Mr. Paul E. McRae (Thunder Bay-Atikokan) moved
that Bill C-215, an Act to amend the Public Service Employment Act (staff of Members of the House of Commons), be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it would be proper for me to indicate that while my name is on the Bill, the work which has been done in putting the Bill together has been done by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Blaker) who is also the Hon. Member for Lachine. However, as a Parliamentary Secretary I am informed that he cannot be the author of a Bill. Therefore, I will say a few words and will move a motion at the end of my remarks.
I am concerned about the people who work for Members of Parliament. They have given faithful service, are well-acquainted with the operations of Government, have worked long hours, and have gained a great understanding of the various departments and what government is all about. But, for one reason or another, when the Member of Parliament for whom they work ceases to be a Member at the end of a particular term or at any particular time when the Member is defeated or when he decides not to run in the election, they are out of a job. I am told that in every Parliament approximately 100 Members cease to be Members of Parliament for one reason or another. What this Bill says is that after approximately three years of service, these people should have the same priorities as a public servant. I understand, Mr. Speaker, that these priorities, in terms of moving into the civil service, are held by people working in Minister's offices and so on. We feel that those persons who work hard for Members of Parliament should have that same privilege after three years of service. I, therefore, feel this Bill is very important. I understand there is some disposition on all sides to let this legislation go forward. There may be some amendments which will be required but, certainly, we hope that this Bill will be accepted by all Parties.
In view of the fact that I was not the author of the Bill, although I was certainly involved in and very much in favour of it, and in view of the fact that the author of the Bill is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, the Hon. Member for Lachine, I would ask for unanimous agreement of the House to allow the Parliamentary Secretary to speak for the next few minutes in my place so that the balance of my time would be given over to him. I believe that would require unanimous consent, but if that is possible I believe it would give a better understanding of what is in the Bill and would not necessitate the Hon. Member's speaking at a later date. If it is possible, I would yield the floor, as is common in the United States, to the Hon. Member, with unanimous consent.
June 4, 1984
Public Service Employment Act
Topic: PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic: AMENDMENT RESPECTING STAFF OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS