October 19, 2000

NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I take the point the government House leader makes that the so-called pizza parliament has worked out better. I would not say it went from being a pizza parliament to a peaceful parliament but somewhere in between the dire predictions that were made.

Obviously the business of the House for this week continues unabated. I wonder if the House leader could explain to me why there were no Liberals present a few minutes ago when the auditor general appeared before the public accounts committee, which meant that the auditor general, who has made a report that everyone is interested in, could not be questioned by opposition members.

It seems to me this has to do with government business. It has to do with a matter of parliamentary business. It is very shameful that no government members were there and the committee could not meet. Perhaps the government House leader could explain that.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It is difficult for me, as a relatively junior member compared with the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona, to intervene in this regard. However, I am aware of the fact that committees are creatures of their own invention. I do not know it is appropriate that this is part of the Thursday question or a point of order associated with the Thursday question.

If the government House leader would care to respond I am sure there would be no problem.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie

Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that only God is a creature of his own invention. Committees are creatures of the House, and therefore somebody has to be answerable when the government is behaving in this very peculiar way.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Perhaps the government whip will be able to shed some light on this.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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LIB

Bob Kilger

Liberal

Mr. Bob Kilger (Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am at a loss for words. I will certainly look into the matter. If what the member for Winnipeg—Transcona has reported has occurred, and I am sure it is accurately reported, it is totally unacceptable. This is something I would hope would never happen. I regret if it did happen, and certainly I will give it my utmost attention.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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NDP

Michelle Dockrill

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Michelle Dockrill (Bras d'Or—Cape Breton, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the government whip and House leader that as the representative on the public accounts committee for the New Democratic Party, I can confirm that no Liberal representatives arrived at the committee.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It is obvious that the government has taken this matter very seriously.

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester, Transportation; the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville, Gun registry; the hon. member for Davenport, Communications.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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The House resumed from October 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-44, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.


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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is the House ready for the question? Are hon. members rising on debate?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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An hon. member

Debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

On debate, the hon. member for Joliette.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I appreciate that you had already started to put the question and that you are now recognizing an hon. member. That is fine. I am sure we are all accommodating in order to allow enough time for people to come into the House.

That being said, I wonder if, for the benefit of Canadians receiving the funds for which they will be eligible under Bill C-44, the House would agree that at 5.30 p.m. the bill will be passed in second reading, be deemed to have been passed in committee of the whole, read the third time and referred to the Senate for its consideration.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Does the hon. government House leader have unanimous consent of the House?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
Permalink
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Some hon. members

No.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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LIB

Bob Kilger

Liberal

Mr. Bob Kilger

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If I could just have the indulgence of the Chamber to go back to the point of order raised by my friend and colleague from Winnipeg—Transcona, because it is through our office and the government whip's office that we co-ordinate committee work, attendance, and so on.

I have just had the benefit of speaking to some of my staff, and we in fact had people who were going to the meeting. My understanding is that regrettably there was a change in the location of the meeting, and while they were in transit or getting from one place to another, the meeting was adjourned. I can understand that, but believe me there was no intention on the part of the government members to avoid attending that meeting. It is regrettable that it did happen, but there was certainly no intention at any time to avoid that meeting.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

That point is now finished. We have had the question and an explanation. If we want to do more, we can do it behind the curtains. We are now going to debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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NDP

Michelle Dockrill

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Michelle Dockrill

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to inform the House that the public accounts committee waited for over 20 minutes and nobody showed up.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

That was not a new point of order.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Laurin

Mr. Speaker, I rose on a point of order, not to continue the debate.

I simply wanted to tell the Chair that some speakers were scheduled to speak and that we should not proceed with the vote immediately. This is what I wanted to point out. But since you indicated that we are resuming debate, you have answered my question and I do not think there is any objection to proceeding in this fashion.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance Act
Permalink

October 19, 2000