September 19, 1996

REF

Ted White

Reform

Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to debate this issue today on committees.

Although it is a debate about committees, it could almost be a debate about democracy itself. It is really a debate about the definition of democracy in a way that it fits our committee structure.

I could talk about committees in general. My colleague has already brought up specific examples of committees. I could speak about them in general but I will start with some comments about a committee that is probably the worst committee on the Hill. It is perhaps the best example of what I would call manipulated democracy.

That committee is the committee that decides whether private members' bills will be votable. Just before the summer break in June 1996, a member from the government side of the House, the member for Mississauga East, had her comments about the committee that had just decided that her private member's bill would not be votable quoted in the Hill Times : ``I am not suggesting that it is a kangaroo court. It is more like a cockroach court. You cannot see them at work and then they run away''.

It is a really good description of what that committee stands for. The member from the government said had a private member's bill that would have ended concurrent sentences and forced rapists and murderers to serve consecutive sentences for multiple crimes. That bill was made non-votable because the government side had decided it did not want that issue to go to a free vote in this place.

Can a member of this House get an explanation of why it was non-votable? Can she or he find out what happens in that commit-

tee? No. There are no records kept. There are no notes. It is all done in secret behind closed doors with no records kept. No wonder the member for Mississauga East called it a cockroach court. As she said, we cannot see them at work and then they run away.

That member's experience is not unusual. It has happened to me. Every single one of the private member's bills and motions that I have put forward has been made non-votable. Maybe there were good and logical reasons for that to happen but there is no way that I could get an explanation for that. That for me certainly and perhaps anybody in this place who has put forward a private member's bill is the worst committee on the Hill.

As the member for Mississauga East said, if she had a bill that offered better treatment for criminals it would race through the place in a week, but if you have a bill that wants to side with the victims or correct obscene injustice in our system you can expect resistance and many years of effort and debate. To that member, welcome to the club, because that is what this side of the House is fighting the entire time.

Last year there were a total of 16 private members' bills which would have toughened up the justice system and not one of them could get past the system that is put in place through these committees to prevent it from ever becoming law. Even the ones that are made votable by that cockroach court committee that end up being passed in this House by the members get referred to committees which then stonewall them, delay them and keep them there under the orders of the ministers until they disappear completely off the map.

We see those examples over and over again. The bill that would have rid section 745 from the Criminal Code passed in this House and yet the committee and the minister are defying the will of the members here. It is contempt of Parliament in our estimation.

The members on both sides of this House are demanding more and more that all of our private members' business should be made votable and that the committees should stop interfering with the process. We should be permitted to bring the will of the people to this place and to put it through and turn it into law. I certainly hope we will soon see the disbanding of this cockroach court committee which has been a major problem for us.

The problems of the committees are really symptomatic of a load of problems that go right through the system which operates here, that makes this place almost just frosting. The real issue, the real cake, all happens behind closed doors. Everything is predecided and this is just the charade that happens on the top.

An example is I write letters to ministers about important issues about these committees. Months go by. A letter written to the justice minister remains unanswered after two months. A question on the Order Paper in this place, put here on October 5, 1995 with a 45 day answer period asking what sort of money the Squamish Indian Band gets in my riding has been sitting on the Order Paper since October 1995 and never answered. That is just another symptom of our constant problems.

My colleague from Fraser Valley mentioned the employment equity committee. I was sitting with him on that committee when the employment equity bill was considered last year. We were told that bill would be referred to committee before second reading so that members could have meaningful input to shape the bill prior to coming back for second reading in the House. What an absolute sham that was. It was unbelievable. When we describe it to people in the outside world away from this place they can hardly believe that it is true, what we tell them.

There was a time limit-arbitrary rules created by the committee-to discuss any clause. It did not matter how long it was, how short it was. Five minutes included the time it took for the government member to read it out and describe what it was all about. My colleague from Fraser Valley and I were denied the opportunity and ability to even ask questions of expert witnesses who were at that committee, experts from the government side. We were not even allowed to question them. We had questions from our constituents and we were denied the right to put them. That bill was rammed through the committee after hours, at short notice, when it was impossible for us to get witnesses to come to the committee. This is an abuse and a manipulation of democracy. It is unacceptable.

One example my colleague from Fraser Valley gave was how the chairman decided he had had enough discussion and just passed something by himself. We had another example where we managed to catch a few of the government members napping and got a particular clause through and the chairman reversed it by himself. He changed the vote. The vote was yes and the clause passed. He said it was no and it had failed. We were unable to get that reversed. Days later when we came back into this House and appealed to the Speaker for justice to be served and these decisions at the human resources committee to be reversed, we were told that the committees were their own masters.

I have another example. I sat on a small committee which was looking at the boundary changes in North Vancouver. There were only three members on that committee, two from the government side and myself from the Reform Party. There were about five clerks there, one to watch translation, one to watch what's going on and others whose jobs I do not know, five people and the three of us. We had to elect a chairman. One of the government members asked me if I minded if he nominated the other government member to be the chairman. I told him I knew how it worked around here and he should do what he had to do. So he nominated the other Liberal member to be the chairman. Then they both look

at me to second the nomination. Can you believe it? "Not a chance" I said, "you can't expect me to do that, it is not democratic". They looked at one another for a moment, looked at the clerk, and the clerk said that we could always change the rules, so they did. They changed the rule so they did not even need a seconder to elect the chairman.

The whole committee system is a disgrace. I could go on for an hour giving examples. I see my time is up and I welcome questions and comments. I will just say that this needs changing badly.

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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Laurin (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague from Laurier-Sainte-Marie who asked a question a few moments ago, I also agree that we can support some of the arguments put forward by the Reform Party. It is indeed difficult to work in committees where the majority of members are on the government side. Since the government exhibits a certain amount of ministerial solidarity within committees, it is difficult for us to win every time. It is part of the game of democracy.

In this context, it can be very frustrating for the Reform Party, as well as for the official opposition, to have requests or proposals rejected sometimes.

I would like the member to tell us what changes he thinks should be made to improve the committee system. Before knowing if we can support their position and if we can denounce the government's attitude on this issue, I would like to know what alternative the Reform Party is proposing for these committees. What democratic system would it like to see put in place in order to be able to achieve its aims, because I suspect that under all this lies a feeling of frustration with regard to proposals that were not supported by the majority in committee? What mechanism would Reform members suggest be put in place to ensure that other members who do not belong to their party would get the respect they deserve in committees?

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REF

Ted White

Reform

Mr. White (North Vancouver)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question about the operation of committees. There has been some discussion about the British parliamentary system. There is a lot of tradition involved in the operation of this place. That is absolutely true.

However, all it takes is the political will to change these things which have been in place for a very long time. Most of these things were put in place to fit a time that has long gone, a time when the people were not well-educated and when communications were not very good.

When Edmund Burke said: "You don't do your constituents any favour by representing their will", that was 200 years ago. Today we live in the information age. Our constituents are exceptionally well-informed. They know what is going on in the world. They can find out the minutest detail about what is going on in this place.

I am sure all members have experienced from time to time constituents who know more about a particular bill and its possible problems or benefits than they do. There is a member over there from the islands who said that he never reads the bills. There are constituents out there who take a direct interest.

The suggestion from Reform is that we can run on a general mandate of what we stand for but within that we must have flexibility to suit the information age and the flexibility to adapt that agenda to comply with the will of the people, the people who, after all, are paying our salaries. This means that when a committee goes travelling across the country taking submissions, it should truly take democratic submissions so that it is not a predetermined outcome and that it truly wants to know what Canadians want and is prepared to have the political will to adjust its agenda and get away from partisanship.

It does not happen very often. If we look at the past three years in this place, I have had to vote three times contrary to my party mandate in order to represent my constituents' wishes on government bills. Therefore, it is not something that happens every day. It is on very carefully considered issues. I do not suffer any consequences from being able to do that.

It is a new democracy. All it takes is the political will. I would urge members to get behind these changes so that we can get real democracy in this place.

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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Laurin (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I regret to have to say in this House that it seems to me that the Reform Party has chosen a topic for debate this morning that would have been more appropriate for a supply day.

The hon. member from the Reform Party did not reply to the last question I asked him. I threw the ball into his court by asking him, through you, if he could tell us how he would like us to operate in committees. He did not answer the question.

What is at the bottom of all this is the Reform Party's frustration at not occupying the position of official opposition in this Parliament, and at not being able to obtain the number of vice-chairs that it would like in committees. That is the real issue.

Under the guise of a free vote, the Reform Party would have us believe that it allows its members to vote as they wish, that they do not have to toe the party line. I would like to hear from them what happened to Jan Brown, what happened to her? I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I ought to have used the name of her riding.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I am sorry, but nobody can hear you right now because my microphone is on, not yours. Only one person may rise at a time. The member corrected himself, but I would like to remind the House that when speaking about our colleagues we must use the name of their riding or their department.

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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

As I could not be heard, I will correct myself now that my microphone is back on and say that I should have said the member for Calgary Southeast. I would like the members of the Reform Party to tell me what they did with the member for Calgary Southeast when she decided to vote freely, when she decided not to toe the party line, because she found it too radical, too extreme?

That MP was not allowed to remain in the party, she was expelled. Today, they are telling us, with a "holier than thou" air, that they advocate the free vote within their party. Granted, but on certain minor bills only. If, for instance, the Reform Party were to introduce a bill on the use of cow hair in mortar, I do think it could let its members vote freely on something like that, but on fundamental and vital questions which were part of a party's election platform, it is important for solidarity to be maintained, and that must extend to the committees as well.

I also have doubts about how sincere the Reform Party members are, because we have seen them in action in committee. In the three years since we were elected, every time committee chairmen and vice-chairmen are selected, the Reformers opposed having a Bloc Quebecois member as head of the public accounts committee, for example, or as vice-chair of other committees-because, traditionally, a member of the party in power heads committees except that the public accounts committee is chaired a member of the official opposition.

The Reform Party would have liked to be the official opposition, but unfortunately the voters decided to give them two seats less than the Bloc Quebecois. Terribly frustrated by this, the Reform Party decided to try to change the rules, to change tradition. True, this is not a Standing Order, but it has always been parliamentary tradition to have a member of the official opposition as the vice-chairman of a committee.

The Reform Party ought to have put more effort into its election campaign so that more of its candidates could have been elected. Then it would have been recognized as the official opposition and would have had that privilege. With all their talk of democracy and British tradition, Reformers ought to know that democracy and British tradition recognize that the majority rules.

As it happened, the Bloc Quebecois won more seats than they did, but they refuse to accept this, and that too is just another excuse, because the real reason they are making such a fuss about how vice-chairs, how Bloc representatives are chosen in committees, is not that Bloc members are involved but especially because Bloc members are sovereignists.

We are sovereignists because that is what our platform is about. We presented our platform to the people of Quebec, who democratically elected to send us to Ottawa with a majority to represent them. The people of Quebec chose so wisely that, as a result, we became the official opposition. Quebecers owe themselves a vote of thanks now because they are well represented.

Reform Party members would like to see this sovereignist position, this political option prevent us from having the democratic right to sit on committees. Because we are sovereignists, they would like to see Bloc members denied the right to be vice-chair of a committee.

If we did not have that right, why would we have the right to have a member on the committee? If we have no members on the committee, where does that leave our democratic rights? Is this not about the most elementary respect for democracy?

The most elementary respect for democracy means accepting the decision made by voters in a riding, in a province, to send representatives to the House of Commons. That is the most elementary respect for democracy. Denying someone a vice-chairmanship because it is not convenient this time around is not a good reason. A person holds opinions we do not share, and as a result, we deny him the right to be vice-chair of a committee. If it were like that, we would not get very far in a democracy.

We saw the attitude of the Reform Party in the committee that dealt with the Jacob case, for instance. Oddly enough, they showed a great deal of solidarity at the time. The Reform Party members on that committee did not seem to be allowed much latitude to express their views. They all had to think the same way, otherwise they were not allowed to sit on the committee. If one member did not work out, they would substitute another.

And today the Reform Party tells us, with a "holier than thou" air, that it wants more democracy in committees. I agree that we are sometimes pushed around by the party in power which has a majority in all committees. I agree that the party in power, which has a majority and decides to exercise its solidarity, can beat us every time.

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LIB
BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

That too was the result of a democratic decision. I wonder what the Reform Party would do if it were in office. I would be curious to see if its position would be: "From now on, you are free to elect whomever you want to chair the committee, in spite of the fact that we have a majority".

Angels act like that, not the Reform Party, in spite of its "holier than thou" air. If it came to power, the Reform Party would be the first to insist that rules of democracy that are to its advantage apply; it would want to use them and would fight anyone opposed to their use.

I am sorry but the real subject matter of the debate today is the Reform Party's frustration at not being the official opposition, and that is how their remarks must be taken.

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REF

Bob Ringma

Reform

Mr. Bob Ringma (Nanaimo-Cowichan, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer a comment based on what I have heard here this morning on the rule of law. My colleague, the member for Fraser Valley East, was very specific about it. He said this Chamber operates under the concept that law is king. He said the Latin for that is lex Rex.

He went on to describe what committees do, that this is not the rule of law. He said instead, committees seem to operate under the rule of politics, that the political system is Rex, is king. He did not know the Latin for politics is king.

I have done a little research and I have this to offer to the House. I believe the Latin translation for that as it applies to the committee system is tyrannosaurus Rex, which comes from the dinosaur era.

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?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I do not know if the hon. member for Joliette wishes to comment on his colleagues' remarks.

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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

I do, Mr. Speaker. Such remarks are surprising, coming from the hon. member who just spoke, after his recent comments last spring and during the summer.

The rule of law does not mean much to people like that. What matters is their owns views, extremist views. When the law gets in their way, they get around it. When the people in front of them do not share their views, they try to get rid of them. If their skin is not the right colour, out they go. If they do not have the right political ideology, the right views about where this country should be headed, out they go.

We have been here for three years and both the official opposition and the governing party have been saying all along that the Reform Party is a party of extremists whose attitude is reflected not only in official statements to the press and in the excessive behaviour displayed by individual members but also in each and every committee of this House. They would have people excluded on the basis of their political opinions. That is discriminatory. That is extremist. It is like racial prejudice, like being against religion.

Today, these people want to teach us a lesson in democracy. But they cannot even tell us how the committees should operate in order to be more responsive to public opinion.

I suggest that they think this over and I am confident that this is the last time they make such a request because not enough of them will get elected in the next election to be in a position to demand anything, whether in committee or in the House of Commons.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The time allocation of five minutes for questions or comments is brief. I want to accommodate as many participants as I can. I simply ask for the co-operation of the member for Calgary Centre. If he could he either make his comment or pose his question within the one minute period then I could give the same amount of time to the member for Joliette to respond.

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REF

Jim Silye

Reform

Mr. Jim Silye (Calgary Centre, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about tradition and what we suggested should be used in the standing committees.

He referred to tradition. I would like to refer to the rules, and the rules are clear. We wish the standing committees would operate according to Standing Order 106(2):

Each standing or special committee shall elect a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen, of whom two shall be Members of the government party and the third a Member in opposition to the government-

The wording does not preclude members of the third party in the House from filling these positions.

Since 1958 the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has been a member of the opposition, following British parliamentary tradition. Even Beauchesne's parliamentary rules and forms citation 781 states it is customary for the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to be chaired by a member sitting in opposition to the government. That does not preclude any opposition party. It does not refer to the official opposition, the tradition he refers to.

Procedurally no party member is precluded from assuming the position of the chair in any committee. A precedent was set during the third session of the 35th Parliament when members of the NDP, the third party-the third party in the House like us-served as vice-chairs to standing committees and subcommittees and chaired legislative committees.

This party is recommending a push for real openness and real free votes for chairs and vice-chairs, not the set up that the government perpetrates on each of the standing committees. That is what we are recommending. Allow the members to be masters of their own destinies and vote for their own chairs and vice-chairs.

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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Calgary Centre is absolutely right. True, this is what the law says but it is also true that we are often guided by the traditions and practices in our parliamentary system.

But if we look only at the legislation, the Bloc Quebecois proposed candidates for the position of vice-chair in the various committees and managed to convince the government representative to vote for them. All this proves is that we had the same right as Reform members. We exercised this right and, since we are better than they are, we managed to convince the government to vote for our candidates. That is why some of our members are now committee vice-chairs, and this was done democratically.

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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Laval Centre, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the most extraordinary thing about parliamentary life is how one always has to expect the unexpected. Last night, when I went to bed, I certainly did not think that, this morning, I would be debating a report tabled by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

In 1993, during the election campaign, four major parties were trying to win the support of Canadians. There was the Liberal Party, which claimed to be in the best position to manage the affairs of the country. There was the Conservative Party, which, of course, made the same claim. There was the Reform Party, which wanted to change Canada and knew how to do it. And then there was another group, made up of separatists, sovereignists, who said: "We want to go to Ottawa to protect the interests of Quebecers".

On October 25 of that year, the Liberal Party formed the new government, with a strong majority and, of course, the responsibility that goes with it. When you have a strong majority, you ultimately have the power to do what you want. This comes with a price though, and I think that, when the time comes, voters will make the government pay that price.

The Reform Party got 52 candidates elected, not bad for a new party. Unfortunately, the Bloc got 54 candidates elected in Quebec. In other words, we became the official opposition by a narrow margin. It was a narrow margin indeed-only two members-but we got it nonetheless.

The value of parliamentary government and the respect in which society holds it derive entirely from its rules and tradition. Accordingly, we became the official opposition. This did not thrill the members of the Reform Party, and I can understand that.

What I have more trouble understanding is that after three years, they have been unable to sort out common sense, logic and, finally, their responsibility as a party in this House to ensure that the House's time is used intelligently. They wanted to reform Canada. When their members are capable of taking up the time of this House for matters which are very interesting but somewhat dubious, we have to wonder what is going on.

What does the time of the House mean? It means 295 members who are here to defend their constituents' interests, it means staff who work with these members, it means the House's support staff. When the House's time is wasted, tens of thousands of dollars are being thrown out the window.

My colleague, the hon. member for Joliette, mentioned the Jacob affair. Everyone remembers the Jacob affair, I should think. In any future discussion of the 35th Parliament, it is one issue that will stand out. We listened to the Reform Party, we appeared before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, much work was done and the final conclusion was that there was not really any basis for the charge.

As for what we are hearing this morning, and with any luck the debate will be over at 1.55 p.m., there is not really any basis for it. I can understand that it is frustrating for the Reform Party to see members of the official opposition holding the position of vice-chair on each of the committees for three years, but that is one of the responsibilities of the official opposition. The governing party has understood that, and finds it perfectly reasonable to vote for the candidates the Bloc Quebecois submits to committees.

There are certain actions that go along with the recognition of responsibility. I feel that the governing party can live with us as the opposition, and I am totally in agreement with that. I have no problem with that.

It is quite another thing, however, to say that it is easy to work in committee. It is not. Sometimes one has good ideas, is convinced they are excellent ideas and can make a valuable contribution to the government's bills, but sometimes, unfortunately, our valuable contributions end up in the waste basket. That is the government's choice and the choice of the majority in committee.

What we have to demonstrate is that our arguments, our contributions, are important and have real potential for improving the lives of our fellow citizens. When we work in committee and try to convince our counterparts on the government side that this or that amendment is important and should be passed by the committee, and subsequently by the House, we are doing our jobs.

We may regret that we are not always successful in doing so, but I do not think it is productive to take up three hours of debate to say that one is not in agreement with the report tabled by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and that really, everything ought to be done according to a free vote.

When we ask ordinary people, the people who constantly switch channels on their tv and end up getting bits and pieces here and

there, who sit around discussing this and that, what they think about politicians, their answers are not always very reassuring.

It hurts to hear this, when we have the impression we work hard and are doing our best. However, if they are watching us today, and I imagine some of them are, they will inevitably start wondering and say: "What on earth is going on? Let them go to work in committee, instead of wasting their time". They may have a point there.

However, I wish the voters watching us this morning would remember one thing, and that is that the parliamentary system works according to certain rules, which means there is a price to pay when we have a majority government and there is also a price to pay when a party is the official opposition thanks to a single member.

I would therefore urge them to elect a sizable official opposition in the next election, which will probably be held within a year. I am convinced the official opposition will come from Quebec, because to me it is clear that as far as the rest of Canada is concerned, the Reform Party is not up to forming an official opposition with a sense of responsibility and capable of acting accordingly.

Amazing, Mr. Speaker. You are signalling that I have one minute left, so I will do you a favour: I would rather not take it. I am sure my Reform Party friends have plenty of questions to ask and perhaps members opposite as well, you never know, so thank you, and I will wait for their questions.

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REF

Val Meredith

Reform

Ms. Val Meredith (Surrey-White Rock-South Langley, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I find it very interesting that the member for Laval Centre is the only one I know who has brought up the Jacob decision or transaction in the committee. She is the one who brought it forth, not the members of the Reform Party.

We were not questioning the decision of that committee here in this discussion. I find it absurd that members of the Bloc party can question our concern about committees. If members of the Bloc party really think that being the official opposition is the be all and end all, then maybe they should have the courage to put candidates in all of the ridings across this country and see whether they have the support of the Canadian people for the kind of issues and positions that they take. They know that they represent one province in this country. If anybody is extreme, it is the Bloc Quebecois members who are talking about leaving this country and breaking this country apart. If they do not call that extreme, I do not know what is.

I would like to ask the member if the Bloc Quebecois has the courage to put candidates in the other provinces other than Quebec in the next election.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I was negligent in not raising the issue earlier when it occurred the first time. I believe in the affair we are referring to we are referring to one of our colleagues. I would simply ask the co-operation of the House in reference to that particular issue that we would refer to the member for Charlesbourg.

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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Dalphond-Guiral

Mr. Speaker, your point is well taken.

I want to inform the hon. member that whether something is extreme depends how you look at it. Yes, I referred to the case of the hon. member for Charlesbourg. I made that reference to use an example everyone would be familiar with. You know, when you teach a class, the best example is one that is crystal clear. For everyone in Quebec and the rest of Canada, the case of the hon. member for Charlesbourg is an example that is self-explanatory, and a case that took quite some time. The hon. member may think it extreme of me to bring this matter up, but I do not think that just because this case was closed by the House, we were bound never to discuss it again.

Fielding candidates in all Canadian ridings is an interesting point, but the hon. member should remember that we are here to defend the interests of Quebecers and to stand up and say what is wrong with this system, because there is something wrong with it. I see the hon. member is smiling. I am sure this means he agrees with me. There is something wrong with the system, and we believe it is not only our right but our responsibility to say what is wrong on behalf of the rest of Canada, when we wear our official opposition uniform, which we do quite elegantly.

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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the dialogue. With regard to the investigation of the member for Charlesbourg, the member has basically stated that it was a waste of time. What she is saying in fact is that the House made a decision of its members to do something and that this entire House therefore was the cause of wasting its own time.

The member may want to reconsider whether or not the integrity of the House is being brought into question, because it was our decision and not a committee decision to undertake that investigation.

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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Dalphond-Guiral

Mr. Speaker, I will give one response to that comment: in its highly democratic spirit, of course, the House agreed to have a committee examine the case of the hon. member for Charlesbourg.

What I mean is, if the Reform Party had not introduced a motion, as far as I know, I do not think the House would have had to use such precious time to come to the conclusion, following the tabling of the procedure committee report and our minority report, that, ultimately, there was nothing to make a fuss about.

It must be recognized that we sometimes waste our time. It is not because a decision was made that, a posteriori, we cannot say that, in fact, there was nothing to fret about. So, our time was wasted somewhere.

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September 19, 1996