March 2, 2000


A message from Her Excellency the Governor General transmitting supplementary estimates (B) for the financial year ending March 31, 2000, was presented by the President of the Treasury Board and read by the Deputy Speaker of the House.


REF

John Williams

Reform

Mr. John Williams

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We just heard the message saying that the Governor General was recommending some additional spending. I would like to ask the President of the Treasury Board if such spending is justified.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

This is not a point of order.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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LIB

Derek Lee

Liberal

Mr. Derek Lee (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 13 petitions.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
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PC

Peter MacKay

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC)

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Last night the government gave notice under Motion No. 8 that it would be embarking on an unprecedented attack on democracy in this place. I do not wish to eat into the time of the NDP on their opposition day, but this is an outrageous act on behalf of the government. It is shutting down debate not only in the House but in committees.

The Speaker himself or herself, by virtue of this move, will be brought into the fray and be asked to participate and rule on amendments that may be brought forward in the House. This will limit debate. This is an attack on the use of committees in terms of their reports being brought forward and the ability to file amendments will be severely curtailed.

It creates two classes of members in this place: special privileges that can be afforded to members who are cabinet ministers versus those who are not.

The tools of parliament will be circumvented by virtue of this motion that has been brought forward and notice given by the government House leader.

With respect to this matter, we would respectfully put forward that the Speaker should rule on the privileges of the members of the House who have been severely undermined by virtue of the government House leader in his attempts to shut down all opposition.

We know that the official opposition was given an opportunity under the Nisga'a debate to exercise a certain amount of privilege, and yet what we have seen is another party in the House being severely limited in its ability to do the exact same thing.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you consider this unprecedented attack that has been embarked upon by the government House leader. This is, I would suggest, severely infringing on the ability of members of parliament to do their work in this place, to do their work on behalf of their constituents and on behalf of all Canadians in ways that are unprecedented. They are limited on very important pieces of legislation that affect everyone in the country.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to consider Motion No. 8 before this is brought to the House for a vote. I would ask the Speaker to rule as to whether this motion is in fact in order at all, because this puts the Chair, you, Mr. Speaker in a position where, as a referee, you are being asked to put on the government team's jersey and play for that side. Mr. Speaker, I suggest that this curtails your credibility and your ability to do your impartial work in this place.

These motions being brought forward, five in total under Motion No. 8 under government business today, once again severely undermines the ability of this place to operate in a coherent, fair and equitable fashion.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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The Speaker

I am aware of this motion. I read the order paper, as the hon. member did today. I see that not only he but a number of other members of parliament want to intervene on this question.

I am faced with two things. The first is that this motion is not before the House at this point. I do not know if this is the motion that will be presented for discussion. I do not know if it will be added to and I do not know if it will be changed. Until it is before the House, I would prefer to hold any kind of decisions or even debate on it.

The second thing I am faced with is that in normal circumstances, in our practices here in the House, when we do have an opposition day we usually give all kinds of leeway for the people who have presented the motion to have their day in parliament.

With regard to this particular motion, I am aware that there are difficulties for some members of parliament. The motion is not before the House, so I will keep in mind what the hon. member has said thus far. However, I would prefer to receive opinions and advice from the House when the motion is before the House. It is not there. Therefore I will not hear them today and we will go on with our normal business.

When this motion, or any other, is introduced, I shall of course listen to all hon. members who wish to speak on it at that time. We shall, however, wait until the motion is moved.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (for the Minister of Transport)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-28, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987 and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 81(5) and 81(6), I move:

That Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, laid upon the table on March 2, 2000, be referred to the appropriate standing committees of the House in accordance with the detailed allocation as follows:

As there is a lengthy list attached to the motion, if it is agreeable to the House, I would ask that the list be printed in Hansard as if it had been read.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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Some hon. members

No.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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BQ

Yvan Loubier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Yvan Loubier

Let her read it.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Speaker

I am afraid there is not consent.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Speaker

Order, please. The President of the Treasury Board.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That supplementary estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, laid upon the table on March 2, 2000, be referred to the appropriate standing committees of the House in accordance with the detailed allocation as follows:

To the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Votes 1b, 5b, 7b, 15b, 36b, 40b and 45b

To the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

Agriculture and Agri-Food, Votes 1b, 10b and 20b

To the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage, Votes 1b, 5b, 25b, 45b, 50b, 60b, 65b, 95b, 115b and 130b

Privy Council, Vote 30b

To the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

Citizenship and Immigration, Votes 1b, 2b, 10b and 15b

To the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

Environment, Votes 1b, 5b, 10b and 15b

Privy Council, Vote 40b

To the Standing Committee on Finance

Finance, Votes 5b, 20b, 35b and 40b

Canada Customs and Revenue, Vote 1b

To the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

Fisheries and Oceans, Vote 1b

To the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade—

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Speaker

Order, please.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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The Speaker

Order, please. The President of the Treasury Board.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Supplementary Estimates (B), 1999-2000
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March 2, 2000