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Results: 136 - 150 of 1310
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
I mentioned Peter Milliken earlier because the Board of Internal Economy has a long history of consensus. It has only really deviated from that one time in our history, and that was a profoundly sad moment at the BOIE.
We have a different function from committees. Folks wear their partisan hats on committees. There is no doubt that we're members of Parliament representing our parties. At the Board of Internal Economy, we are supposed to take our party hats off at the door and consensus is absolutely essential. If we move from the consensus principle that BOIE has always had—with that singular exception—we're turning the BOIE into a completely different body from what it's intended to be and from what the Parliament of Canada Act directs us to do.
I am viscerally opposed to turning this into a non-consensus body.
I think, Mr. Speaker, you've made an appropriate ruling that we move now to the agenda. We'll have further discussion in camera. That's where I think we can start to get the legal questions answered—and they are considerable—and then potentially move to consensus decisions on how best to deal with the serious and important situation that he's brought forward.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Just to clarify, mine was a suggestion, not a ruling. I really am at the mercy of the board in what they decide.
Like I said, the tradition is consensus. That's what we're striving for.
Mr. Holland, you have another comment.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2021-05-13 11:52
I do, Mr. Speaker.
I belabour this point for a reason, which is that I do not have a partisan purpose in this argument. I have a duty to lead human resources for our caucus, to protect my employees and the employees who work for our organization, and to protect members from what the Bloc whip has described as “an unprecedented situation”.
Let's be very clear. This did not happen in public. This camera was not on for the public. This was in a private session, only viewable to people who saw that Zoom screen. It is absolutely the equivalent of being in a lobby, only virtually. It was rendered public by Mr. Lemire. It was ripped out of private existence and put into public.
I have spent many years here and I absolutely concur with the idea of not forcing votes or not operating by consensus. However, with respect to what happened to Mr. Amos, at what point do we say this crossed the line? At what point do we, as a body, agree around the table on whether or not somebody should even answer what's before us? Does Mr. Lemire answer basic questions in camera about what he did? That's all that's before us.
There's no purpose in saying that we're going in camera to talk about that. Either we are going to have a conversation with him or we are not. We've dealt with this on many other matters. That is why I'm forcing a vote here. I'm saying that I, very reluctantly, break with tradition, but I have an obligation. When I was head of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, there was an issue that came forward and I had an obligation to ensure that questions regarding an egregious action were answered. I feel that I have an obligation here to do the same. Therefore, I'm requesting that this be a recorded vote.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Richards, you have a comment as well?
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I do, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Holland asked at what point do we make a decision. Well, it's at the point where we've been able to gather all of the information that needs to be gathered, at the point at which we have asked all of the appropriate questions that we need to ask and are able to make an informed decision about what the appropriate course of action will be.
What all of us, other than Mr. Holland, are asking for here is that we have the opportunity to do that.
Putting anyone in a position of having to vote on something without having all of the information, without having all of the questions answered, and without having the legal advice that might be required to do so puts everyone here in a very unfair position. It puts everyone in the position of voting on something they're not prepared to vote on because they don't have all of the information required.
What I think all of us are asking for here is to have the proper opportunity to have those discussions and to get the legal advice we're asking for. Nobody is necessarily seeking to deny the request; it's simply to make sure that we have the appropriate information and answers before us before we make a decision. Otherwise, everyone is put in an incredibly difficult position.
I certainly would agree with what Mr. Julian said earlier: That is the way this board operates. It's the way it should operate, and we should all be taking our partisan hats off. I think if everyone were to really look at that principle, they would understand that it is exactly what everyone here is seeking to do. I think calling for a vote when you are fully aware that people are not prepared to make a decision because they haven't had a chance to get all of the information they need to do that, not having had the in camera portion of the meeting, cannot be seen as anything other than partisan, Mr. Speaker, and that's really unfortunate. It would put us all in the awkward position of going to a vote on which we would much rather be fully informed, and of making an unfortunate decision.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good. We'll now go to Mr. Julian.
Then Mrs. DeBellefeuille will have the floor.
Mr. Julian.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Just briefly, Mr. Chair, this is a serious situation. Nobody denies that. There are serious legal ramifications and there is a whole range of questions that need to be asked. I don't disagree with any of that.
I profoundly disagree with turning the Board of Internal Economy into some kind of majority body in which we cast votes. Doing that would destroy the spirit and the intent of the board.
We are not here for this. We are here to establish a consensus. We have worked over decades through very difficult issues and ultimately almost always have come to a consensus.
You, as Speaker, as the holder of the responsibility of those decades of consensus-based decision-making, have the role and responsibility to say no if a member puts you in an awkward place by trying to change the intent of the Board of Internal Economy. This is a consensus body. There is no consensus on changing the agenda, so we will move through the agenda as it has been presented. There is no consensus on this issue at this point, so we will take the time to get all of the questions answered that people have quite legitimately asked about the legal ramifications, so that ultimately, hopefully, we can come to a consensus.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
The list is growing again. I'm going to ask one more time, to use Mr. Holland's word, whether we can use the “elegant solution”—and just so that you know, it was not my idea. We had some wonderful legal minds around the table who proposed doing that, namely, going in camera to ask the questions to cover the legal areas and then coming back and making the decision publicly.
I'll just put that out there again if anybody would like to proceed that way. I'm just putting it out there as a possibility. If there is any objection to that, please voice it now.
Are we okay? Do we have consensus before we go that route?
Mr. Richards.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I know that I was—and I believe others were—speaking to that very point.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I understand. I'm looking for consensus because that's normally how we do things. It is a tradition that I want to make sure remains.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
I understand and I think what we're saying is that there are pieces that tie all together. I think to make a decision about one element of this just won't work. I appreciate the suggestion and I know you're trying to get there, but I don't think—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, so we don't have consensus about going in camera. Very good.
Mrs. DeBellefeuille now has the floor. She will be followed by Ms. Petitpas Taylor, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Deltell and Mr. Julian.
Mrs. DeBellefeuille, go ahead.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As you know, for as long as I have been part of the BOIE, I have always sought compromise and tried to mediate when there were opposing suggestions or positions. So I am deeply saddened by Mr. Holland's request to force a vote. I know he has an important job. I understand that. He knows that I am empathetic and understanding of the fact that he has that job and that the incident that happened on April 14 deserves to be discussed by the BOIE. I don't deny that.
I am deeply troubled by the fact that he is trying to use the BOIE for political purposes to make these discussions public, when all opposition parties have already made it very clear to the BOIE that they want to thoroughly discuss this issue in camera. How will the Chair decide that this discussion is legal in nature, but another is not?
We need to take the time to discuss this incident in a portion of the meeting in camera that is on the agenda. There is no question of hiding anything. The incident is well known. An apology has been made to the House. The Speaker has made his ruling. Now we want to study the incident further. It is scheduled on the agenda; that shows that the BOIE wants to discuss it.
It is not appropriate to call for a vote and break with the important customs of the only body in Parliament that is supposed to be non-partisan, to remain calm and to handle difficult situations. I repeat, the incident is very important, I am not denying that.
I call for calm. I, for one, wish to discuss this thoroughly during the in camera portion. I don't want Mr. Holland to think that I'm trying to hide anything. However, even faced with the incident of April 14, we can't afford to set precedents that would be detrimental to the proper functioning of the BOIE and its performance. Even though we have strong opposition in the House of Commons, strong government, and good debate, the BOIE is our non-partisan bulwark for dealing with the toughest things.
I call for calm. Please, let's stop this discussion, let's not go to a vote, and based on the agenda, let's go in camera to discuss this item, as it was scheduled. No one is refusing to discuss it. No one is refusing to make decisions. What is being refused, and it seems pretty clear, is that we handle this matter in this way, because it involves all kinds of issues, some of them legal.
I would very much like to see Mr. Holland reverse his decision and not call a vote. It would be really distressing if the BOIE were used for political reasons. I'm sure that is not his original intent, so I would ask him to reconsider his request.
Results: 136 - 150 of 1310 | Page: 10 of 88

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