Pursuant to Standing Order 81(18), the House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Goodale (Wascana), seconded by Mr. Proulx (Hull—Aylmer), — That a special committee of the House be hereby established to undertake an immediate study of all relevant issues pertaining to prorogation, including the circumstances in which a request that Parliament be prorogued would be appropriate or inappropriate, and the nature of any rule changes (either by way of the Standing Orders or legislation or both) that may be necessary to avoid any future misuse of prorogation;
that, as part of this study, the committee take into account the specific proposals for new rules pertaining to prorogation offered by the Leader of the Opposition, including: (a) a requirement that the Prime Minister give Parliament written notice in advance of any request to prorogue, together with his/her reasons therefor; (b) a requirement that there be a debate in the House of Commons after any such notice is given, but before any request for prorogation is made; (c) a requirement that the express consent of the House of Commons be obtained at the conclusion of any such debate if (i) fewer than 12 months have passed since the last Speech from the Throne, (ii) the requested prorogation is for a period of more than 30 days, or (iii) an issue of confidence is outstanding before the House; and (d) a provision that allows committees of Parliament to continue to function during any prorogation; and
that the special committee report to the House no later than June 23, 2010.
The House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment of Mrs. Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine), seconded by Ms. Fry (Vancouver Centre), — That the motion be amended:
(a) by adding after the words “during any prorogation” in section (d) the following:
“that the special committee also take into account any report on prorogation that may be forthcoming from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and provide an analysis of the consequences of the use of prorogation as a device to avoid accountability or to silence voices that may wish to express disagreement with the government;
that the committee consist of 11 members which shall include five members from the government party, three members from the Official Opposition, two members from the Bloc Québécois and one member from the New Democratic Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the Official Opposition;
that the committee have all of the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders;
that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Whip of each party depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party’s members of the committee no later than June 23, 2010;
that membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2)”; and
(b) by deleting the words “June 23, 2010” and substituting the following:
“November 2, 2010”.
The question was put on the amendment and it was negatived on the following division:
YEAS: 98, NAYS: 141