An Hon. Member:
Make it public.
Subtopic: BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic: WEEKLY STATEMENT
Make it public.
Because there was no agreement with regard to the definition of election expenses, I said fine, let us withdraw that for the time being but let us move on the other items with which we agree and then we can deal with the election expenses at that particular time.
Do you want to leave a loophole for the election?
That is totally incorrect, and you should not say that. The Hon. Member from Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) takes great pride in speaking from his seat without any knowledge of the facts. The facts are here. I am prepared to table the letter, which clearly outlines our willingness to deal with the new definition of election expenses which would clarify the loophole to which the Hon. Member refers. If the Hon. Member is suggesting that we should open up the election expenses to include office equipment, rental expenses,
July 14, 1988
after the close of polls, and advertising taking place after the closing of the polls and transfers between registered Parties, candidates and local associations, and expenses incurred by candidates seeking nomination, which would have the effect of driving up election expenses and thereby asking the public Treasury to fund more of the election expenses, if he wants to create more of a boondoggle and a haven for people seeking office at the expense of the taxpayer, we are not going to accept that. We are prepared to debate it in committee and we are prepared to debate it on the floor of the House.
Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):
Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to come back to the letter of eight points that the Deputy Prime Minister has just referred to, and remind him that a subsequent letter by the Hon. Deputy House Leader for the Government asked us to pass Bill C-79 and offered only seven conditions this time. It was seven concessions and not eight, which is a new definition of election expenses. Why do we not deal with a new definition of election expenses, or have the Government clearly admit that it wants to be able to overspend as it wants in the coming election?
Because you were not prepared to deal with it.
1 will hear the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister in a moment. I do want to say to Hon. Members that this exchange, which has followed the usual Thursday afternoon question concerning the Government's intentions for the next few days, is getting far beyond that usual point of order. I will hear the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, but I am not going to hear Hon. Members debate endlessly on matters which have really nothing to do with the appropriate question that was put to the Government and to the reply of the Government. The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify only two points, and that is clearly that the letter of May 3 included a proposal to incorporate a new definition of election expenses pursuant to the recommendations of the Chief Electoral Officer. Because there was disagreement with regard to that, I again sought the co-operation of both opposition Parties to see if there could be a consideration given with regard to moving on all of those elements which we agreed on, with the exception of the election expenses.
It was only in an attempt to move it ahead. There was no agreement with regard to the proposal on election expenses. We are prepared to move in either direction and I am prepared to put in the legislation, either in the form of amendment or in the form of a new Bill, a new definition for election expenses, which I hope would be supported by all Parties.
I am inviting Hon. Members to meet in the lobby to carry on this discussion. There are other Hon. Members with important matters. I would recognize the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue (Mrs. Mailly) on a question of privilege.
Mr. Speaker, 1 rise on a point of order.
I would prefer to hear this question of privilege. I have delayed it for some time.
Ms. Claudy Mailly (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue):
The text continues, and I now come to the purpose of my intervention:
"Ms. Mailly is a Federal Conservative Member in the National Capital Region who has not supported the teachers." The text then states that the language teachers will be holding their demonstration on July 6, on the eve, then, of the day this press release was delivered to me-at 2 o'clock pm, at 300 Notre-Dame Street, Gatineau, at Claudy Mailly's riding office, and there follows a phone number where additional information could be obtained.
So I would like to submit this document. First, not only do I find it an act of intimidation directed at me, but they want me to intervene, Mr. Speaker, in a collective agreement and to take sides with one of the parties.
Second, Mr. Speaker, what is even more serious is that it is false. Not only did I support the teachers when they called me during this demonstration, but CHOT Television filmed and broadcast it. I supported the teachers then, not as an interven-or in the collective agreement, because I know that it is my duty not to intervene in such matters, but as a Member of Parliament, by telling them that I was going to speak on their behalf to the President of the Treasury Board (Miss Carney) regarding their demands for preparation time and language of negotiations.
We were told that the negotiations were held entirely in English. So I interceded with the President of the Treasury Board. The Alliance was aware of this because I told the Alliance representative who was in my office. Television and radio reported these facts, but the weekly newspaper Le Dimanche Outaouais, of which I will table a copy, published a photo under which it says, "Demonstration at Claudy Mailly's Office: About thirty teachers of French as a second language working for the federal Government demonstrated in front of MP Claudy Mailly's office last Wednesday. Ms. Mailly is the only Member of Parliament who has not supported this group of 700 teachers who have been without a collective agreement for two years. The demonstrators gave 1,200 post cards of support from the people of Gatineau to Ms. Mailly's executive assistant in her absence." It does not mention at all that I spoke to them . . . Furthermore, I was away, Mr. Speaker, because I was in the House to vote on Bill C-72, which was really my duty as I saw it.
They took advantage of it, knowing very well that I fully supported Bill C-72, and that I would earn a reputation as a defender of French language rights. They chose that time to demonstrate in front of my office, without warning me. But despite that, I took the trouble to telephone the representative. They still distributed the erroneous communique and left it at my office.
Business of the House
I later wrote, Mr. Speaker, to the Public Service Alliance, to tell them that if they did not publicly apologize in a press release, because they knew they were wrong and admitted it, I would have to raise a question of privilege because I find it terrible that one would want to intimidate a Member of Parliament in the exercise of her duties in that way.
So I submit the case to you, Mr. Speaker, because I know that election fever is in the air and I would not want irresponsible journalists who do not check their sources to use what the Public Service Alliance has said with other unions, that they have blacklisted me to defeat me in my riding and that they have already begun to work at it. I find that is intimidation against me and besides, Mr. Speaker, if anyone defends francophones well, I do!
Mr. Della Noce:
Mr. Speaker, during Question Period, the House Leader of the NDP-
Is it another point of order?
Mr. Della Noce:
Later. I listened with interest to the Hon. Member's statement and of course I will consider all comments and reserve my decision until perhaps next week.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Mike Cassidy (Ottawa Centre):
Mr. Speaker, I confess myself a bit frustrated. I had hoped as a private Member to be able to raise a question about a private Member's Bill, Bill C-273, during the course of the House business question which took place a few minutes ago. I was on my feet on two or three occasions and was unable to raise the question.
I did send a note to the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Mazankowski) who is handling the House business question today. Unless he is in the government lobby, it will be a bit difficult to put the question to him. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary who is here can respond.
Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary could say what is now the Government's intention with respect to the request which has been made jointly by the Hon. Member for Ottawa West (Mr. Daubney) as the sponsor of the Bill, the Hon. Member for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier) and myself and which was communicated to the House Leader and Deputy Prime
July 14, 1988
Business of the House
Minister last week by letter offering co-operation so that this Bill could be brought forward as a Government Order or so that some other means be found in order to ensure that it would be debated and pass third reading before the possibility of an adjournment leading to a summer or fall election.
Is it now the Government's intention to expedite the Bill so that action on political rights, which the Conservative Party promised in 1984, as well as my Party and I think the Liberals, will be taken and the Bill will be passed on third reading and into the Senate prior to the adjournment which may take place at almost any time?