July 14, 1988 (33rd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops-Shuswap):

Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Mazankowski) that when the motion was first put on the Order Paper, it was very clearly a highly irregular motion. I think it is the first time in history that it has ever been put on the Order Paper in that form.
Naturally, all Parliamentarians want to ensure that it would be procedurally acceptable. In our humble evaluation, since it had no precedent, since it went against the Standing Orders in so many different ways, we felt that this was an inappropriate way for the Government to deal with this issue. If the Government wants to deal with the issue in the form of a motion, I suggest that motions can be put that are procedurally acceptable, or legislation can be introduced that is also procedurally acceptable.
I want to make it very clear that the Opposition does not control the business in the House of Commons. The Government introduces Bills or motions and proceeds, and we respond. I want to make that point, because the Minister of Justice (Mr. Hnatyshyn) is trying to give the impression that we are somehow stopping this advance.
While I am on my feet, I want to ask the Deputy Prime Minister this. Earlier in the week the Deputy House Leader indicated that tax reform was now being considered for debate prior to the summer recess. I noticed that the Deputy Prime Minister did not mention that in his outline presented today. Can he either confirm that that is on the agenda or indicate whether that is off the list of legislation that the Government wishes passed prior to the summer recess?

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