July 9, 1980

PC

Thomas Gordon Towers

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Towers:

It is certainly not that way in Alberta. We do not have war veterans wishing to receive war veterans allowance while their wives are receiving $50,000. If this type of program is to be carried on, then at least the allowance when the wife is working should be increased. The present arrangement is not acceptable to me or to a lot of people who are caught in this situation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Daniel Joseph MacDonald (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MacDonald:

The problem is an understandable one and it is one which we face in many cases. Any time we can do what we feel is fair, we certainly do it. Some of these people do receive quite high incomes and it is hard to get money and carry out the program in a way which is fair to all veterans. However, I shall be pleased to consider any suggestions the hon. member may care to put forward.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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Clause agreed to. Clauses 3 to 13 agreed to. On clause 14-Pensions to widows of certain members.


NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, as I indicated when I was speaking at the second reading stage, I should like to move an amendment to clause 14. There are a number of subclauses in it, and so on. My hon. friend across the way wondered if I could move an amendment which would be in order. It is our undoubted right in this chamber to vote against anything brought before us-to vote against a clause or against a portion of a clause-and that is what 1 propose to ask the committee to do.

1 do not propose anything new. I simply propose we be given the chance to vote against clause (3.2) at page 11 of the bill. If this is approved, if we strike out lines 14 to 31 at page 11, then, of course, the whole clause is left with its provision coming into effect on October 1, 1980. That provision is already in the bill on page 10 where the reference is to the rates set out in clauses 12 to 20 of schedule A. If it were not for this redefinition of what clauses 12 to 20 mean, everything would be fine; it would be in effect from October 1. I might say that those references to clauses 12 to 20 are to columns in the schedule which specify the different pension rates-45 per

Veterans' Pensions

cent, 40 per cent and so on. If we can get those lines out, then this is an awfully good bill. It puts the provisions into effect on October 1. Therefore, I move:

That Bill C-40 be amended on page 11 by deleting therefrom lines 14 to 31 inclusive.

In the French text, it would be lines quatorze to trente-deux.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

David Michael Collenette (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Collenette:

Mr. Chairman, I challenge the validity of this amendment and offer a few citations for your consideration. First, only the Crown can alter the royal prerogative. Standing Order 62(1) clearly states:

This House shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appropriation of any part of the public revenue or of any tax or impost, to any purpose that has not been first recommended to the House by a message from the Governor General in the session in which such vote, resolution, address or bill is proposed.

I would argue that even though the wording of the hon. member's proposal does not actually call for an increase in expenditure, the effect of the deletion of lines 14 to 32 of this clause would be to increase expenditure. For this reason the motion is out of order since the hon. member does not sit on the treasury benches.

There are two other citations at which hon. members might want to look. Citation 773(7) clearly states:

An amendment is out of order if it imposes a charge upon the public treasury, if it extends the objects and purposes, or relaxes the conditions and qualifications as expressed in the royal recommendation.

This arose from a decision by Mr. Speaker Lamoureux in June of 1969.

I could go on to cite Beauchesne's Fourth Edition, which clearly outlines the same principle in citation 246(3). Rather than read it, I will draw your attention to it. In net effect, I am objecting to the procedural acceptability of the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member is perfectly right that a member not of the cabinet does not have the right to propose in positive terms a bill or a motion calling for the expenditure of money. I am not doing that. The parliamentary secretary will contend, quite rightly, that the effect of my amendment is to increase the charge on the treasury because all this money would have to be paid this year instead of over six and a half years. But I know from memory that it has happened a number of times if it is done in this way. Let me put it this way. There is no rule in our procedures or anywhere else which says that we have to vote for everything that is put before us. We can vote against any clause in a bill.

There is also a provision that a clause can be divided into its constituent parts, and I could ask you, Mr. Chairman, to divide clause 14 into its constituent parts so that we could vote for all the other subclauses but not vote for subclause (3.2). All I am asking is that we be given the democratic right to vote against something that is put before us. The effect of that, as I said, will be for the money to have to be paid. I did not see

July 9, 1980

the bill until noon today, and I am sorry that I did not anticipate this to the point of looking up some precedents, but I know that it has happened a number of times that we have been permitted to vote against something, even though the effect of such a vote would be to increase the cost, provided we are not proposing it in positive terms.

All I am asking is that you allow members of the House the right to vote for or against what is put before them, not to be told on a procedural point that we have to vote for what is in front of us.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton):

Mr. Chairman, 1 must say that I listened with great interest to what 1 think is a most ingenious argument, an argument the ingenuity of which one would be hard pressed to find against, and I urge you to find in favour of the amendment.

The precedents which have been read by the parliamentary secretary apply to a situation which is not the situation which has been placed before us by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Aside from the procedures, which I think are quite in order, with repect to the amendments, for the reasons given by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, I think everyone in the House had better consider the effect of having this matter struck down in procedural terms. The effect of its having been struck down in procedural terms is not to give the House the opportunity of improving upon the benefits that have been proposed in this bill. Because, in fact, the benefits, in terms of the payment out to veterans, will be improved. That goes to the merits of the bill itself.

I think we have to be extremely careful that we do not put ourselves in the position here of depriving members of Parliament of their ability to vote against something that is put in front of them. So I would urge you, Mr. Chairman, with respect, to find in favour of the amendment and to allow it so that not only will the bill be improved in terms of veterans but that as well the right of members of Parliament in dealing with legislation will be protected.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinnon:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to make a very short contribution regarding one of the references made by the parliamentary secretary about the power to have bills prepared which involve the expenditure of money. If he would check with Bill C-578 standing in my name on the order paper, which is an act to amend the Pension Act, the Compensation for Former Prisoners of War Act, the War Veterans Allowance Act and the Civilian War Pensions and Allowances Act, he would find that there are occasions, exceptional occasions I grant you, when such bills are accepted. In that spirit, I think we should be able to support the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, a very worth-while amendment which I would find quite easy to accept.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

David Michael Collenette (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Collenette:

Mr. Chairman, I rise on a point of order. I do not want to prolong this debate unduly, but my point does go to the heart of responsible British parliamentary government, and that is the ability of the Crown to initiate all

July 9, 1980

spending and taxing powers. While I take the point of the hon. member for Victoria on his bill, all members can allow any bill to be introduced as a courtesy; but it would seem there would be precedents in private members' hour in the past which hold that where such bills infringe upon the royal prerogative, those bills are ruled out of order at that time. Or at least, it goes beyond the realm of a private member to introduce such a bill.

But more specifically to the point is citation 246(3) in Beauchesne's fourth edition, which states:

The guiding principle in determining the effect of an amendment upon the financial initiative of the Crown is that the communication, to which the royal demand of recommendation is attached must be treated as laying down once for all (unless withdrawn and replaced) not only the amount of a charge, but also its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications. In relation to the standard thereby fixed, an amendment-

This is the key point, Mr. Chairman.

-infringes the financial initiative of the Crown, not only if it increases the amount, but also if it extends the objects and purposes, or relaxes the conditions and qualifications expressed in the communication by which the Crown has demanded or recommended a charge.

1 think perhaps that is more solid proof that this amendment is out of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
Permalink
LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

The Chair proposes to recognize the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and then to make a ruling.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, I note that the parliamentary secretary has not addressed himself to my contention that members of the House of Commons have the right to vote yea or nay to propositions that are put before us. It is the government that has put before us the proposition containing lines 14 to 31 on page 11. Surely we have the right to say yea or nay to it. To deny that right, to say that we have to accept it, is certainly contrary to the principles of democracy.

I have been trying to find instances in the past when we have voted against certain tax increases and we were allowed to do it, even though, if we had won, the government would have lost money. I do not have the right to make a positive proposal which involves the expenditure of money, but 1 do have the right to vote against a subclause that has been put before us. 1 am happy to do it either way. You can divide the clause into its several parts and we could vote for some and against this one. I just think it is simpler to accept this amendment to delete the lines which I have indicated.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

The Chair has listened to the argument. The royal recommendation reads as follows:

His Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled "An act to amend the Pension Act, the Compensation for Former Prisoners of War Act, the War Veterans Allowances Act and the Civilian War Pensions and Allowances Act."

Clearly the amendment imposes an additional financial charge upon the Treasury. Beauchesne's Fifth Edition is quite specific; it has been cited. Citation 773(7) reads:

An amendment is out of order if it imposes a charge upon the public treasury, if it extends the objects and purposes, or relaxes the conditions and qualifications as expressed in the royal recommendation.

Veterans' Pensions

I fail to understand how it does anything other than relax the qualifications and purposes as expressed in the royal recommendation. In the circumstances the Chair rejects the motion. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is perfectly right when he says that it is open to hon. members to accept or reject clauses put before them, and that is certainly his right in committee. But in the circumstances the Chair rules against the admissibility of the amendment.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Obviously, Mr. Chairman, I accept your ruling, but will you now split this clause into its separate parts?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Then there is a difficulty here. Standing Order 75(1) reads as follows:

In proceedings in any committee of the House upon bills, the preamble is first postponed-

This we have done. It continues:

-and if the first clause contains only a short title it is also postponed-

This we have also done. It continues:

-then every other clause is considered by the committee in its proper order; the first clause (if it contains only a short title), the preamble and the title are to be last considered.

It seems to me that we consider the bill clause by clause. 1 presume that means the entire clause at each stage. This is the interpretation the Chair is making at this point.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

I invite your attention to clause 776 on page 234 of Beauchesne's Fifth Edition, which reads as follows:

A committee has the power to divide a clause or to decide that the first part of a clause shall be considered as an entire clause. A motion to divide a clause must be taken before the clause is adopted.

Of course, I can put such a motion but it is clear-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

If the hon. member puts such a motion, we will accept it and take the clause by sections, then.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

The rule says that I have to write it out.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Maurice Lamontagne

Liberal

Mr. Lamontagne:

In both official languages.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, I move:

That clause 14 of Bill C-40 be divided into its separate subclauses.

If this amendment carries, we will vote on the separate subclauses, and I will vote for all of them except subclause (3.2).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

It is moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre that clause 14 of Bill C-40 be divided into its separate subclauses, presumably for voting purposes.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WAR PENSIONS, COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES) AMENDMENT ACT, 1980 MEASURE RESPECTING PENSIONS OF VETERANS
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July 9, 1980