House of Commons Hansard #433 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we unequivocally condemn violent extremism of any kind. It is unacceptable. It is not tolerated.

I have asked the department to review this matter to ensure that the organization is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the program. If it is found that the organization is not, then it will not receive reimbursement for that student.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, people are sick of seeing the old parties getting huge cheques from lobbies and holding fundraisers at $1,500 a head. We need to restore the former system where political parties received a per-vote subsidy. That is the only way to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest. The Bloc Québécois is not the only one saying so. Former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley and Democracy Watch feel the same way. Enough with the patronage.

When will the government restore the per-vote subsidy financing system?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, we have strict political financing rules. Individual donations are capped. The member and all members of the House know that organizations and unions are not allowed to make donations. We introduced Bill C-50, which increases transparency in political fundraising.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, Uber, Facebook and Google are the ones funding the Liberal Party, not ordinary Canadians. It is the oil companies, the Irvings and all those who wait, cap in hand, for government subsidies.

Corporations are not allowed to fund political parties, but when their employees donate $3,000 a year, it certainly helps to fill the kitty, does it not?

Is that why the Liberals do not want to restore the per-vote subsidy? Is it because they would rather take a funding-for-favours approach?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is making unfounded and, quite frankly, absurd allegations in this House.

All members in this place know that it is illegal for private organizations or unions to make donations to political parties. We have very strict financing laws in Canada. Only individuals can make donations.

PharmacareOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, universal pharmacare was part of CCF's original vision for medicare. Yesterday's report estimated that it will save Canadians and employers $23 billion but cost governments $15 billion.

How much of that will Ottawa transfer to the provinces to make pharmacare a reality? Will that transfer be a block grant based on provincial demographics, or will it share the actual cost of covering prescription drugs in each province?

PharmacareOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleague for his important question. It also allows me an opportunity to reiterate our government's commitment to making sure that all Canadians have access to a national pharmacare program, and that work is well under way.

I would like to remind this House that in budget 2019 we received a funding commitment of $35 million to ensure the creation of a Canadian drug agency, which is the foundational piece for a national pharmacare program. We have also received $1 billion to address the area of rare diseases.

I look forward to working with provinces, territories, indigenous groups and others to make sure that all Canadians will have access to a pharmacare program.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity for Canadians across the country to recognize the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf.

It is my pleasure to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of six members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in the Canadian Forces recognition program in Ottawa this week: Master Seaman Sarbpreet Boparai, Lieutenant Andrea Murray, Sergeant Mélanie Duchesneau, Warrant Officer Mark Meyer, Corporal Joseph Champion and Corporal David Pigott.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the tabling of a document entitled “Inventaire québécois des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en 2016 et leur évolution depuis 1990”, which was prepared by Quebec's environment and climate change ministry and tabled in the Quebec National Assembly on November 29 by the Premier of Quebec.

I seek unanimous consent to table this evidence-based document.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Does the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

There is no unanimous consent.

The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as members know, frustration associated with the end of the parliamentary session can sometimes lead even the wisest amongst us to behave inappropriately.

I want to apologize for making offensive comments toward the Minister of Transport, for whom I have immense respect, particularly with regard to his previous career.

I do apologize.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.

The hon. member for Vancouver East is rising on a point of order.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

June 13th, 2019 / 3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I believe my parliamentary privilege has been breached today.

My question on deportation and legal aid funding was clearly directed to the Minister of Public Safety, who is responsible for CBSA. However, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality answered the question. I hope you will find it appropriate to invite the Minister of Public Safety to respond to my question.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

As the hon. member for Vancouver East may know, the decision as to which minister responds to questions in question period is of course left to the government.

We will now move to the usual Thursday question.

The hon. opposition House leader.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeHouse Leader of the Official Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader if she could inform us of the business for the rest of this week and next week. Next week is our last scheduled week, so we would like to know what the House leader has scheduled.

I am particularly interested in the climate emergency motion that the government brought forward, Motion No. 29. It seems odd to us that the Liberals do not want to talk about it, although maybe it is because they do not have a plan to combat climate change. We on this side of the House want to continue to debate and discuss this important motion.

We are all wondering if at some point this week or next week we will be discussing Motion No. 29.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate and acknowledge the opposition House leader's new-found respect and regard for the environment. It probably means the Conservatives will be coming out with a plan soon. We have been waiting for it for well over a year now.

In answer to her question, this afternoon we will begin debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-58, an act to amend the Access to Information Act. This evening we will resume debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-69, the environmental assessment legislation. We will then return to Bill C-88, the Mackenzie Valley bill.

Tomorrow we will resume debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-68, an act to amend the Fisheries Act. We expect to receive some bills from the Senate, so if we have time, I would like one of those debates to start.

Next week, priority will be given to bills coming back to us from the Senate, or we may have an opportunity to continue to debate the motion referred to by the House Leader of the Official Opposition.

Personally, I am reassured to hear that the Conservatives want to talk about the environment. Perhaps they will also share their plan with Canadians.

House of CommonsOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I have the honour to lay upon the table the House of Commons report to Canadians for 2019.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Karina Gould Liberal Burlington, ON

moved:

That a Message be sent to the Senate to acquaint Their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, the House:

agrees with amendments 1, 2, 4, 5(b), 6, 7, 8(b), 9, 10, 11, 13, 14(b), 15(a), (b) and (d), 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 made by the Senate;

respectfully disagrees with amendments 3 and 12 because the amendments seek to legislate matters which are beyond the policy intent of the bill, whose purpose is to make targeted amendments to the Act, notably to authorize the Information Commissioner to make orders for the release of records or with respect to other matters relating to requests, and to create a new Part of the Act providing for the proactive publication of information or materials related to the Senate, the House of Commons, parliamentary entities, ministers’ offices including the Prime Minister’s Office, government institutions, and institutions that support superior courts;

as a consequence of Senate amendment 4, proposes to add the following amendment:

1. New clause 6.2, page 4: Add the following after line 4:

“6.2 The portion of section 7 of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

7 Where access to a record is requested under this Act, the head of the government institution to which the request is made shall, subject to sections 8 and 9, within 30 days after the request is received,”.

proposes that amendment 5(a) be amended to read as follows:

“(a) on page 5, delete lines 31 to 36;

(a.1) on page 6, replace line 1 with the following:

“13 Section 30 of the Act is amended by adding the”;”;

as a consequence of Senate amendment 5(a), proposes to add the following amendments:

1. Clause 16, page 7: Replace line 37 with the following:

“any of paragraphs 30(1)(a) to (e), the Commissioner”.

2. Clause 19, page 11: Replace line 28 with the following:

“any of paragraphs 30(1)(a) to (e) and who receives a re-”.

proposes that amendment 8(a) be amended by deleting subsection (6);

proposes that amendment 14(a) be amended by replacing the text of the English version of the amendment with the following: “the publication may constitute a breach of parliamen-”;

respectfully disagrees with amendment 15(c) because providing the Information Commissioner with oversight over proactive publication by institutions supporting Parliament and the courts has the potential to infringe parliamentary privilege and judicial independence.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Greg Fergus LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to the message received from the other place with regard to Bill C-58, an act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

I would like to recognize that this is my first official duty debating a piece of legislation as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, who is a fabulous minister, I might add.

I also want to acknowledge the many stakeholders who were involved in getting Bill C-58 to this point, starting with our colleagues in the other place, who conducted a very thorough and thoughtful study of this bill.

I must also recognize the contributions of parliamentarians and stakeholders and particularly the contributions of the Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner in the development of Bill C-58, as well as, of course, our colleagues on the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics who worked long and hard on the amendments being proposed.

I would especially like to note the interventions of a number of indigenous organizations, their influence on the matters we are considering today and with whom the government is committed to engaging more closely on these matters in the future.

Together, the ideas and suggestions in the letters and presentations at both committees contributed to ensuring that the concerns of Canadians were taken into consideration and reflected in the final version of the bill.

I would remind the House that the bill would implement some of the most significant changes to the Access to Information Act since it was introduced more than 30 years ago, changes which have not been seen since the advent of the World Wide Web. This is part of the Government of Canada's continuing effort to raise the bar on openness and transparency.

We believe that government information ultimately belongs to the people it serves, and it should be open by default. That is quite simply a fundamental characteristic of a modern democracy, and the bill reflects that belief.

In that context, we welcome many of the proposed amendments that would further advance this objective. I would note, however, that two of the amendments would effectively legislate matters that are beyond the intent of the bill, whose purpose, I would remind the House, is to make targeted amendments to the act.

Those targeted amendments include providing the Information Commissioner with the power to make binding orders for the release of government information and the creation of a new part of the act on the proactive publication of key information.

For the reason that it goes beyond the intent of the bill, the government respectfully disagrees with the amendment that would limit time extensions to respond to a request to 30 days without prior approval of the Information Commissioner.

The government is declining this proposal because these provision have not been the subject of consultation or thorough study in the context of the targeted review that led to Bill C-58. This proposal risks having unintended consequences, particularly for the office of the Information Commissioner.

The government does agree with our friends in the other place that the time extension provisions merit further study. These will be examined as part of the full review of the act which Bill C-58 requires to begin within one year of royal assent.

For the same reason, the government respectfully disagrees with the proposal to create a new criminal offence for the use of any code, moniker or contrived word or phrase in a record in place of the name of any person, corporation, entity, third party or organization. Once again, the provisions of the Access to Information Act concerning criminal offences have not been the subject of consultation or thorough study in the targeted review. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to review changes to this provision in the context of a full review.

A third amendment of concern would require the Information Commissioner to review the operation of proposed part 2 of the act regarding proactive publication and report the results to Parliament on an annual basis. Giving the commissioner oversight of proactive publication by institutions supporting Parliament and the courts would create the potential to infringe on both parliamentary privilege and judicial independence. For this reason, the government respectfully disagrees.

It is also proposed that the Information Commissioner's ability to receive and investigate complaints related to fees and time limit extensions be removed from the act. While the government recognizes the intent of this amendment, which relates to some of the other proposals that were advanced, the commissioner's authority to receive and investigate complaints regarding waiver of fees would be removed from the act, an outcome I am certain hon. members on all sides of the House would agree is undesirable.

Similarly, as the amendment with respect to the extension of a time limit was not agreed to, we must preserve the powers of the Information Commissioner to receive complaints concerning time limits and to investigate these complaints, and therefore this amendment is not necessary.

With these few exceptions, the government is pleased to accept the proposed amendments in the message from the other chamber, subject to some technical adjustments to ensure the proper functioning of these provisions.

For example, we agree with the proposed amendment that would eliminate the government's authority to set and collect fees, apart from the application fee. As the government has committed to Canadians, it will continue to charge no fees other than the application fee of just $5.

A related amendment proposed in the message would retain the right of requesters to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding decisions to waive the application fee. While the Senate amendments would have removed that right, we consider that the Information Commissioner should continue to have oversight over the way the authority to waive fees is exercised by institutions.

Some of the amendments proposed in the other place would foster and, in some cases, require more extensive consultations and better communication between the Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. This is paramount to continue to ensure privacy protection while the government seeks to foster more openness and better access to government documents.

The bill already provides the Information Commissioner with new power to order the release of government information. To ensure that this does not compromise the right to privacy, an amendment proposes that the Information Commissioner must consult the Privacy Commissioner before ordering a release of personal information. This amendment also proposes that the Information Commissioner have the discretion to consult the Privacy Commissioner when investigating a complaint regarding the application of the personal information exemption. Both of these and some related amendments were suggested by the commissioners themselves, and the government has previously indicated that it supports these amendments. We believe they will strengthen the protection of personal information and further safeguard Canadians' privacy rights.

The government also accepts an amendment that would retain Info Source. Government institutions will continue to be required to publish information about their organization, records and manuals. Canadians seeking to exercise their right of access to government records will continue to have access to this tool.

As hon. members are surely aware, the government processes tens of thousands of access requests each and every year. It is an unfortunate fact that in a small number of cases, the requests are made for reasons that are inconsistent with the purposes of the Act. They may be made to harass a certain employee or work unit, for example. Such requests can have a disproportionate effect on the system and slow down resources on legitimate requests.

The government agrees with the amendment from the other place that the power of government institutions to ask the Information Commissioner for approval in order to refuse to act on requests should be limited to requests that are vexatious, made in bad faith or that would constitute an abuse of the right of access and would backlog the system. That would enable government institutions to focus their efforts on legitimate requests after having obtained approval from the Information Commissioner.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main objectives of Bill C-58 is to provide the Information Commissioner with the power to issue binding orders for the processing of requests, including the disclosure of records.

The commissioner would be able to publish these orders, establishing a body of precedents to guide institutions as well as users of the system.

Originally, in order to give the commissioner time to prepare to assume this power, it would not come into force until one year after royal assent. However, the commissioner has asked that this power be available immediately upon royal assent. Reflecting the value it places on the commissioner's perspective, the government has already indicated its support for this amendment.

Another amendment asked for the Information Commissioner to file her orders in Federal Court and have them enforced as Federal Court orders. Under Bill C-58, the Information Commissioner's orders are legally binding without the need for certification. We believe that this amendment is unnecessary and would add a step in the process.

However, the government will look at these amendments at the one-year review of the act, with a year's worth of experience under the new system.

Providing the Information Commissioner with the power to issue binding orders to government and institutions is not a trivial change. It is a game-changer for access to information. Whereas now the Information Commissioner must go to court if an institution does not follow her recommendations, Bill C-58 puts the onus on institutions. Should they disagree with an order by the Information Commissioner, institutions will have 30 days to challenge the order in Federal Court.

As for the courts, I would remind the House that the government accepted an amendment that would ensure that Bill C-58 does not encroach on judicial independence. As the House knows, part 2 of the bill would impose proactive publication requirements on 260 departments, government agencies and Crown corporations, as well as the Prime Minister's Office, ministers' offices, senators, MPs, parliamentary entities and institutions that support the courts.

The amendment would also enshrine in law the proactive publication of information of great interest to Canadians, particularly information relevant to increased transparency and responsibility with regard to the use of public funds.

This includes travel and hospitality expenses for ministers and their staff and senior officials across government, contracts over $10,000 and all contracts for MPs and senators, grants and contributions over $25,000, mandate letters and revised mandate letters, briefing packages for new ministers and deputy ministers, lists of briefing notes for ministers or deputy ministers, and the briefing binders used for question period and parliamentary committee appearances.

Putting these requirements into legislation will ensure that Canadians will have access to this kind of information automatically, without having to make a request. It will impose a new degree of transparency on this government and on future governments.

As passed by the House, Bill C-58 would require similar disclosure by the judiciary.

Concerns have since been raised about the impact that the publication of individual judges' expenses could have on judicial independence, and those concerns are exacerbated by the fact that, due to the traditional duty of reserve, judges express themselves only through their judgments and can neither defend themselves nor set the record straight. The amendment proposed in the message that would require the publication of judges' expenses according to each court, rather than on an individual basis, would address these concerns and include additional measures to increase transparency.

The government also welcomes and accepts the amendment to remove the specific criteria requiring requesters to state the specific subject matter of their request, the type of record being requested and the period for which the record is being requested.

This was included in the original bill as a way to ensure that requests provided enough information to enable a timely response.

We listened to the Information Commissioner's concerns about this clause and especially to the indigenous groups who told us that these provisions could impede their access rights. I just want to note that this amendment, along with several others proposed in the message, was suggested by the former Treasury Board president when he appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in October.

The proposal and acceptance of this amendment reflect the government's commitment to guaranteeing that indigenous peoples have access to the information they need to support their claims and seek justice for past wrongs, for example.

As members can imagine, when it comes to records that are several decades or, in some cases, more than a century old, asking someone to state the specific subject matter, type of record and period requested may constitute a barrier to access.

I also want to assure the House that the government has taken careful note of the feedback from indigenous groups who felt that the governments did not consult them properly when drafting Bill C-58.

To respond to these concerns, the government supported the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, the National Claims Research directors and the Indigenous Bar Association in surveying selected first nations researchers and policy staff about the issues they were encountering with respect to access to information, compiling and analyzing the results in a discussion paper, and undertaking a legal review of Bill C-58.

Nonetheless, we recognize that further work is needed, with greater collaboration between the government and indigenous groups. I would draw the attention of the House to a letter written by the former president of the Treasury Board and sent to the committee in the other place. The letter detailed specific commitments to engaging indigenous organizations and representatives about how the Access to Information Act needs to evolve to reflect Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, including how information and knowledge of indigenous communities is both protected and made acceptable.

This engagement, as with all engagements with first nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation, will be founded on the fundamental principle of “nothing about us without us”. The government is committed to ensuring that programs, policies and services affecting indigenous peoples are designed in consultation and in collaboration with them.

In that regard, I would remind the House that this bill represents only the first phase of the government's reform to access to information. A full review of the functioning of the act would begin within one year of royal assent of Bill C-58, with mandatory reviews every five years afterward to ensure that the Access to Information Act never again falls so far out of date. I would add that the government recognizes that engagement with indigenous communities and organizations needs to be a central part of these reviews of the act.

In conclusion, I would recall for the House that in its fifth global report, issued in 2018, Canada was ranked number one in the world for openness and transparency by Open Data Barometer, well ahead of many other nations, including many so-called advanced countries. I would note that in this most recent report the author states:

The government’s continued progress reflects a strong performance in virtually all areas—from policies to implementation. Its consistent political backing has been one [of] the keys to its success.

Bill C-58 would continue to advance our progress toward more open and transparent government.

I again thank our friends in the other place for helping to make a good bill even better. I share the Information Commissioner's opinion that Bill C-58 is better than the current act and urge all members to join me in supporting it.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I salute and congratulate my colleague from Gatineau.

When I am here in Ottawa I live in Quebec, like many members of Parliament from Quebec. He is my representative, so I always pay close attention to what he says and to the mailings he sends out fairly frequently.

I also want to congratulate him on his new position as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board. As the official opposition's Treasury Board critic, I am happy to know that I will be debating my colleague in the days we have left in the House. We are getting this started off right.

It will soon be my turn to speak and to explain some of our serious concerns about this bill. For this reason, I have a question for the parliamentary secretary. The Senate's 12th proposed amendment is as follows:

(b.1) use any code, moniker or contrived word or phrase in a record in place of the name of any person, corporation, entity, third party or organization;”

This proposed amendment from the Senate is very important. It would mean that the government could not use monikers or codes in communications with others.

I would like to know why the government rejected this amendment, which we think is very important and crucial. I will explain why shortly in my speech.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for Louis-Hébert for his question. I apologize, I meant the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent. It is a good question. Perhaps he should let someone else make their speech before he makes his, because I think that my answer will lead him to modify some of his concerns.

First of all, the member is raising a serious point. I think that my hon. colleague will acknowledge that we cannot consider that proposal without considering the consequences of the amendment.

For instance, if the RCMP is carrying out an operation and they give it a name, as they often do, will we sue the RCMP agents because they used a name that is not the real name of the person who is being investigated?

That is why we must delve into this. A mere statement by the other chamber is not reason enough to sue people for hiding things. Allow me to give a 30-second explanation. A public servant would violate the current legislation if they intentionally hide someone's name in order to prevent a document from becoming accessible or subject to the Access to Information Act. That is already in violation of the act's provisions.

Access to Information ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate my colleague from Hull—Aylmer on his new role as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board.

My question has to do with the amendments proposed by the Senate and the committee. In committee, NDP members proposed 36 amendments. About 20 of them were considered, but none of them were adopted. Most of the NDP's amendments were related to clause 6. Clause 6 of the original bill had to do with the conditions that must be met when submitting an access to information request, conditions that the Information Commissioner described as excessive. They would have impeded journalists' investigations, for example.

Is the government planning to make a habit of rejecting legitimate amendments that are proposed in committee and then accepting them when they come from the Senate? The amendments proposed by my colleague were very similar to those the government finally agreed to.