May 15, 1970

PRIVILEGE

MR. MACQUARRIE-MEMBERS' RIGHT TO ENTER PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

PC

Heath Nelson Macquarrie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege respecting the rights of all members of this House. One of the ancient and fundamental rights of a parliamentarian is surely the right of entrance to and egress from the legislative chambers wherein he deliberates as a representative of the people. There is a long tradition of parliamentary bodies successfully asserting their freedom from restraint and arrest in the discharge of their duties.

Yesterday's reported barring of members from the centre block, the locale of this chamber, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a most serious intrusion upon the essential freedom of movement of members of this chamber. There is surely cause for concern and, more importantly, a need for an investigation as to the circumstances surrounding this most regrettable incident affecting the privileges of all hon. members.

It was my intention to move that this matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, but I desist from this course at the present time in the hope that the proper authorities will make appropriate investigation.

An obvious question concerns the authority on which such orders were issued. More fundamental is the need for reassurance that the security of the centre block will remain the responsibility not of the state police but of the parliamentary protective staff, and that no emanation of the executive will be empowered or authorized to interfere with the members of this House in the legitimate and proper discharge of their duties in this place.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. MACQUARRIE-MEMBERS' RIGHT TO ENTER PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Hillsborough has given me notice of his intention to raise this question. Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity to have the matter looked into and investigated, as suggested by

the hon. member. I have received a preliminary report and that report would not appear to substantiate, at least entirely, the fears expressed by the hon. member. In any event, I will have the matter looked into.

As hon. members realize, if I may say this in passing, the difficulty we have in relation to this situation is that while the parliamentary precincts, by tradition and practice, are recognized as covering the buildings themselves and principally the centre block and west block, parliamentary precincts have never been officially deemed to include the grounds surrounding our buildings, which makes of course for a divided authority. So far as the centre block is concerned, there is no question whatever that the protective staff of the House of Commons, who are parliamentary employees, have sole and exclusive jurisdiction over protection within this building. I can assure the hon. member that as far as I am concerned there is no intention whatsoever of allowing this to be changed. At the same time, once we are out of the building we fall on grounds which are perhaps a little more directly under the control of the executive. This may have been the source of the misunderstanding to which the hon. member referred a moment ago.

e (11:10 a.m.)

In any event, without going into the matter in greater detail I assure the hon. member that a complete investigation will be carried out, and I will report to the House at the beginning of the week. I may even go a little farther than the point raised by the hon. member and launch into the field of obiter dicta and express my views about the question of parliamentary precincts.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. MACQUARRIE-MEMBERS' RIGHT TO ENTER PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

NATIONAL RESOURCES AND PUBLIC WORKS


Fifth report of Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works-Mr. Hopkins. [Editor's Note: For text of above report, see today's Votes and Proceedings.'] May 15, 1970



Inquiries of the Ministry


ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

POST OFFICE

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

I wish to direct a question to the Acting Prime Minister relating to the imminence of a strike in the postal service. What action, if any, is the government taking to avert such a strike?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
LIB

George James McIlraith (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. G. J. Mcllraith (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the matter of staff relations and disputes over wages and other matters comes under the responsibility of the President of the Treasury Board. I ask my colleague to deal with the question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Hon. C. M. Drury (President of the Treasury Board):

Mr. Speaker, as members are aware, a conciliation board was appointed which produced a non-unanimous report. At the instigation of the government negotiations were resumed on the basis of the conciliation board report. These negotiations occupied two days during the course of the current week. The Council of Postal Unions have indicated that they would not be available for further discussions as they wished to consult their membership directly. As a consequence, these discussions are not now continuing. The Council of Postal Unions is currently discussing the conciliation board report with its membership. This consultation will be continuing today, over the weekend and into the early part of next week. The Council of Postal Unions is now seeking a mandate from its membership. Consequently they are not available for continuing discussions.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. I must first say that I was a little taken aback by the Solicitor General giving more information than he usually does when he answers a question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

He is having a lot of fun these days.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I ask the President of the Treasury Board what measures he anticipates taking when the representatives of the unions are prepared to resume discussions? Also, what contact is being maintained with the representatives of the postal unions with a view to resuming discussions at the earliest possible time in order to avoid a strike which would obviously have disastrous consequences for the country?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Drury:

We have an undertaking from the Council of Postal Unions to resume these negotiations next week, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

Can the President of the Treasury Board give the House a firm assurance that a strike will not take place before further discussions between the representatives of the government and the representatives of the postal unions concerned?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Drury:

We have been so assured by the Council of Postal Unions.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   ACTION TO AVERT NATIONAL STRIKE
Permalink

POSSIBLE NATIONAL STRIKE-INCLUSION OF JOB SECURITY AS BARGAINING ISSUE

May 15, 1970