September 1, 1988

PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The rule is that an application for an emergency debate is to be a succinct statement by the Hon. Member applying. It is not to be a debate on the issue, it has to be the argument for the case. The reason it must be a succinct statement is that otherwise, of course, it would be appropriate for the other side to respond. That is the rule and under the rules only the applicant can speak and the argument must be succinct. I know both Hon. Members who are applying are experienced and 1 trust they will not take advantage of that rule. I would hope that the Parliamentary Secretary would not have to rise on a point of order because of any infringement of that rule.

I will hear the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Winnipeg-Fort Garry):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 29 1 ask leave to propose a motion to adjourn the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter requiring urgent consideration, namely the public statement by the Deputy Minister for western diversification that the free trade agreement between Canada and the United States will be harmful and is already harmful to regional development programs. That statement is a clear contradiction of claims made in this House by the Government. That statement was retracted only this morning by the Deputy Minister, obviously under clear intimidation by the Government.

September 1, 1988

1 will just make this point. Because of this order agreed to-

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

May I be allowed to complete my statement without interruption by this jerk?

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Mr. Speaker, there has been an accusation made about the behaviour of the Government, that it is clearly intimidating someone. That simply cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged. There is no intimidation.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have the Hon. Member's point. I am sure the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry will try to keep his remarks as succinct as possible.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

Mr. Speaker, after that unnecessary interruption let me just make this point. I recognize your admonition about the problem we are facing in these unique circumstances. Yet the House will be adjourning for 10 days and there will be absolutely no opportunity to continue discussion of this very important issue. Therefore 1 hope you will give it proper consideration and give Members of Parliament the opportunity this afternoon to debate it properly and see where the truth really lies.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Hon. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa):

Mr. Speaker, I rise, as you indicated, under the same provision of Standing Order 29 to argue very concisely that the situation would be alarming indeed if, as we contend, we now have another senior public servant of the Government of Canada, this one in charge of western diversification, adding to what the former Deputy Minister of Finance has already said, that regional development programs are going to be affected by the trade deal negotiated between our government and that of the United States.

If true, as we contend it is, this is alarming for western Canada, Atlantic Canada, and the northern parts of most of our provinces in particular. However, the key point with respect to the rules of the House is precisely the question of the adjournment. Today is the last day for debate in the House before we adjourn. We are supposed to be coming back a number of days down the road, but the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) has said publicly, and I want to underline this, that there is every possibility an election could be called during that period of time. The traditional four-year period of the Government, as the Prime Minister has described it, is now up. He has said he would be expected to call an election barring some very exceptional circumstances which he said do not exist.

It is for those two reasons, Your Honour, that I suggest the application for a special debate falls within the framework of the rules.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have stretched the rules considerably to hear these applications because they arise over a matter of great importance to the country. I indicated that, at least on what I knew of them earlier, I was probably not too partial to ordering an emergency debate this afternoon. I have listened carefully to both Hon. Members. They are very experienced, one being a former Minister and a senior critic in his Party, and the other of course being the Leader of the NDP.

I understand fully the concern expressed by both Hon. Members and others during Question Period. I also listened very carefully to Question Period and, without sitting in judgment, it seems to me, and I know I was admonished by the reform committee not to give reasons for turning down an application, this issue is so important it may be helpful if I say why I am not inclined to grant the debate at this time.

First, as I said, I considered the matter very carefully when I received the first notice from the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry. I considered it very carefully today. I considered very carefully the exchange in Question Period. There was a difference of opinion in Question Period on this matter. However, it is extremely difficult for the Chair to think that it amounts to an issue on which there must be an urgent debate. The Deputy Minister may or may not have said something. In any event there are differences of opinion as to what he said. Of course, there will be different conclusions drawn from what he may or may not have said. Even given the very great importance of this issue it is very difficult for the Chair to decide that this afternoon there ought to be an emergency debate.

The Hon. Member for Oshawa raises another matter, and this is certainly speculation and not something upon which I can comment, that this day will perhaps be the last day of this Parliament. No one can be certain about that but it seems to me that in itself does not give cause to extend the sitting beyond the agreed order into this afternoon.

I want to say to both Hon. Members as well as others that I listened very carefully because the country has been listening very carefully to the debate in this chamber. I know there must be a very great temptation among other Members to get up and comment upon this issue. However, we have had Question Period. I of course have no more idea than anyone else what may happen in the ensuing days. There seems to be at the moment a very serious difference of opinion on what a senior official has said and the implications that flow from it but that is not sufficient at this time to order an emergency debate.

I thank both Hon. Members for the succinct way they presented the matter and I also thank the Parliamentary Secretary and others for their forbearance.

September 1, 1988

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   PRESENTING PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S. O. 29 CANADA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-BILLS Mr. Rodriguez: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I rise to seek unanimous consent of the House to withdraw Bill C-271 standing in my name as a Private Member.


PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Bill withdrawn.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to the order made on Wednesday, August 31, 1988, this House stands adjourned, I think, until Tuesday, September 13, 1988 at 11 a.m.

Topic:   POINT OF ORDER
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

The House adjourned at 12.40 p.m.



Tuesday, September 13, 1988



Prayers


September 1, 1988