December 1, 1987

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION

PC

Robert Nelson David Hicks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bob Hicks (Scarborough East):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 101 I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the twenty-sixth report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

[Editor's Note: See Today's Votes and Proceedings.]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
Sub-subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF TWENTY-SIXTH REPORT OF CANADIAN NATO PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
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CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT

PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. David Crombie (Secretary of State of Canada) moved

for leave to introduce Bill C-93, an Act for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the House that the Hon. Minister shall have leave to introduce the said Bill?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crombie:

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great sense of pride that I rise to table an historic Bill in the House today, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. The Bill enshrines in statute the recognition of Canada's multicultural reality, sets forth the multicultural policy of Canada, and contains a firm government-wide commitment to implement it. It provides a legislative base for multicultural programs which will assist cultural preservation, combat racism, and promote institutional change.

This legislation will establish the freedom of Canadians of all origins to maintain, enhance and share their cultural heritage. The Bill recognizes all Canadian citizens as full members of the Canadian community.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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Motion agreed to, Bill read the first time and ordered to be printed.


LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I thought the Secretary of State (Mr. Crombie) was making a statement when he started to speak on the introduction of his Bill on multiculturalism. I am told that it was not a statement, but it is not usual for Ministers to make statements of that nature when introducing Bills. Is it going to be the new practice that when Ministers introduce Bills they explain what is in the Bill?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crombie:

Mr. Speaker, I hope we are not going to get into a procedural problem. My advice was that if I wanted to rise to indicate what was in the Bill within 60 seconds, it would not be a statement. If, on the other hand, there is need for a statement to be made or someone else wishes to make a statement, I have no difficulty with that. However, that was my advice with respect to the procedure in the House.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Mr. Marchi:

Mr. Speaker, I have no problem with the Minister's 60-second statement. I know that the Minister's Department was probably working overnight to prepare the statement and the news release which will accompany his press conference. However, it would be appreciated if at least the critic for the proposed piece of legislation were given notice of at least an hour or an hour and a half as is the tradition of the House.

I received materials at about 10.15 or 10.20. It is difficult for the official critic to read and digest the legislation as well as to prepare our position in order to offer Canadians the position of the Official Opposition on the legislation on such notice. I think that 40 minutes is cutting it very close.

I have brought this to the attention of the Chair on previous occasions when Ministers with responsibility for immigration have been negligent. I have no problems with the Minister's statement. However, I would appreciate it if the Minister and the Government would keep the traditions that we offered them when they were in the Opposition.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crombie:

Mr. Speaker, in the last few years 1 believe I have introduced some four or five Bills in the House. I am well aware of those traditions. Indeed, if time permitted I usually walked over to the critics and handed them the material I was able to provide within the procedures of this House. I have done that on each and every occasion.

December 1, 1987

Petitions

Indeed, this morning, in keeping with the traditions the strict procedures of the House, I made that available to both critics, with a handwritten note stating that this was the material I was able to give them.

It is impossible for me to give them the Bill before it is tabled in the House and when I have lock-ups in the rest of the city.

As always, I appreciate the comments of my hon. friend, but I say to him that I do not accept any suggestion that this Minister or the Government has not observed both the spirit and the technical aspects of the traditions and procedures of the House. I sent a letter to the critic of the Official Opposition and the critic of the New Democratic Party with all the materials save and except the actual Bill which, of course, I am not allowed to do. As I said to the critic this morning, I hope we will be able to proceed with this historic Bill in a way which would at least match the sense of expansiveness and future that this Bill itself engenders. I think it will be unfortunate if my hon. friend wishes to bog this down unnecessarily.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

I am not bogging it down. I am asking a question of the Minister. I think that is unfair.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

It seems to the Chair that the Bill which was introduced has, at least in principle, support on both sides of the Chamber. Unless any Hon. Member feels a terribly burning urge to make further comment, perhaps the Chair could settle this matter by reminding Hon. Members of Standing Order 107(2) which states:

A motion for leave to introduce a bill shall be decided without debate or

amendment, provided that any Member moving for such leave may be

permitted to give a succinct explanation of the provisions of the said bill.

The Hon. Minister said that he had an indication that he had some 60 seconds. I want to assure the Hon. Member for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier) that the message I sent to the Minister was that he had 30 seconds.

However, it is important to note that it is the case that any Member introducing a Bill can speak succinctly, as the rule states, and I shall be very firm in making sure that it is succinct.

I believe the Hon. Member for York West (Mr. Marchi) is only expressing what Members on both sides of the House, depending on where they sat at different times, have always wished to be the practice. I think the Hon. Minister has given some explanation for that.

Again, as always, I would urge Ministers to do everything possible to be sure that information is given as soon as possible, especially to the opposition critics. I think it was made quite clear by the Minister that he understands that tradition and does in fact honour it.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PETITIONS

LIB

Marie Thérèse Rollande Killens

Liberal

Mrs. Therese Killens (Saint-Michel-Ahuntsic):

Mr. Speaker, it is my duty to present to the House 553 petitions signed by residents of Canada. They are to be added to the 30,735 petitions already tabled.

They are signed by petitioners from Gaspe, Dolbeau, Gull Lake, Kipling, Torguay, Grenfell, North Battleford, Meadow Lake, Simpson, Kindersley, Carnduff, Eston, Lafleche, Quill Lake, Stonehenge, Kenaston, Davidson, Medston, Unity, Weyburn, Swift Current, Richard, Welwyn, Lodewood, Regina and Saskastoon.

These petitioners are calling upon Parliament to institute mandatory airbag restraint systems for the driver of passenger cars and are calling for the installation of three point adjustable lap-shoulder seatbelts for rear passengers.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MANDATORY INSTALLATION IN CARS OF AIRBAGS AND THREE-POINT SEATBELTS
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LIB

Fernand Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. Fernand Robichaud (Westmorland-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, it is also my duty to table in the House over one hundred petitions from residents of Sackville, Grande-Digne, Cap-Pele, St. Anthony, Cocagne, Ste-Marie, Fox Creek, Port Elgin, Moncton, Richibucto, St-Charles, St-Joseph, Memram-cook, Ste-Anne-de-Kent, Buctouche, and many other communities in my riding.

My petitioners are very concerned about the fact that the Government, which has already introduced twenty-five new taxes or tax increases, is now considering, as part of its tax reform proposals, a Bill that would include a tax on food. They humbly pray Parliament to reject any measure that would have the effect of putting a sales tax on food products.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   OPPOSITION TO TAX ON FOOD
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QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.) Mr. Jim Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council): Mr. Speaker, Question No. 196 will be answered today.


December 1, 1987