February 10, 2004

LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-3, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, as well as the financial report relating thereto.

The report relates to the meeting of the APF, held at Cayenne, French Guyana, from January 21 to 23, 2004.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Delegations
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CA

Roy H. Bailey

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Roy Bailey (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present another petition from my constituency. My constituents call upon the government to immediately hold a renewed debate on the definition of marriage and to reaffirm it as it was in 1999. They urge it to take all necessary steps to preserve marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions. The first comes from a number of residents of Montreal asking Parliament to maintain the traditional definition of marriage.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a second petition.

It expresses support for the people of Canada who are covered by the pay equity settlement and who feel they are prejudiced by the imposition of interest on arrears, which considerably reduces the pay equity adjustments, thereby depriving them of equal pay for equal work.

This petition therefore calls on the House to remedy this abnormal situation. I wholly support this petition.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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The Speaker

The hon. member is well aware that it is against the rules to express an opinion on the petitions we present in the House. I am certain she will not make the same mistake again.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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PC

Rex Barnes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rex Barnes (Gander—Grand Falls, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition, one of many that has been presented through me on behalf of my riding of Gander—Grand Falls and many throughout the whole country. This petition calls upon Parliament to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Pat O'Brien

Liberal

Mr. Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am in receipt of a petition from some 25,000 Londoners and people in the district of London, Ontario. I present now the latest approved 1,500 signatures to Parliament, calling upon the Parliament of Canada to uphold the traditional definition of marriage and to take all necessary steps to defend the institution of marriage as it has been constituted since Confederation of this country.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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CA

Chuck Cadman

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of 143 constituents of Surrey North. The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Janko Peric

Liberal

Mr. Janko Peric (Cambridge, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 it is my privilege to present to the House a petition signed by 200 concerned constituents of my riding of Cambridge. The petitioners underscore that physicians must provide complete information about the health risks of abortion and that they should be held accountable should they perform abortions without the informed consent of the mother or should they perform abortions that are not medically necessary. Therefore, the petitioners request that Parliament support legislation calling for a woman's right to know.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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NDP

Dick Proctor

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for saving the best for the last. I am pleased to present a petition today suggesting that star wars would undermine Canada's proud tradition of supporting arms control and acknowledging that Canada will not participate in a star wars missile defence program. The petition strongly condemns the destabilizing plans of the President of the United States. The petitioners urge parliamentarians to work with our partners in peace for more arms control and to bring an end to the production and sale of weapons of mass destruction and any materials used to build them.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Roger Gallaway

Liberal

Hon. Roger Gallaway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

With respect to the consideration of the motion under government orders, Government Business No. 2, I move:

That the debate be not further adjourned.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink
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The Speaker

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30 minute period for questions.

I would like to know how many hon. members wish to ask questions. We will allow a maximum of two minutes per question.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink
CA

James Rajotte

Canadian Alliance

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this is absolutely shocking. We are six days into supposedly what is a new parliamentary session and the government is already invoking closure and shutting down debate. The Prime Minister is simply continuing in the path of the former prime minister.

I want to quote the current Prime Minister on his supposed democratic reform initiatives. In his letter accompanying the democratic reform package, the Prime Minister stated:

Parliament should be the centre of national debate on policy. For this to happen, we must reconnect Parliament to Canadians and renew the capacity of Parliamentarians--from all parties--to shape policy and legislation.

Let us look at another quote from the Prime Minister. In December 2002, he said, “My position on parliamentary reform is that closure should be the exception, not the rule”.

Let us look at this Prime Minister's record. He has voted for time allocation and closure 85 times. Six days into a new parliamentary session, he is already invoking closure. How can the Prime Minister possibly say that he has any initiative or any intention to democratic reform or reforming this House of Parliament? This should be a centre of national debate and not just a place where he can shut down debate at his own whim.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada

Mr. Speaker, the quote that was given from the Prime Minister is quite accurate, and I will read it again. He said, “Parliament should be the centre of national debate on policy”.

My colleagues across the way have tried to waste very valuable time on debates on procedures, as they demonstrated on Friday, which has delayed the debate on substance. As soon as this motion is passed tonight on reinstatement, we will have a chance to actually debate the issues of interest to Canadians, and that is what we want to do.

The second is in terms of closure. It is quite interesting to note that it is the very first time in the history of our country that closure will be subjected to a free vote in the House, or maybe I should correct that. It will be a free vote on this side of the House because on the other side they do not believe in free votes.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink
CA

Chuck Strahl

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Chuck Strahl

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The House leader has suggested that there is a problem with dilatory motions, or a problem with wasting debate, I guess on the fact that we put forward an amendment to his previous motion. We are willing on this side to withdraw both our amendment and our subamendment in order to continue the debate if the House leader is willing to withdraw his closure motion. We could do that by unanimous consent and get--

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink
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The Speaker

I do not know that this is a point of order. It sounds like perhaps an offer for negotiations, which of course can go on behind the scenes, but we would not want negotiations proceeding on the floor, particularly during question time on this motion.

I am sure the government House leader will deal with the point of order, which is not a point of order, in his next response. We will move to the hon. member for Rosemont--Petite-Patrie, who wishes to raise a question.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Reinstatement of Government Bills
Permalink

February 10, 2004