March 19, 1979

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I have no hesitation in saying that there was nothing said in derogation of yourself. That stand I take. There is no other stand I could take when I did not have any word for seven, eight or nine days, having pointed out that there was no reference to this motion of mine. I made it here from my seat. It was heard and it was known of. It did not appear in Hansard. Why, it is not for me to say. Whatever takes place of that kind in the House of Commons must appear in Hansard.

I can understand the incongruity of the position, a motion having been passed and bringing in the Secretary of State for External Affairs as the seconder. I, foolishly, decided I did not want to embarrass him and that is why I immediately announced that it was moved by me and seconded by my hon. friend, the hon. member for Vegreville. Anyone who interprets

March 19, 1979

Privilege-Mr. R. Stewart

what I said as any derogation of yourself is simply not stating the facts.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-ALLEGED OMISSION FROM "HANSARD" OF STANDING ORDER 43 MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-ALLEGED OMISSION FROM "HANSARD" OF STANDING ORDER 43 MOTION
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I welcome very much the intervention of the right hon. member now as I welcomed the extensive conversation we had about this question this morning. I say it is typical of him that when differences have arisen there has always been this avenue of direct conversation about them. I think that stands the institution of parliament in the best of stead.

In the circumstances, the right hon. member and 1 did discuss the facts that he has referred to in respect of his motion. I remember the events very well.He had made a preamble in reference to his earlier conversation on that day with the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Jamieson), and he introduced the motion in that way. When he introduced the motion he did not at the time indicate a seconder. I looked in the direction of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, which was, of course, entirely a voluntary movement on my part. Obviously I had no advance notice of the motion by the very nature of it. The Secretary of State for External Affairs perhaps felt put upon in the circumstances to nod in the affirmative, which he did, and I therefore announced that he was the seconder of the motion. That was, as I say, an action entirely of mine because the right hon. member did not mention a seconder at that time.

After the question was accepted by the House, put and carried, the right hon. member did, indeed, get to his feet to indicate that the seconder he had in mind was the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Mazankowski). However, at that point I had moved to the next person who was in the House ready to make an application and, therefore, the right hon. member's later intervention became a non-proceeding and was not in fact recorded in Hansard. Even now going back over it, I do not know in what way it could. However, it does point out a serious dilemma in that there are events of this sort, and unless given some formal recognition by the Chair they cannot be inscribed in Hansard. That is a very delicate situation.

I think the right hon. member has very fully explained that both he and the Chair were caught in a situation in the circumstances, which can happen in the quickness of the moment, particularly during the putting of these motions under Standing Order 43. I am pleased, as I am sure the House is, that the matter is entirely resolved.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-ALLEGED OMISSION FROM "HANSARD" OF STANDING ORDER 43 MOTION
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MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS

PC

Ralph Wesley Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ralph Stewart (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, it pains me to have to present this question of privilege today because it arises out of remarks made publicly and on television by two colleagues of this House. The matter goes, in my view, to the very heart of our representative democracy in parliament, and

it questions the ability of a member of this House to represent his constituency based on his party affiliation.

The crux of the matter is that the hon. member for Timmins (Mr. Roy) and the hon. member for Thunder Bay (Mr. Penner) have advised my constituents in the riding of Cochrane publicly that since I changed my caucus affiliation I can no longer represent them properly here. Furthermore, the population in the northern part of the riding was instructed that representations should be made to the hon. member for Thunder Bay, and the population in the southern part of the riding was instructed to address their problems and so on to the hon. member for Timmins.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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Some hon. Members:

Shame!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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PC

Ralph Wesley Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Both those hon. members have now alleged they now have responsibility for the Cochrane riding.

This has served to confuse my people further. First, the redistribution of ridings had confused many of the people. This was complicated further by the postponement of the election. Finally, when I crossed the floor of this House and indicated my intention to continue representing the people of Cochrane constituency in the future, they at least knew then where matters stood. But immediately thereafter, when my two northern colleagues chose to make their statements, one can imagine the kind of confusion that was created in the minds of my constituents.

The danger of the remarks made is in the fact that they question the value of our system of government. According to these gentlemen, if followed logically, all the members sitting to the left of Your Honour represent no one. In other words, caucus affiliation alone would determine whether or not an MP represents his constituents.

On many occasions I have pointed out to my people that I did not believe in partisan politics once an election campaign is over, but rather that, once elected, I represent all my constituents whether they happen to be Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Social Credit or of no political affiliation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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PC

Ralph Wesley Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

I believe that is of the essence of our democratic system. The hon. member for Timmins was not elected by anyone in Cochrane riding, nor was the hon. member for Thunder Bay. I am their sole representative and I will continue to be until the next election and hopefully for many years to come. Neither of these gentlemen should be too concerned with the way the constituents in Cochrane will be looked after and represented, because for 11 years they have been quite happy with the service they have received from me. I do not need any help from them.

My argument is reinforced by precedents. I should like to cite a quotation from May's Nineteenth Edition at page 151 as follows:

March 19, 1979

Conduct not amounting to a direct attempt to influence a Member in the discharge of his duties, but having a tendency to impair his independence in the future performance of his duty, will also be treated as a breach of privilege.

Further concerning the nature and consequences of my actions, in Beauchesne's fourth edition, Citation 111 (1) reads:

Wilful misrepresentation of the proceedings of members is an offence of the same character as a libel.

Not only were the statements referred to contemptuous of me personally, but they are even more contemptuous of parliament because they first of all cast disrepute on the Elouse as a whole by implying that only those elected on the government side can represent their constituencies.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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PC

Ralph Wesley Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Secondly, they attempt to obstruct me in my duties as a member of parliament.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Stewart) has referred several times to statements made by other members of the House, but to this point I do not have any such statements before me. It would be helpful if I could have such statements so that I could better judge the question of privilege.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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PC

Ralph Wesley Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, I have given the essence of the statements. The statements were made on more than one occasion and particularly on television. They are a matter of record. They were to the effect that from now on the two members in question would be looking after and having the obligation to look after the matters of my constituents, and that the hon. member for Cochrane would no longer be looking after their affairs. That essentially is the matter.

In order to complete my remarks and, indeed, if you judge, Mr. Speaker, that this is a question of privilege, I would like to place on the record a motion. The essence of my argument is that not only are my privileges affected here, but also the privileges of any member who does not happen to have an affiliation with the caucus of the government party. I have cited two citations which I think reinforce that argument. If it is found that there is a prima facie case of privilege, I would therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Calgary Centre (Mr. Andre):

That the attempts by the hon. member for Thunder Bay and the hon. member for Timmins to interfere with the duty of the hon. member for Cochrane to represent and act for the people of his constituency be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am prepared to see the hon. member for Thunder Bay (Mr. Penner), but I do hope that the point which I just made is appreciated by the hon. member for Cochrane. He has in the circumstances made reference to certain statements, and in order to judge, since those statements form the very basis of the hon. member's question of privilege, the Chair cannot be left in the position of relying on an interpretation of the statements. I would have to have something in the nature of a precise example or reference before I could begin

Privilege-Mr. R. Stewart

to judge. I do not know whether I can come to a conclusion or not, but this fact certainly leaves me in very great difficulty.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

B. Keith Penner

Liberal

Mr. B. Keith Penner (Thunder Bay):

Mr. Speaker, at the very outset, what you have indicated to the House is the point that I intended to make. The hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Stewart) has entered this House with these scurrilous charges based on nothing more than hearsay, and they are not substantiated with any kind of written record or tapes.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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PC

Harvie Andre

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Andre:

Are you denying them?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

B. Keith Penner

Liberal

Mr. Penner:

You, Mr. Speaker, must obviously look at what he has to offer to make the matter something much more than mere hearsay.

Let me now deal with what the hon. member has said. First of all, I can understand why he is so very sensitive. Naturally, any member of parliament with a record of service as poor as this member's would certainly be sensitive.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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LIB

B. Keith Penner

Liberal

Mr. Penner:

The hon. member enters this House-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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March 19, 1979