton and his slur against the integrity of you, the Speaker.

This is not the first time the Prime Minister has shown such disrespect for this institution and those who serve it. I do not have time to necessarily read into the record his complete list, but you will recall when the Prime Minister once called the member for Thornhill a piece of s-h-i-t. That was the word, Mr. Speaker. He then had to apologize.

His contemptuous attitude was also on display when he lost his temper on the floor of the House, ending in another member being injured. Again, he had to stand and apologize for that.

The Prime Minister is insulting members, and again, he is doing this and bringing into question the impartiality of the chair. It is an important matter, and I look forward to your ruling.

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. opposition House leader for adding her arguments on this subject. I will be coming back to the House in relation to the first matter, to begin with.

As well, I should say that I did not hear the exchange that is spoken of. Obviously, we will have to take this under consideration as well and review the record, including the audio, to see if we can find any indication of this.

The hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie is rising on the same point of order.

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the words of the Prime Minister called into question the independence of your office. I assure you there are over a dozen members of the Conservative caucus who can testify to the exact words the Prime Minister spoke. They are exactly as our House leader has indicated. We would be happy to meet with you and give testimony to the fact that the Prime Minister uttered those exact words.

This is a grave concern to our caucus. It should be a grave concern to every member of Parliament to understand that we have a Prime Minister, who sits in the highest office in this country, indicating that he controls what absolutely must be an independent office.

If in fact the words that were spoken by the Prime Minister are true, then every Canadian would have concern about the institution we sit in.

It is your responsibility, and we leave it to you, to defend the integrity of your office. The Prime Minister has attacked that independence and that integrity and suggested probably the most unbelievable thing one could suggest about the Speaker and the role you play.

We believe this is a grave concern. We would ask that you review all of what has been said and come back with a ruling. We seek your guidance, but we will respond accordingly.

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie. I will review the arguments and the recordings and come back to the House in due course.

The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

On the same point of order, Mr. Speaker, as the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie stated, I and probably, I would say, upward of a dozen members of our caucus heard exactly what the Prime Minister said.

I will go one step further: When the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie asked the Prime Minister, “Are you telling us that you control the Speaker?”, the Prime Minister's response to that, as I think you might hear if you check the record, was, “As a matter of fact, I do.” Those were the words of the Prime Minister.

I will be glad to meet with you, Mr. Speaker, and with other members of our caucus to discuss this further.

Alleged Comments of the Prime MinisterPoints of Order

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil for adding his further comments on this matter.

Information CommissionerRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2017-18 annual reports of the Information Commissioner of Canada concerning the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), these reports are deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Commissioner of Official LanguagesRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports on the Access to Information and Privacy Acts of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the year 2017-18. These reports are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

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 51st report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. The members heard correctly: I said 51. Our committee is doing some work here. The 51st report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts is entitled “Report 4, Replacing Montréal’s Champlain Bridge—Infrastructure Canada, of the 2018 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”.

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

Natural ResourcesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, entitled “Rethinking Canada’s Energy Information System: Collaborative Models in a Data-Driven Economy”.

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

Expungement of Certain Cannabis-related Convictions ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-415, an act to establish a procedure for expunging certain cannabis-related convictions.

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to introduce today a bill that would expunge the records of certain cannabis-related convictions. Over 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record for cannabis possession. That is 500,000 Canadians who may be barred from finding employment, from volunteering in their communities and from finding a place to rent, all for non-violent action that will soon be perfectly legal.

I also emphasize that not all Canadians have been treated equally under our cannabis laws. In Toronto, black people without a criminal record were three times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people. In Halifax, they were five times as likely to be arrested, and in Regina it happens nine times more often to indigenous people.

This bill would allow people to wipe from their records all cannabis convictions for things that will be perfectly legal within two weeks. Under the current broken pardons system, Canadians have to wait several years and pay $631 just to apply. Under my bill, they would not have to wait several years, and it would be completely free.

This bill is about righting past wrongs, and it would help hundreds of thousands of Canadians to get on with their lives.

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

Hindu Heritage MonthRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-416, an act to designate the month of October as Hindu heritage month.

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Barrie—Innisfil for seconding this bill.

I rise today to introduce my private member's bill to designate the month of October of every year as Hindu heritage month. The bill recognizes the importance of the role played by Hindu Canadians in our country's multicultural social fabric and economic growth.

Hindus across the world celebrate significant festivals, such as Diwali, hosted here on Parliament Hill since 1998. It was in Ottawa when the first Diwali took place in the national legislature in the western world. I invite you, Mr. Speaker, on October 30, to please come to the 18th Diwali celebration.

By proclaiming the month of October as Hindu heritage month, the Government of Canada would recognize the contributions of Hindu Canadians as part of the success story that has made Canada the best country in the world.

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

FirearmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by Canadians from several ridings, including St. Catharines and Niagara Centre. They call on the House of Commons to respect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners and reject the Prime Minister's plan to waste taxpayers' money studying a ban on guns, which are already banned.

Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by residents of Elgin—Middlesex—London, as well as residents from the riding of Avalon, regarding the government's proposed attestation regarding Canada summer jobs and its views on the contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The petitioners call on the Prime Minister to defend the rights of conscience, thought and belief and withdraw the attestation requirements for applicants to the Canada summer jobs program.

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first is a petition in support of postal banking. Nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders, whose crippling and predatory rates affect the poor, marginalized, rural and indigenous communities most. There are 3,800 Canada Post outlets already in rural areas, where there are few or even no banks at all.

Canada Post has the infrastructure to make a rapid transition to include postal banking. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, to create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the Canada Post Corporation.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is in regard to the Thames River. The petitioners are concerned that the Conservative government stripped away environmental regulations covered in the Navigable Waters Protection Act, leaving hundreds of rivers vulnerable, rivers like the Thames, which is a heritage river. The Liberal government has failed to keep its promise to reinstate environmental protections gutted from the original act.

Therefore, the petitioners ask the Government of Canada to support my bill, Bill C-355, which would commit the government to prioritizing the protection of the Thames River by amending the Navigation Protection Act.

LabourPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour to present petition e-1568, which was signed by 1,312 people calling for better working conditions for domestic workers. Specifically, the petitioners are asking the government to ratify the International Labour Organization's Domestic Workers Convention No. 189 and to invite provincial and territorial governments to harmonize their laws with the International Labour Organization's Recommendation No. 201, which accompanies the convention. Several hundred more signatures will soon be arriving on paper.

I congratulate the Centre international de solidarité ouvrière and its member organizations, who are the driving force behind this commendable initiative.

Infant LossPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian parents are often left to suffer alone after they have experienced the tragedy of pregnancy or infant loss and, worse, government programs are often causing them undue financial or emotional hardship.

That is why Motion No. 110 was put forward. It asked the human resources committee to study the issue of pregnancy and infant loss on parents. It was passed unanimously, with all-party support, in June. However, loss parents expect more than symbolism, they expect action.

Therefore, I table this petition, signed by hundreds of Canadians, calling on the government to immediately introduce legislation, following the committee report to provide better compassion and more support for parents of pregnancy and infant loss.

MarijuanaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 4th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, while I have the floor, I have one other petition I would like to table. It is in regard to the cannabis legislation coming into effect in less than two weeks.

There are still many questions surrounding how marijuana use will affect driving, and how it will impact the health of Canadians. These are serious concerns that I have heard from constituents. Unfortunately, we are not any closer to getting answers.

I am tabling this petition today calling on the government to address these and other concerns that Canadians have.

MarijuanaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would remind hon. members that presenting petitions is not the time to engage in their arguments about a matter but to tell us what the petitioners have to say. I think members can manage to frame their comments about presenting petitions in a way that focuses on what petitioners are saying.

PharamacarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I table a petition today that has been signed by hundreds of residents of Winnipeg North.

The petitioners are asking for the Prime Minister and members of Parliament to reflect on how important it is that we have a national pharmacare program. The petitioners are calling on the federal government to work with provinces and different stakeholders to put in a place a single system that would allow for a national pharmacare program for prescribed medicines.

Status of WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to present two petitions. The first petition calls for this Parliament to consider very closely the continuing problem of violence against women, particularly that violence against women disproportionately impacts indigenous women.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from youth in Canada and, as the petitioners frame it, those who care about youth.

It calls our attention to the increasing urgency of action on the climate crisis, and that unless action is taken very soon in the interests of these youth, the window on achieving 1.5° average global temperature increase and staying well below 2° will close, and close permanently, without swift action.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

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

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is that agreed?