November 29, 1983

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT


The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-170, an Act to authorize investment in and the provision of financial assistance to the Atlantic Fisheries for the purpose of restructuring fishery enterprises, as reported (with amendments) from the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Forestry.


LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

Hon. Members will note that there are 13 motions on the Notice Paper at report stage of Bill C-170, an Act to authorize investment in and the provision of financial assistance to the Atlantic Fisheries for the purpose of restructuring fishery enterprises.

The Chair is prepared to rule on the procedural acceptability of these motions. However, if need be, the Chair would give an opportunity to Hon. Members who wish to comment at this stage. Perhaps the Chair could be useful to Hon. Members by indicating in a preliminary way the direction in which the ruling will be made.

There are two motions standing in the name of the Hon. Member for South Shore (Mr. Crouse) which the Chair is prepared to accept; all other motions the Chair is prepared to reject. However, the Chair will hear any Hon. Member who wishes to contribute to the procedure at this time.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Mr. Rompkey:

Mr. Speaker, 1 simply want to put the case for the particular amendment which I placed on the Order Paper. It will amend the Bill in order to change the mandate of the Canadian Saltfish Corporation to allow it to become the instrument for the Northern Fisheries Development Corporation.

[DOT] (1110)

I would simply put to you, Sir, and to the House that this Bill before the House now flows from the Kirby report. Indeed, a recommendation in the Kirby report was the setting up of a Northern Fisheries Development Corporation to administer those plants in the area north of 50 degrees, in northern Newfoundland, on the coast of Labrador and in Quebec.

Kirby examined various options, Mr. Speaker, rejected some and made the recommendation. The Kirby report, which included that recommendation, was approved by the Government of Canada. Indeed, the Government of Canada approved that particular recommendation and, I understand, wants to proceed with that course of action. My point is that this Bill which is before us now gives effect to the recommendations coming out of the Kirby report and, I submit, could very well, and should, give effect to that recommendation of the Kirby task force to create the Northern Fisheries Development Corporation. I submit the relevance of the amendment on those grounds, Mr. Speaker.

1 would further point out that the Northern Fisheries Development Corporation was accepted by both Governments in the restructuring agreement. Both Governments agreed to a Northern Fisheries Development Corporation. Indeed, that was contained in the memorandum of understanding. Therefore, both Governments want to put this into effect.

I would further submit to you, Sir, that if the Governments agree that the Canadian Saltfish Corporation is the vehicle, there will be no other time, I believe, when we can give legislative authority for that in the House of Commons other than now. The reason I submit this amendment now, Mr. Speaker, is that if the Governments want to use the Canadian Saltfish Corporation as a vehicle hereafter, it may be very difficult to permit us to do that in the House of Commons, bearing in mind the legislative timetable after Christmas.

I would further point out to you, Sir, and I would like to put on the record, the concern in the north over this particular vehicle. I have telegrams which I shall not-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

Order. The Chair hesitates to interrupt the Hon. Member for Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador. I have been listening to the Hon. Member very carefully and so far he has failed to indicate in what way, procedurally, the Chair could accept the Hon. Member's amendments. The Hon. Member may, as is his privilege, in normal circumstances make a case for the acceptability of the amendments. However, he has not so far enlightened the Chair as to whether or not those amendments should be procedurally acceptable. Those are the arguments the Chair would like to hear.

At this moment I would caution the Hon. Member about reading telegrams which I am sure have nothing at all to do with procedure. I will hear the Hon. Member out for a while yet; however, I would seriously invite him to come to the matter of procedure. This is what the Chair is concerned with at this moment.

November 29, 1983

Atlantic Fisheries Restructuring Act

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Erik Nielsen (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if, when the Hon. Member rises to speak to his amendments, he would deal with all of them. There are 11 amendments standing in his name. From what 1 have been hearing, he is addressing himself to "an amendment"; he is using the singular. 1 suppose it is a purpose which he is speaking about, but I would like to know where his amendments fit into the purpose so I can comment intelligently at the end of his submissions.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

Order. The Chair should perhaps have indicated further, during its initial statement, that it proposes to deal with the Hon. Member's amendments in a group. I will rule on the acceptability of Motion No. 12. All other amendments presented by the Hon. Member are consequential to Motion No. 12; therefore there is really no value-if I may be allowed to say so-in the Hon. Member indicating to the Chair how each other motion individually may be acceptable. I ask the Hon. Member to discuss procedure but in a general way as it pertains to Motion No. 12, all other motions being consequential to it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Mr. Rompkey:

I appreciate the question of the Official Opposition House Leader, Mr. Speaker. I simply reiterate what you said, that indeed the motions leading up to the last and substantial motion are really technicalities in order to change parts of the Act to make the substantive motion read properly, which is Clause 7.1(1), which would allow the corporation to own or operate plants north of 50, basically St. Anthony and the Labrador coast, and to harvest fish for processing at those facilities; to own and operate vessels for the harvesting of such fish; to market fish processed in the area; and to carry on, for any purpose in respect of any fish processed at a facility, the activities it has the power to carry on under Section 7 or Section 8. Otherwise we change the definition of fish in the Act to mean not only groundfish but indeed shellfish, crustaceans and other forms of marine life.

I appreciate your position, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the technicalities of this amendment, but as a Member of Parliament I want to use this time and this vehicle to lay on the floor of the House the concerns of the people I represent. I say to both Governments that it is not good enough to say, and we must not say, to the people of the north that we will deal with their case at some later point. The people in the south, if I may describe it that way, have been looked after by this Act.

I will not read them into the record, Mr. Speaker, but the town council from St. Anthony- *

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

Order, please. I have an obligation to cut off the Hon. Member at this time because he is obviously not contributing to the procedural debate in any way, shape or form.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

On the same point of order, Mr. Speaker. I share the concern of the Hon. Member for the problem he faces in his riding. We have been made aware of his request for an extension of the powers of the corporation and I know from personal experience that in this area of Canada it is

practically impossible for private enterprise to function in a viable, profitable manner. We viewed with some concern the establishment of the corporation in its initial stages and the fact that it was given the right to control all of the saltfishing industry in Atlantic Canada-which is in effect what it ended up to be, the control of the saltfishing industry in Newfoundland. But when it was established it had the effect of putting two of the largest and oldest saltfish companies in my Province of Nova Scotia out of business. This was simply because these companies were in the habit of going to Newfoundland to purchase what we call Labrador slob, bring it back and dry it in the large driers owned by A.M. Smith and Company in Halifax and by Zwicker and Company in my home town of Lunenburg.

The amendment proposed by the Hon. Member seemed to extend the powers of this company. 1 wonder if he has given any thought to impressing upon the Government the necessity of bringing in a separate Bill. The Member stated this was the only opportunity he would have to bring forth changes which would empower the Government to purchase not only salt-fish north of 50, but all other species caught and landed in that area. This would imply that there is not going to be any future time at which this measure could be brought forward.

The concern that we have here is that the amendment proposed by the Hon. Member is, in effect, one that should deal with the Saltfish Marketing Corporation, while Bill C-170, presently before the House, deals with the restructuring of the Fishing industry, basically in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. I see here a conflict of interest between these two Bills. While we are not intending to oppose the amendment, if it were acceptable to the Chair, I would like the Member, if he may, Mr. Speaker, through you, to explain to the House why he stated that this would be the only opportunity available to him to seek an amendment of this type.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

Order. Before hearing another Hon. Member, I should point out to the House that in the Chair's opinion what is going on now is debate on the substance of the Bill. I have not yet heard comments which would help the Chair procedurally.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Erik Nielsen (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

I have a brief comment which might appeal to Members, Mr. Speaker. I can see by virtue of the last paragraph of the amendment that the Chair would have some concern about it since, by our practices normally, that part of the amendment at any rate would have to be accompanied by a message from His Excellency. I can see that there may well be some serious defects in it. Might I suggest though, in order to provide a vehicle for the Hon. Member to speak to the subject, that the Chair may wish to delay ruling on the amendment until the Member is heard, and perhaps one on this side is heard, with respect to the principle being expressed in it. In other words, I am suggesting that, notwithstanding any rule of relevance, the Member be free to discuss his amendment, to address the concerns that he has, and perhaps after that the Chair might be disposed to rule on it.

November 29, 1983

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Coline M. Campbell

Liberal

Miss Campbell (South West Nova):

Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee, I suggest that what the Hon. Member is asking for is certainly contained within the powers of the Bill before us. I am sure that the problem existing at St. Anthony in particular could be incorporated under the powers that are so wide in this Bill, even to the restructuring in Newfoundland. It could have been brought into the agreement with Newfoundland one way or another unless there was a reason. We did not hear that in Committee at the time. Looking at the Bill and the powers within the Bill, it seems to me that what the Hon. Member is looking for could be incorporated under the powers given to the Minister in the Bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Mr. Rompkey:

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I would simply like to thank the House Leader of the Official Opposition for his intervention and the possibility of an opportunity to debate the substance. I would like to say to you, Sir, that during the second reading debate I laid out before the House my arguments as to why this should take place. I recognize the technical difficulties that you have and the technical difficulties that the House has. As a Member of Parliament I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, bearing in mind that we do not know when another opportunity will come. How many times have we had fisheries Bills before the House of Commons?

The concern is, Mr. Speaker, that there may be fishermen and plant workers who do not have jobs in the spring. I am concerned about that. I am concerned about plants opening in the spring and about fishermen who are working and are productive in the spring. There is concern in these communities now. Since there is insecurity and uncertainty, people are not investing money and not spending. I am sure that the Hon. Member for Yukon understands that because he represents the north and has lived in the north. He knows what I mean.

I simply want to bring to the attention of the House, governments and the public in general the concern north of 50 for bringing stability, security and certainty to the fishery in that area. If this is not the time-and, of course, I accept your ruling on this amendment-it would at least be a vehicle to bring to the attention of those in the position to do something the necessity to act quickly in order to put those plants in their proper order and to get them working by this spring.

I want to thank Members opposite for their support. I also know there is support on this side of the House, including that of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who I know supports this in principle and wants to do everything he can to help those people. I want to say again, as I said at second reading, that I appreciate the efforts of the Minister in this whole restructuring effort. I accept your ruling on this, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Corbin):

I wish to thank Hon. Members for their contribution to the procedural matter. I have heard the Hon. Member for Yukon as well. I could perhaps remind him that this period for initial comments,

Atlantic Fisheries Restructuring Act

before the Chair makes its ruling, should be taken as an opportunity for Members to make the sort of comments that the Hon. Member for Yukon suggests we do at another time. It would hardly be procedurally acceptable for the Chair to allow debate on motions which it feels are very much out of order and then make the ruling after that debate has taken place. In my opinion, that would create an unacceptable precedent in the conduct of the affairs of the House.

Therefore, I am prepared to rule. Motions No. 10 and 11, standing in the name of the Hon. Member for South Shore (Mr. Crouse), are acceptable and should be debated and voted on separately.

Motion No. 12 gives the Chair serious misgivings. All of the other motions in amendment offered by the Hon. Member for Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador (Mr. Rompkey) are consequential to Motion No. 12 and therefore I propose to consider them as a group. Motion No. 12 appears to propose an amendment to the Saltfish Act which is not part of the Bill now before the House. As well, the motion infringes upon the financial initiative of the Crown in that it provides for the expenditure of public funds. In fact, the Hon. Member recognizes this in the last section of Motion No. 12. This section does not alter the fact that the amendment infringes on the financial initiative of the Crown, and there are many rulings which confirm that provisions of this kind are not sufficient to make this kind of amendment acceptable.I refer Hon. Members particularly to a ruling by one of my predecessors in a similar case on May 17, 1972, which can be found on page 307 of the Journals.

May I also refer Hon. Members to Citations 540 and 543 of Beauchesne's Fifth Edition. Citation 540 states in part:

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 Recommendation is attached, must be treated as laying down once for all (unless withdrawn and replaced) not only the amount of the charge, but also its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications. In relation to the standard thereby fixed, an amendment 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.

Citation 543(1) states:

If any motion or bill or proceeding is offered to be moved, whether in the House or in a committee which requires, but fails to receive, the recommendation of the Crown, it is the duty of the Speaker to announce that no question can be proposed upon the motion, or to direct the withdrawal of the bill, or to say that the problem may be rectified by the proposer obtaining a Royal Recommendation.

Finally, the Hon. Member proposes to add an entirely new proposition to the Bill which is foreign to it, as agreed to at the second reading stage. Such an amendment is quite beyond the scope of the Bill. In this regard, I would refer Hon. Members to Citation 437 of Beauchesne's Fifth Edition.

For all these reasons, I must find Motion No. 12 out of order.

As I stated a few moments ago, Hon. Members will realize that Motions Nos. 1 to 9 and Motion No. 13 are consequential

November 29, 1983

Atlantic Fisheries Restructuring Act

to Motion No. 12 and, as such, are, without that motion, irrelevant to the Bill and hence out of order. Accordingly, the question before the House is Motion No. 10.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Pinard:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have had consultations and it seems there is unanimous consent to dispose of the Bill today, notwithstanding Standing Order 78(13) which prescribes:

When a Bill has been amended or debate has taken place thereon at the report stage, the same shall be set down for a third reading and passage at the next sitting of the House.

Notwithstanding Standing Order 78(13), I think there is unanimous consent that all questions necessary to dispose of the report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-170 be put today before 5.45 p.m. in order to dispose of this legislation completely.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Erik Nielsen (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

Mr. Speaker, there is consent. I am perhaps a little confused by the final words of the Government House Leader. I assume he meant not later than 5.45 p.m., because I think we had a House order last Thursday to the effect that all questions will be put at 5.45 o'clock. In other words, 1 would not want to see the question put before 5.45 p.m.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Pinard:

Mr. Speaker, our intent would be the contrary, that the necessary questions to dispose of report stage and third reading be put before 5.45 p.m. so that we can dispose of Bill C-170 before proceedings are interrupted to deal with and vote on supply business. If the Hon. Member wants, we could specify 5.45 p.m. in the order. That is why I said "before 5.45 o'clock", it being understood that we would dispose of Bill C-170 completely before 5.45 o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Erik Nielsen (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

I understand, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC FISHERIES RESTRUCTURING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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November 29, 1983