Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the points of order raised last week on the application of Standing Order 69.1(1) and 69.1(2).
The purpose of this new Standing Order is to address the improper use of omnibus bills. The rule addresses instances where a government includes in a bill distinctly unrelated provisions that do not fall under a common theme. In a situation where a bill contains provisions that are unrelated to the common theme, the Speaker may put to the House separate votes at second reading and third reading on those unrelated elements.
I would like to turn to the application of the second part of the new Standing Order, which deals with the budget implementation bill. The member for Carleton identified some provisions in Bill C-63, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in the House on March 22, 2017, which he asserted were not referenced in the budget.
The member's principal concern is the reference in the budget document to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I would draw the attention of the member to page 181 of the budget document, which states:
As the first North American country to apply for membership at the AIIB, Canada is demonstrating our strong engagement in multilateral institutions, and will commit to playing a unique and constructive role in supporting the Bank’s operations and governance. The Government will introduce federal legislation to operationalize Canada’s membership at this institution in 2017.
The budget proposal to introduce legislation to operationalize Canada's membership in the bank is found in division 2 part 5 of the budget implementation bill, Bill C-63.
As for the other measures in the bill to which the member refers, I would note the following links between the budget and the implementing bill.
Page 190 in the budget references, “Budget 2017 also proposes to amend legislation to implement the recommendations of the 2015 Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission.” The members know that the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission report recommends remuneration schemes for judges, which require amendments to the Judges Act to implement.
Page 211 in the budget references, “Budget 2017 proposes to introduce targeted legislative amendments to bolster the toolkit for managing the resolution of Canada’s largest banks.” This commitment is reflected in division 5 part 5 of Bill C-63.
The member for Portage—Lisgar referred to the June 19 debate where the government House leader stated:
We want to ensure that MPs are not faced with the dilemma of how to vote on a bill that is most supportable but contains a totally unrelated clause, a poison pill, that they find objectionable. We want flexibility for MPs in these instances.
This is precisely the intended objective: to ensure members are able to vote on a totally unrelated measure in a bill. That can only serve to improve the transparency of the legislative process.
I have one final point that I would like to put on the record. Standing Order 69.1 in no way contemplates the division of a bill for the purposes of debate or for separate committee referrals. The Standing Order is crystal clear. There shall be a single debate at the second and third reading stages, with separate votes on distinctly unrelated provisions.