March 16, 2000

LIB

Gar Knutson

Liberal

Mr. Gar Knutson (Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions, and I move:

That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Yesterday, a rather unusual situation occurred, when a substantive motion was introduced in this House questioning the impartiality of the services provided to parliamentarians of our political party, the Bloc Quebecois.

The actions in question led us to take the most serious step possible in a parliament, a motion of non-confidence in the Speaker. While there is before this parliament a motion of non-confidence in the Speaker, something that has not occurred since 1956—it has been 44 years since such a motion has been tabled in this House—a motion amply justified by the abhorrent actions by the House of Commons administration in connection with the confidentiality of services provided to this party, yesterday, the government refused to debate this substantive motion.

It preferred instead, because the Liberal Party convention is starting, to run roughshod over Quebec with Bill C-20. There was a vote against Quebec yesterday in this House. Today again, the government is getting ready to run roughshod over this motion. Parliament is in crisis, the Chair is in crisis, the entire institution of democracy is in crisis. The Liberal Party is using parliament as a partisan tool, on the eve of its convention.

What is going on in this parliament? Watching as things unfold, debating motions and bills, as if nothing were wrong. This historical institution of parliament is in jeopardy, and the Bloc Quebecois motion will not be debated. Do sovereignists no longer have any place in this House? Do the members of parliament representing Quebec—indeed 70% of Quebec is represented by sovereignist members—no longer have a place?

Does the fact that we have concerns about the Chair, that we are questioning the institution, that we are the victims of an unprecedented partiality of House of Commons services mean nothing?

Mr. Speaker, what message are you sending to Quebec? That it is more important to debate any old motion than it is to debate the issue concerning the Chair? Will the government members from Quebec allow scorn to be heaped for long on the right of Quebecers and on democracy in this parliament?

Yesterday, we had a discussion. I spoke to you outside the House. I respectfully put my point of view to you.

If the Parliament of Canada is not in fact a partisan instrument used by the Liberal Party, because the Liberal convention is coming up, and if the Parliament of Canada has an ounce of pride left, it seems to me that the Chair has full authority to decide that, in this House, we will not do as the government tells us, but will debate a fundamental issue.

Does democracy still have any meaning in this House? Are the individuals legitimately elected by the people of Quebec entitled to speak? Are they entitled to question the institution? Are they entitled to want to debate the question of impartiality? Are they entitled to debate their rights or is it more important to proceed to government orders?

In what kind of country are we living? What is going on? Does parliament no longer have any value? Have parliamentary principles disappeared? Is it that, because the government wants to get rid of the separatists in this parliament, a non-confidence motion concerning the Chair is unimportant? It is business as usual.

When the Speaker leaves the chair he is replaced. You have all the powers. You can decide. You, Mr. Speaker, can decide that we will discuss the real issues. You can tell the people of Quebec and the rest of Canada that you will not let this parliament become an instrument of the Liberal Party of Canada. You can tell Canadians that you consider the parliamentary institution more important than the Liberal Party convention.

We know this is embarrassing for the government. We know that it is a pain. We know that it is annoying to have to tell Liberal supporters “Parliament is in crisis. We acted in such a way that we will now have to debate a motion”. We know that it is tedious, but it is a serious issue. Parliament is not at the service of partisanship. Parliament is here to allow parliamentarians to hold debates in a democratic fashion.

The reason for this institution to exist is that, over the course of history, people realized that conflicts could not be resolved through violence and that it was not possible to lead nations through a monarchy, with one person deciding and telling others what to do. People realized that it was necessary for their representatives to talk to each other.

There is a green carpet in this place, which is called the House of Commons. One day, it was decided that England's districts would be represented in a place where everyone would have the right to speak.

Do you know what distance separates both sides of the House? The length of two swords, plus a foot, plus an arm's length. Do you know why? Because people used to fight in parliaments. But times have changed. Today, we have an institution where it is possible to settle ideological differences in a civilized manner.

Issues must be settled democratically. But for the first time in years, actually for the first time in the history of this parliament, we have taken a giant step backwards, with members now being told that from now on in parliament decision are made by the government and the government alone. It is disturbing to the government to see separatists across the way, as if there were no separatists in Quebec. Half the people in Quebec are separatists and, the way you are acting, it will soon be three-quarters.

I must tell you that there is a political price to pay. I want the Speaker to know, I want this institution to know, I want the officials who are here to know. They are accustomed to democracy being respect and they cannot believe what is happening: they are being denied their right to speak, and they cannot believe the cavalier fashion in which this government is acting and its partisanship in reducing the Parliament of Canada to slavery. What is happening here is ugly, very ugly.

Everyone is outraged. I am outraged. People who are watching us are outraged. Quebecers are outraged. International democracy is outraged, because this will be known.

I know that there are democrats on the other side, people listening right now, and I appeal to their sense of democracy. It will become known in certain countries that the Parliament of Canada, which is challenging its Speaker, because the rights of an entire political party have been violated, does not wish to discuss the problem. It prefers to present a motion to proceed with the orders of the day. It prefers to pass a bill that will take away the rights of Quebecers. It prefers to consider a motion by the Progressive Conservative Party, which is very interesting in itself, I agree, but is completely out of step with what is actually happening here.

The institution of parliament is in crisis. Canada is in crisis and there is a price to be paid. I cannot believe that there are not members opposite who, deep down, agree with what I am saying.

Whatever my opposition to this country, if there is anyone who respects the institution of parliament, it is I. I have told my colleagues a hundred times that we must respect parliament because, when parliamentary debate ceases, when people believe that democratic expression is no longer possible, there is a serious problem.

Today, I appeal the government's decision. As the Speaker, as the guardian of my rights, as the guardian of the rights of this political party, as the guardian of the rights of all the opposition parties, as the guardian of the rights of all members of the House who are not members of cabinet, and as the guardian of ministers' right to speak, I ask you now to require the government to take the much more urgent route of a substantive, rather than an ordinary, motion.

If you fail to do so, if you fail to listen to us, Mr. Speaker, not only will you disappoint us, not only will you strike us a hard blow—we separatists will understand that we are not important in this parliament, that the vote of the thousands and millions of Quebecers who elected us means nothing here in Ottawa, and I did not think it had come to that—not only will you be denying the representation of all these members, but you will also be allowing an extremely sad message to be sent to international democracy.

The message will go out that the institution of parliament in Canada is in crisis and that it prefers to resort to motions.

That is inadmissible, and I can understand—I am speaking for myself, not for my party, but people might support what I say—that nothing more can be done in this institution. In every forum, I will explain it very ardently to Quebecers. I know that right headed federalists will find it sad that I should do so, but in all the forums in Quebec, in all the radio stations, in all the media, I will explain to citizens that nothing more can be achieved in the Parliament of Canada. Even though we have been elected, we are second-class citizens.

The fact that the rights of all these members are trampled on does not matter at all to the Chair. The members just have to deal with some motions about health or whatever, routine business. It just does not matter. The Bloc Quebecois, which represents two thirds of Quebec, has been cheated. Our rights have been trampled on. We have been the victims of a process that carries for us a high political price.

We want to defend ourselves legitimately. We want to explain to citizens that the only tool we, sovereignists, have in this Parliament is our voice, the possibility to speak, to explain our views, to confront our ideas and to confront the government.

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, you are party to that situation. You, the Deputy Speaker, the Speaker and all those in position to make decisions—better let me speak, because I might as well tell you that this may be the last time I speak in this Parliament—are all accessories to this dubious manipulation. The Chair is now serving the Liberal Party. That is the message people will get if you fail to made a decision.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. I have given the hon. member for Roberval a lot of latitude in his remarks on the point of order he raised, because I must hear it. However, I think he is going a little too far when he suggests that the Chair is conspiring with the government on this point.

The Chair is here to rule on points of order. This is why I have listened to the hon. member. At this point, I would like to continue with other members and make a ruling. However, that ruling will be made in the context of our practices and the precedents of this House, which, no doubt, the hon. members will quote for me. As we must continue, I recognize the government House leader.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to talk too long on this matter, since it is a point of order. This is not a period of debate. I will limit myself to a few comments.

First, the government has no intention of letting such an accusation against the Chair sit for long on the order paper. It is of course not true. The government too would like to debate the charge, this motion of non confidence as it was put, in the very near future. I do not agree with this accusation, but we will talk about it again, and I am quite prepared to debate it.

However, I think you should be aware of certain facts. First, I intend to meet with the House leaders of the other parties. I would like to set a date in the very near future so we may purge the House of this accusation. As I have said, I do not agree with the accusation at all, but I will debate it when the time comes. I think we could do so in the coming days, and I am prepared to initiate discussions with the other House leaders.

Today had been allotted to one of the opposition parties, not only as a matter of practice, but in keeping with our constitutional conventions of there being a number of opposition days—in this case, seven—before the budget votes to pay our employees' salaries, benefits to Canadians, social benefits and everything else we have to pay are concurred in.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
?

An hon. member

Bring a tear to our eye.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Speaker, pardon me, but a constitutional expert over there is offering us advice on the importance of opposition days and how they operate.

In the meantime, with the greatest respect for the institution and for the Chair, it is our intention, after I meet with the opposition House leaders, to put this matter on the order paper in order so that it may be debated, so that we may see the end of it. Today, however, I would like address the motion by the Conservative Party, this being a day previously allotted to that party. No doubt hon. members will recall that I had allotted Monday for it, moreover.

That is what I wanted to say to the Chair, but I certainly do not want to drag this matter out in parliament. When the motion comes before the House, I too will have the opportunity to make a big speech, and it will not be the least bit like the one we have just heard. It will of course differ a great deal. I will, however, give it only then, out of respect for the traditions of this House and the way we have to do things.

In the meantime, I submit that the motion as moved by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, is perfectly in order, that voting on it ought to follow immediately, that we should carry on our usual work day today, and that a meeting among the House leaders ought to be held, as I have just proposed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
REF

John Williams

Reform

Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion which is before us on a point of order. I would like to draw your attention to Marleau and Montpetit, starting at page 365 under Routine Proceedings, and I quote:

The daily routine of business, commonly referred to as “Routine Proceedings”, is a time in the daily schedule when business of a basic nature is considered, providing Members with an opportunity to bring a variety of matters to the attention of the House, generally without debate.

We have an issue being brought forward by a member of one political party that is perhaps uncomfortable for us to discuss here but nonetheless is on the order paper and will therefore have to be discussed.

To continue, at page 369 of Marleau and Montpetit dealing with a precedent, I quote:

On April 13, 1987, the government attempted to skip over certain rubrics under Routine Proceedings when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister moved that the House proceed from “Tabling of Documents” to “Motions” which, if carried, would have had the effect of superseding all intervening rubrics. The Speaker had ruled out of order a similar motion only a few months earlier. A point of order arose, a debate ensued and the Speaker reserved judgment.

This is exactly what is happening here today where the government wants to bypass Routine Proceedings because of its convenience and its desire, not the House's desire, and therefore this precedent I think applies specifically.

In his ruling Speaker Fraser expressed concern and in the end he ruled that the motion could stand but stand for that one time only. At page 370 of Marleau and Montpetit he stated:

—the House would be served best if the government were allowed to proceed, in this instance only—

The article finishes up:

He elaborated further that the decision was circumscribed by events for which the rules of procedure offered no solution and was not to be regarded as a precedent.

That particular issue arose because the government's agenda and the agenda of the House was being seized by various motions and issues that disrupted the proceedings of the House and the House could not do its business. That is not the case before us at the moment. The government can do its business. The government just does not want to handle the daily routine of business and issues being raised by members of the House.

I would like to draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, some historical content that the House of Commons has to defend itself against the crown, the government. The Speaker is the person who speaks on our behalf as members of the House of Commons. The Speaker has to uphold the rights and privileges of us as members in the House against the crown.

We have before us a motion to pass by opportunities of members to bring to the House issues which they feel important. We have had the government House leader and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister who represent the government dictating to the House that we will do their business rather than the business of the House. This is the issue, Mr. Speaker. You have to uphold the members, not uphold the crown. That is your duty and it is our privilege that you do so.

Government members have spoken about this being an allotted day and that these allotted days have to get through because we are coming to the end of the supply period. Without going into a great deal of historical reference, we know that allotted days are the final crumbs that we in the House have to debate the business of supply and the granting to the crown of supply in order for it to do its business. It is the final few crumbs left on the table for us to hold the government to account.

Because it has squeezed that final few crumbs right to the end of the supply period and denied us during the normal period of supply the right to debate these issues, the government now finds that its agenda is constrained in order to allow us the few crumbs and rights that we have through allotted days.

The point is that you have a duty, Mr. Speaker, to uphold the privileges of the House against the crown. The crown does not want us as members to debate issues that we could bring up under Routine Proceedings. I ask you to rule the motion out of order.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
REF

Jay Hill

Reform

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief with my remarks. To reinforce what my hon. colleague from St. Albert has just said, what we are debating, this particular point of order, strikes to the very essence of this Chamber itself.

Nothing could be more serious than when a political party brings a motion of non-confidence in the Speaker. I cannot imagine what could be more serious. Whether I, my colleagues or other colleagues in the House from whatever party agree with that particular motion is irrelevant. How could the House continue to do its business as long as that black cloud hangs over this place? We must deal with it.

For the government to move to bypass, to circumvent Routine Proceedings in the manner in which it has and to crack the whip on its backbenchers to get them to fall in line and to basically turn their backs on their own rights and privileges just to support their party and the government, is despicable, to be quite blunt.

If this were allowed to continue, as it did yesterday and as the government has moved to do today, I suggest that there is room for each and every member in this Chamber to rise on a point of privilege. It is our privileges that are being usurped by the government trying to wipe Routine Proceedings off the orders of the day and move to its agenda.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, some very good points have been made. I start out by saying that when, not if, the motion of non-confidence in the Speaker comes before the House, I do not intend to support that motion. That is, as the hon. member before me just said, irrelevant to the point which we are debating today.

I think there is kind of a natural tendency, and I give the government House leader the credit of thinking that it is a Tory opposition day and we do not want them to lose their day, et cetera. That is kind of a reasonable way of thinking, but the more I think about it, the more I hold to the view that I held yesterday.

I assumed that yesterday we would go through Routine Proceedings, get to motions and have the debate on the motion of non-confidence in the Speaker. That did not happen because we moved to go to orders of the day.

Again, that was related to the government's agenda. That was not related to any particular urgency with respect to Bill C-20, as I argued over and over again in this Chamber and in committee that there was no particular urgency that required that bill to be passed yesterday. By way of being consistent with my own views on this, I have to say that we now have a repeat of that situation.

The government House leader has suggested that perhaps the House leaders could get together and decide when this motion could be debated. At first glance I thought perhaps that was something for the House leaders to discuss. To the extent that that leaves it in the domain of the government as to when this will be decided, I have to say on reflection that I do not think that is acceptable.

What if there was a genuine atmosphere of non-confidence in the Chair, which I would dispute? Nevertheless, what if there was? Would we for one moment think that it would be appropriate for the government to put off resolving that matter? We would not.

I do not think it is the prerogative of the government, by virtue of this procedural manoeuvre of moving to go to orders of the day, to determine when it is that the House will be seized of a matter that is pre-eminently a matter for the House and for the Chair, and not for the government.

What happens between the Chair and the House is not a matter to be managed by the government. It is a matter to be managed between the Chair and the House. We have a procedure for doing that. We have Routine Proceedings and we have motions, and that is the time at which it should come up.

As for my colleagues in the Progressive Conservative Party, I know how I would feel if I thought my opposition day was about to be lost because of this. On the other hand, I think there is certainly an argument to be made for holding up for all time the right of the House to manage this kind of issue as opposed to the government and that would be a higher principle than preserving one's opposition day.

A very strong argument can be made based on some of the things that have already been said, but also based on the principle that this is something that should be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity. It is something that should be dealt with on a timetable determined by the House and not by the government.

I know some people will say that it will be the House that will pass the motion to go to orders of the day and so the House will have spoken, and make that sort of argument, but we know full well that argument has its limits because it will be the government that will determine whether or not that motion passes.

Sometimes there are occasions when we should go beyond the quasi-political fiction that when the majority speaks the House speaks. There are some things that belong to the House in a sense that goes beyond what the majority can decide in terms of a vote, that have to do with the House itself, and that have to do with the relationship between the Chair and the House. I would just urge the Chair to take this matter very seriously.

It also looks or has the potential to look—and I do not think it is in the interests of the Chair or of the House to look this way—as if there is a reluctance on the part of the Chair to have this dealt with, and I do not think that is true. That is not the attitude that the Chair has toward this motion and certainly it is not the attitude that it should have.

Rather than creating the impression that there is any anxiety about that debate, it would be better in terms of precedent, procedure, the relationship between the Chair and the House, the prerogatives of the House itself and finally the perception of the Chair itself, to deal with this at the earliest possible moment pursuant to the procedures that we have established for this, that is to allow us to go through Routine Proceedings. It will be inconvenient for all concerned, but democracy is sometimes inconvenient, as we found out to our sleep deprivation in the last few days.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
PC

André Bachand

Progressive Conservative

Mr. André Bachand (Richmond—Arthabaska, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. We have listened to all those who spoke on this issue. We have had a long week. We voted for 36 hours.

I believe that both these questions are very important. First of all, as some have said, we have to preserve what is left of our powers as opposition parties, that is to propose subjects and have a specific day to discuss them. However, it is equally true that a motion of non-confidence in the Speaker is also a very important element.

What happened here since the beginning of the week undoubtedly heated things up, so why not deal with both issues today? Why not ask the consent of the House to sit tonight and discuss the Bloc Quebecois motion. We sat for nights to vote on a bill, so why not do our regular day of work and debate the supply motion and keep on sitting tonight to discuss this very important subject?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
BQ

Stéphane Bergeron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party made a very interesting suggestion and I imagine you will eventually draw it to the attention of the members of the House.

My colleague from Roberval has explained in very eloquent terms the philosophical, historical and political reasons why you should declare out of order the motion introduced by the Secretary Parliamentary to the Prime Minister.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few moments to go over some more technical considerations.

In the last few hours, we have had time to carefully read through some literature, namely Erskine May, Beauchesne and Marleau-Montpetit, to determine if there was actually something allowing a motion such as the one introduced by the government to have precedence over a non-confidence motion against the Speaker.

We found nothing which could justify a decision that a motion to proceed with the orders of the day has precedence over a non-confidence motion against the Speaker.

Yesterday, you made a decision. Some might argue that this decision was motivated by the fact that the House was subject to an order imposed by the government through the double gag procedure used Monday regarding Bill C-20 and that consequently, since it was on the agenda of the government and that there was only one day left for third reading, the Chair had no other choice and felt compelled by this order of the House to give precedence to the motion introduced by the government yesterday.

Earlier, the government House leader made some fallacious arguments to justify that we revert once more to Government Orders, though a non-confidence motion against the Speaker is on the Order Paper.

“We have an opposition day. There are only a few left. We have little time for these opposition days, so we must hurry to allow every party to have its opposition day”. The same government that pressured this House for close to four weeks to ram through Bill C-20 before the Liberal Party of Canada convention, thus using the House for purely partisan purposes, could easily have reserved a number of days for the business of supply. It did not do so. It resorted to partisan tricks to make the House do what it wanted and have Bill C-20 passed according to its own agenda.

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we consulted the appropriate literature. The books on procedure clearly state that a non-confidence motion concerning the Speaker takes priority over any other issue. The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons showed the true autocratic nature of this government a few moments ago when he said that the government does not intend to let this issue go on for very long. But it is not up to the government. It is not a decision that rests with the government. It is a decision that rests with the Chair. It is a decision that rests with the House.

Mr. Speaker, since you are the protector of the rights of each member of this House, the protector of the rights of the opposition, of the minority in this House, I urge you to deem the motion presented by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister out of order, prima facie.

The existing literature contains no reference, provision or precedent suggesting that the motion presented by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister can take precedence over the non-confidence motion.

By contrast, as I said, there is every indication that the non-confidence motion must take precedence over any other issue, and I am asking you to rule on this, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
PC

Elsie Wayne

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I concur with the hon. member from the NDP and with the hon. members from the Bloc.

We are supposed to be in a democratic society. We come here and the people expect that it will be democratic within the House of Commons. If there is a non-confidence vote then it is imperative that it be debated and debated by both sides of the House. All of us, every person who is here, should have a say in that.

This is a very serious situation. If we were not allowed to do that, if we were not allowed to debate it, then the people of Canada would probably say—maybe we want to do this; who knows—that they are taking all the Liberals out in the next election if we do not have an opportunity here to show that their voices have been heard. That is for sure.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Speaker, there might be disposition to an agreement that is developing. I would like to have the actual wording of it in a few minutes, but the general understanding, to express it right now, is that at the conclusion of Government Orders this afternoon the House would not proceed with the private member's item, that debate on the motion in the name of the leader of the Bloc Quebecois would commence at that time, that the debate would conclude at 11 p.m., and that it would be followed by a 15 minute bell and a vote.

I think that is the general thrust. I would put that in the form of an official motion. I seem to note general agreement for that across the way. If that is the case and if there is an understanding that would be the case, we would be prepared to withdraw—

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

I will assist in this matter at once. I am quite prepared to suspend the sitting for a few minutes to allow discussions to continue.

The Chair wishes to consider its position in light of the submissions that have been made by the hon. member for Roberval, the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River, the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona, the hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska, and the government House leader.

This is a very serious situation. The Chair has taken note of everything that was said and I would like to thank all members for their assistance.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

Therefore, I will now suspend the sitting to the call of the Chair.

The sitting of the House was suspended at 10.48 a.m.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
Permalink

The House resumed at 11.10 a.m.


LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I think there would be consent for the following motion. I move:

That the motion in the name of the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister be withdrawn;

That the House proceed to Motion No. 59;

That no later than 6.30 p.m. this day, all questions necessary to dispose of Motion No. 59 in the name of the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie shall be put and a division or divisions be deemed to have been requested, provided that the division or divisions may not be deferred and the division bells shall ring for 15 minutes and provided that Members Statements and Oral Questions shall also be held today at the usual times.

I understand that if we did not have that in the motion we perhaps would not have question period. Further:

That the allotted day previously scheduled for this day be held tomorrow, March 17 and that any vote requested on the allotted day be deferred until Tuesday, March 21 at the conclusion of Government Orders.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
Permalink
?

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the proposal of the government House leader. Is there unanimous consent of the House to allow him to move this motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
Permalink
BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the motion, but I want to ensure there still will be an oral question period at the expected time.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
Permalink

March 16, 2000