June 28, 1972

PRIVILEGE

MR. McGRATH-CONSTRUCTION OF OIL REFINERY AT COME-BY-CHANCE-MANNER OF RELEASE OF STOP-ORDER STATEMENT

PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James A. McGrath (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege, notice of which has been given to Your Honour in accordance with the Standing Order. My question of privilege, in my view, affects the rights of all hon. members of the House.

Yesterday the Minister of the Environment and Fisheries released a statement to the Press Gallery in which the minister announced that a "stop-order" had been issued on the construction of the new oil refinery at Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland, in accordance with the provisions of sections 33(1) and 33(2) of the Fisheries Act. This is a very important statement and one that should have been made in the House in accordance with well-established practice. The minister does have the right to make a statement outside the House. My question of privilege, however, is based on the fact that the minister did not release copies of the statement to members of the House until this morning, thereby denying us the right to question the minister in the House yesterday. There is provision in the rules under Standing Order 41(2) to table statements in the House. The minister, in failing to do so and in failing to provide members of the House with copies of his statement at the time of its release to the press, in my opinion, is guilty of flagrantly violating the rules and practices of the House. If Your Honour rules that I have a prima facie question of privilege, I would move that the matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. McGRATH-CONSTRUCTION OF OIL REFINERY AT COME-BY-CHANCE-MANNER OF RELEASE OF STOP-ORDER STATEMENT
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for St. John's East has given the Chair notice of his intention to raise this matter by way of an alleged or suggested breach of the privileges of the House. With respect, I must advise the hon. member and the House that, after having given the matter due consideration, because the hon. member had given the Chair notice of his intention to raise this matter, I find it difficult to agree with the contention of the hon. member that this matter should be considered by a committee of the House.

The hon. member claims that copies of the minister's statement should have been distributed to hon. members so that they could have been given an opportunity to ask questions in the House. It seems to me, without trying to pass judgment on whether or not the statement should have been made in the House, that the questions that could have been asked yesterday can be asked today. There will be a question period in a short while, and I

would think that the hon. member will have the same rights today as he had yesterday.

I recognize, as does the hon. member, that under the provisions of Standing Order 41(2) a minister of the Crown is entitled to table certain documents. However, the Standing Order does not provide that the minister is obligated to table a statement and there is no provision in the Standing Orders to the effect that a statement should be made in the House rather than outside the House.

In view of all these considerations, I doubt very much that hon. members would expect the Chair to authorize the initiation of a debate on this matter which would eventually, perhaps, lead to the matter being sent to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections. I cannot see my way clear to ruling that there is a prima facie breach of parliamentary privilege, and I would not think the hon. member's motion should be put to the House.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. McGRATH-CONSTRUCTION OF OIL REFINERY AT COME-BY-CHANCE-MANNER OF RELEASE OF STOP-ORDER STATEMENT
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

TABLING OF EXPANDED GUIDELINES FOR NORTHERN PIPE LINES

LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table in both official languages two copies each of the expanded guidelines for northern pipe lines.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   TABLING OF EXPANDED GUIDELINES FOR NORTHERN PIPE LINES
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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43

PC

Walter C. Carter

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walter C. Carter (St. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to move a motion under Standing Order 43 on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity. Based on the announcement of the Minister of the Environment and Fisheries yesterday invoking section 33 of the Fisheries Act with respect to the Come-By-Chance oil refinery I move, seconded by the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. McGrath):

That the whole matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Forestry for examination of the contents and inquiry into the implications of the said ministerial statement.

June 28, 1972

Grain

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The House has heard the motion proposed by the hon. member for St. John's West under the terms of Standing Order 43. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

There is not unanimous consent. The hon. member's motion cannot be put.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ORDER STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF COME-BY-CHANCE OIL REFINERY-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE GAINED BY FARMERS THROUGH WITHDRAWAL OF INCOME STABILIZATION BILL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43

NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Knight (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 43 to move a motion in a case of urgent and pressing necessity arising out of the fact revealed last night in the Standing Committee on Agriculture at which witnesses from the Canadian Wheat Board were present, namely, that western farmers gained approximately $100 million by virtue of the withdrawal of the grain income stabilization bill. I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Saskatoon-Biggar (Mr. Gleave):

That the Standing Committee on Agriculture investigate the revelation made yesterday at that committee to the effect that western farmers gained a considerable financial advantage by virtue of the withdrawal of the grain income stabilization bill, introduced in the House last year by the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, a fact which is contrary to the statements made last fall in the House of Commons-

Topic:   ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE GAINED BY FARMERS THROUGH WITHDRAWAL OF INCOME STABILIZATION BILL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. Is the hon. member going to indicate what the motion is? I think there might be something irregular in hon. members introducing motions that in themselves are so long that they are speeches. It is easy, I suggest, for hon. members to circumvent the rules which provide that there should be a brief explanation of the motion if the motion in fact is a speech in itself. Again I say that the hon. member should indicate what the motion is. I might say in passing that I have some doubts as to the regularity of this motion.

Topic:   ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE GAINED BY FARMERS THROUGH WITHDRAWAL OF INCOME STABILIZATION BILL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

The motion is:

That the Standing Committee on Agriculture investigate the revelation made yesterday at that committee to the effect that western farmers gained a considerable financial advantage by virtue of the withdrawal of the grain income stabilization bill, introduced in the House last year by the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, a fact which is contrary to the statements made last fall in the House of Commons by the minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board, and that the standing committee report on its findings to the House as soon as possible.

Topic:   ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE GAINED BY FARMERS THROUGH WITHDRAWAL OF INCOME STABILIZATION BILL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

As I indicated a moment ago, I have serious doubts about the regularity of the motion. It seems to me that the hon. member's motion refers to proceedings in a committee. I will take the matter under advisement and indicate to the House later whether I should ascertain if there is unanimous consent of the House to put the motion.

Topic:   ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE GAINED BY FARMERS THROUGH WITHDRAWAL OF INCOME STABILIZATION BILL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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June 28, 1972