Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Stockwell Day Profile
CPC (BC)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-2, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the States of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), the Agreement on Agriculture between Canada and the Republic of Iceland, the Agreement on Agriculture between Canada and the Kingdom of Norway and the Agreement on Agriculture between Canada and the Swiss Confederation.
View Jay Hill Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among all parties and I would like to state that I am very pleased with the cooperation that the opposition parties provided for this. I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 27, 2008, the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings to permit the Minister of Finance to make a statement; after the statement a member from each recognized opposition party may reply for not more than 15 minutes; after each recognized opposition party has replied, or when no member rises to speak, whichever comes first, the House shall resume consideration of the business before it prior to the interruption; and that all questions necessary to dispose of any ways and means motions related to the said statement may be put on Monday, December 1, 2008, at the end of government orders provided that, for the sole purpose of introducing a bill based upon the said ways and means motion, the House thereafter revert to the rubric, introduction of government bills, after which the House shall adjourn to the next sitting day.
View Stephen Harper Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, it is a long-standing parliamentary tradition for the Prime Minister to present pro forma legislation that asserts the right of the House of Commons to present legislation and, following in the practices adopted in some legislatures and in some of our provincial assemblies, I am proposing today to actually table an actual document that asserts that right.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2008-11-19 15:26 [p.13]
Mr. Speaker, dealing with Bill C-1 in the proceedings at the opening of a Parliament is largely a symbolic gesture, as described in Marleau and Montpetit, to assert Parliament's right to act as it sees fit quite apart from what may or may not be in any Speech from the Throne.
Unfortunately, with the gesture the Prime Minister is making, there was no preliminary consultation with the opposition parties about what the government had in mind. We spent a good portion of the day yesterday talking about the importance of consultation, inclusion and reaching out to all members of the House to involve them in the proper procedures of this place to try to establish a better atmosphere and a more conducive feeling among members to work together on important topics of the day.
While the process that the Prime Minister is now proposing may not change anything in substance, I would on this occasion like to ask for two things. First, the assurance of the Prime Minister and, indeed, from the Chair, that this gesture does not change anything in substance since we have not had any opportunity to be consulted in advance or to examine the precedents that might exist in the provinces. I would like that assurance.
Second, I ask for the general assurance of the House, in the spirit of goodwill trying to make this place work better for all of us, that there is a sincere effort made at advance notice and consultation so this kind of awkward point does not need to arise again.
View Stephen Harper Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I can certainly give all assurances that this does not change any of our practices. In fact, it merely provides an actual hard copy documentation of our long established practices as is done elsewhere.
I would just point out that the tabling and first reading of all bills in the House of Commons is not debatable.
View Jay Hill Profile
CPC (BC)
Just very quickly, Mr. Speaker, because I do not want to belabour the point, but I am sure the hon. House leader for the official opposition is well aware that we made the text of this available to his office at 12:30 p.m., some three hours ago.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2008-11-19 15:29 [p.14]
Mr. Speaker, there is a new element involved in this and that is, as I understand the motion that you read, you are seeking the approval of the House for the bill to be printed. That has in fact never happened before and it must be clear that nothing of substance is changing by this new procedure. Otherwise there should have been notice and consultation.
View Peter Milliken Profile
Lib. (ON)
The Speaker made a mistake. I have read the words “be printed” into the motion because I always say it that way. I did not read it carefully, I was just babbling.
Accordingly, the words “be printed” should not have been included in the motion. The order is not to be printed.
The Prime Minister tabled a document after the motion had been carried. In my view the motion that should have been put to the House, and I was going to stand and correct the record but I was waiting for these points of order to sort themselves out, should have only been as follows. I think I did it in French, if I am not mistaken.
“That the bill be now read the first time.” Nothing more. The other words usually follow. I simply said it all at once.
I apologize to the House for my blunder. There is no bill being printed. We have followed the practice of the past except that there has been a document tabled.
I am sure the point by the hon. House leader for the official opposition will be considered if there is something irregular in the tabling, but the Prime Minister is free to table whatever he likes. The Chair will get back to the House.
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