Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the question of privilege raised on October 2 by the hon. member for Montcalm regarding the supposed contempt of Parliament pertaining to supply management.
In his statement, the hon. member indicated that the USMCA constitutes contempt of Parliament. The Bloc Québécois member's argument is twofold. The first point that he made was that the negotiation of the agreement opened 3.59% of the Canadian milk and dairy products market to American producers. The second was that, on September 26, 2017, the House unanimously adopted a motion in which it reiterated its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations. As a result, my hon. colleague believes that the USMCA constitutes contempt of Parliament.
I would like to demonstrate that the matter before us today is not a question of privilege but a matter of debate.
Pages 536 and 537 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 3rd edition, clearly state the following: “A resolution of the House is a declaration of opinion or purpose; it does not require that any action be taken, nor is it binding.”
I therefore believe that it is impossible for the provisions of the agreement to be found in contempt of Parliament. Consequently, I respectfully submit that this is a matter of debate and not a question of privilege.