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Results: 1 - 15 of 229
View Andrew Cash Profile
NDP (ON)
View Andrew Cash Profile
2015-06-04 10:09 [p.14564]
Mr. Speaker, following the overwhelming support that my motion received to ban unfair pay-to-pay bank fees, I would like to seek unanimous consent for the following motion. I move that it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Finance that it have the power to expand the scope of Bill C-59, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015, and other measures, in order to protect consumers by banning all pay-to-pay practices by banks operating in Canada.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2015-06-04 10:09 [p.14564]
Does the hon. member for Davenport have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2015-03-31 10:05 [p.12571]
moved:
That it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that, during its consideration of Bill C-51, An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, the Committee be granted the power to expand the scope of the Bill in order to: (a) ensure that the government works with Canadian communities to counter radicalization; and (b) enhance oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2015-03-31 10:06 [p.12572]
Mr. Speaker, the proposed motion of instruction by the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster is actually out of order, I would submit, because it should be accompanied by a recommendation from His Excellency the Governor General.
Standing Order 79(1) instructs:
This House will not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appropriation of any part of the public revenue, or of any tax or impost, to any purpose that has not been first recommended to the House by a message from the Governor General in the session in which such vote, resolution, address or bill is proposed.
I will put to you, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what this proposed motion seeks to do in its instruction.
The purpose of Standing Order 79(1) is to incorporate into our Standing Orders and thus put within the jurisdiction of the chair the requirements of section 54 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which was known as the British North America Act back when I was growing up, and section 54 reads very similarly to Standing Order 79(1):
It shall not be lawful for the House of Commons to adopt or pass any Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill for the Appropriation of any Part of the Public Revenue, or of any Tax or Impost, to any Purpose that has not been first recommended to that House by Message of the Governor General in the Session in which such Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill is proposed.
This requirement extends to motions of instruction in respect to bills. It is quite clear, as it says there, that it is not limited to simply bills. It says “any Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill for the Appropriation of any Part of the Public Revenue”.
Page 754 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, is actually quite authoritative and quite definitive on this. It refers to a motion of instruction, which is what we are dealing with here:
A motion of instruction will also be ruled out of order...if it extends the financial prerogatives of the Crown without a royal recommendation for that purpose.
At this point it is already quite definitive that it is the case in fact that the member cannot move that absent a royal recommendation, and there is, of course, no royal recommendation forthcoming for the purposes he is asking the committee to amend the bill on instruction from the House.
Following this citation offered for that authority, one can trace this proposition back to a ruling of Mr. Speaker Fitzroy of the United Kingdom House of Commons given on February 4, 1930, and recorded at column 1721 of the Official Report.
Coming back to Canada, let me quote citation 596 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, 6th edition, with respect to how legislative amendments intersect with the requirement for a royal recommendation:
The guiding principle in determining the effect of an amendment upon the financial initiative of the Crown is that the communication, to which the Royal Recommendation is attached, must be treated as laying down once for all (unless withdrawn and replaced) not only the amount of the charge, but also its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications. In relation to the standard thereby fixed, an amendment infringes the financial initiative of the Crown not only if it increases the amount but also if it extends the objects and purposes, or relaxes the conditions and qualifications expressed in the communication by which the crown has demanded or recommended a charge.
In this particular motion for instruction, both elements of it would contemplate an additional charge. Setting up an additional oversight agency would obviously create additional expenses for the government, an additional charge on the public purse. Similarly, new programs of the type that are contemplated, above and beyond those which already exist for counter-radicalization, would also involve new charges, so in that sense, both aspects of the motion of instruction would require a royal recommendation. The committee would not be in a position to be able to amend it to create these powers without a royal recommendation. There is no such recommendation, and I think it is quite clear that none will be forthcoming.
I would submit that as a result, it is quite clear that both elements proposed are beyond the objects and purposes contemplated by the Governor General in His Excellency's recommendation as it exists on Bill C-51. There is a royal recommendation there, but not for these additional powers that the motion for instruction seeks to establish.
A former principal clerk of the House, Michael Lukyniuk, wrote the article “Spending Proposals: When is a Royal Recommendation Needed?” which appeared in the Spring 2010 edition of Canadian Parliamentary Review. This passage from page 30 speaks to the situation we face with the motion of the NDP House leader:
To apply a consistent and objective approach to each case, the Speaker is guided by two basic principles: that the terms and conditions of the royal recommendation cannot be expanded upon, and that a new and distinct request for expenditure must be accompanied by a royal recommendation.
It continues:
Terms and conditions: The royal recommendation states that an appropriation of public funds must be made “under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out” in the bill to which it is attached. The terms and conditions of the royal recommendation are a specific expression of the financial initiative of the Crown and amendments may not propose measures which go beyond these qualifications.
That is what I see is happening here. The article continues:
New and distinct requests for expenditure: This refers to measures which propose spending and are not supported by any existing statute. When considering a bill or amendment, the Speaker reflects on whether some entirely new activity or function is being proposed that radically diverges from those already authorized. The simplest examples are bills which propose the establishment of new offices, agencies or departments. Speakers have consistently ruled that such measures require a royal recommendation.
In this case, the committee is being asked to go in the direction of establishing an entirely new agency of oversight. That would require a royal recommendation. The member comes to the House with the motion absent such a royal recommendation.
Later in the article, Mr. Lukyniuk writes at pages 32 and 33:
When a legislative proposal envisages a new role or function for an existing organization or program, a royal recommendation is required because the terms and conditions of the original royal recommendation which created that organization or program are being altered.
It continues:
In the first situation, the terms and conditions that established an organization or program are being altered so that a new and distinct authorization for spending is being permanently created. This initiative must be accompanied by a royal recommendation.
Paragraph (a) of the NDP House leader's motion speaks to amendments which would “ensure that the government works with Canadian communities to counter radicalization”. Though ill defined as to who and how, it certainly speaks to a new and distinct element to be added to the statute book through Bill C-51. In any event, my hon. friend the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and his officials within the public safety portfolio, one which I also had the privilege of leading at one time, have been working and continue to work hard on developing and seeing through strategies to prevent Canadians from being radicalized by violent ideologies.
Meanwhile, paragraph (b) contemplates amendments which “enhance oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies”. Again, this sounds like a new purpose for Bill C-51, either as a new or enlarged purpose for either an existing or new government entity, which was not contemplated in His Excellency's recommendation. Of course, as the House well knows by now, the key new powers in the anti-terrorism act, 2015, are subject to judicial review and to prior judicial authorization. In other words, this will be the role of judges and our courts, and there is no better authority to review these matters.
Legislative provisions similar to what is proposed in paragraph (b) of the motion have previously been seen as turning on the financial initiative of the crown. For example, earlier this session, the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra proposed Bill C-622, an act to amend the National Defence Act (transparency and accountability), to enact the intelligence and security committee of Parliament act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, which is almost identical to what is being sought here. Certainly, if we are to discern or divine from the repeated public statements of the opposition, that is exactly what it is seeking to do in this case.
On October 8, 2014, the Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole made the following statement at page 8414 of the Debates:
As members know, after the order of precedence is replenished, the Chair reviews the new items so as to alert the House to bills that at first glance appear to impinge on the financial prerogative of the crown.
He continues:
Accordingly, following the September 23, 2014, replenishment of the order of precedence with 15 new items, I wish to inform the House that there is a bill that gives the Chair some concern as to the spending provisions it contemplates.
It is Bill C-622...standing in the name of the member for Vancouver Quadra.
I would add that neither that hon. member, nor any other member, rose in the House on a point of order to make submissions rebutting the presumption established by the Chair at that time. Therefore, here we have a clear case in this Parliament in which the ruling has come from the Chair in which you sit, Mr. Speaker, that an effort to achieve something, like this motion seeks to achieve by way of a private member's bill, could not proceed without a royal recommendation. The same would apply to this motion for instruction.
Similar legislation was introduced by the previous Liberal government, when Bill C-81, the national security committee of parliamentarians act, was introduced in 2005. I will note that when the Liberals sought to establish a parliamentary committee with oversight, they never carried through with it, but it was proposed. It was not a bill they saw worthy of finally passing, but it was proposed.
However, they did, with that bill, have a royal recommendation. There was a recognition, certainly by the Liberal government of the day, to take the step that this motion for instruction seeks to take. Even if it is to be a committee of parliamentarians, that step would be a new initiative that would require a royal recommendation, again, one that is absent in this motion. Clearly, the Liberals think that this sort of step is properly accompanied by a royal recommendation.
The financial initiative of the Crown in its constitutional standing, which I cited at the opening of my argument, has even been considered by our highest court. For example, in the unanimous 1991 judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference Re Canada Assistance Plan, Mr. Justice Sopinka wrote:
Under s. 54 of the Constitution Act, 1867, a money bill, including an amendment to a money bill like the Plan, can only be introduced on the initiative of the government.
The renowned constitutional expert, Peter Hogg, is unequivocal that the NDP leader cannot sidestep the Constitution with this cynical motion. On page 314 of the Constitutional Law of Canada, fourth edition, Professor Hogg writes:
There is of course no doubt as to the binding character of the rules in the Constitution that define the composition of the legislative bodies and the steps required in the legislative process.
In closing, what the NDP leader is attempting to propose here is not just out of order, it is in fact unconstitutional. Though we normally say that constitutional questions are beyond the purview of the Chair, this is an important exception. Indeed, it falls to you, Mr. Speaker, to find that this motion is out of order.
Page 837 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, O'Brien and Bosc, addresses the Speaker's role on this type of unique matter of constitutional legitimacy:
The Speaker has the duty and responsibility to ensure that the Standing Orders pertaining to the royal recommendation, as well as the constitutional requirements, are upheld. There is no provision under the rules of financial procedure that would permit the Speaker to leave it up to the House to decide or to allow the House to do so by unanimous consent. These imponderables apply regardless of the composition of the House.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, the authorities are quite clear that the motion before you is out of order and cannot be put to the House.
I understand that we are at a point where your decision on this is fairly significant and important because of timing, because the committee is already at the point of contemplating amendments in moving forward on that. As such, although this motion was put on the order paper some time ago, by delaying moving it, you are a little bit wedged, if I can put it that way, by the timing selected by the opposition House leader.
Therefore, I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that under the circumstances, if you do feel it necessary to suspend proceedings for a brief period of time in order to contemplate this issue in order to render your decision before allowing debate on this motion to proceed, we would understand and recognize that you have been put in a very difficult spot in terms of timing and that such a step may be necessary.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2015-03-31 10:21 [p.12574]
Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of sympathy for the government House leader. He would have seen the motion of instruction, and it is important to cite at this point a motion of instruction. The bible that governs us, O'Brien and Bosc, not always followed by the Conservative side of the House but followed very exactly on this side of the House by the official opposition, says the following:
Once a bill has been referred to a committee, the House may instruct the committee by way of a motion authorizing what would otherwise be beyond its powers, such as, for example, examining a portion of the bill and reporting it separately, examining certain items in particular, dividing a bill into more than one bill, consolidating two or more bills into a single bill, or expanding or narrowing the scope or application of a bill.
As you know, Mr. Speaker, being no stranger to a motion of instruction, a motion of instruction may be moved in the House even after a committee has begun its deliberations on a bill. The government House leader sees this, knowing full well that this motion of instruction is perfectly in order, and he has to construct an argument. I have a lot of sympathy for him, which is why he, basically, created the massive paper tiger out on the front lawn of the Centre Block.
He tried to say that the motion of instruction says things that it does not. He referred to an agency and government spending. As you know, Mr. Speaker, what it says is very simple, that the committee be granted the power and that the scope be enlarged on this particular bill:
...to expand the scope of the Bill in order to: (a) ensure that the government works with Canadian communities to counter radicalization; and (b) enhance oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies.
It is a permissive motion of instruction, it is not obligatory. That is, unfortunately, the word that the government House leader neglected to mention that makes the difference between this being in order or not. Very clearly, this motion of instruction is in order.
One has to ask why the government House leader just took 20 minutes of House time to try to stop a debate that would have taken perhaps half an hour or 45 minutes. The reality is, Mr. Speaker, as you know, there are two elements that the government House leader is acutely aware of, and that is why he wants to try to shut down this debate.
The first element is public opinion. When Bill C-51 was initially proposed by the public safety minister, public support was in the range of 80%. That has dramatically fallen as debate has continued in committee. Now a minority of Canadians support the bill and a majority of Canadians disapprove of the bill. One of the key elements to that, of course, is the lack of oversight.
The other element that the government House leader is acutely aware of is the fact that 45 out of the 48 witnesses who appeared in committee said there needed to be enhanced oversight. This includes 25 of the 28 Conservative witnesses, where the Conservatives said they were their witnesses and would hopefully reflect the Conservatives' point of view on Bill C-51.
This is what was discussed in committee. This motion of instruction ensures that the committee, in a permissive way, can look at enlarging the scope of the bill. This motion of instruction is absolutely in order and I think we can disregard the paper tiger that was constructed by the government House leader. He tried to imagine a motion of instruction that would be out of order and he has very effectively argued against that motion of instruction that he imagined in his mind. What he imagined in his mind is quite different from what we have put forward on paper. I would ask, Mr. Speaker, that you simply do what is the right thing in this case, which is to rule the motion of instruction in order so we can get on with the debate that Canadians are looking for.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2015-03-31 10:25 [p.12574]
Mr. Speaker, it was not that long ago when the government attempted to change a different bill in terms of its scope, when it was brought before the House. The government needs to realize that it cannot have it both ways.
Back then, the government argued that it could use a private member's bill to take Canadian citizenship away from people who have dual citizenship. It had to deal with terrorism and other issues. The government then brought that issue to the floor of the House and argued why it felt it was important to change the scope. That was the intent of the private member's bill.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. There is a huge demand out there that the government be sympathetic and act upon some serious amendments in regard to Bill C-51. Now members of the committee are looking at the scope and whether or not some of those changes might be able to be made.
For example, the leader of the Liberal Party and members of the Liberal Party have been very clear that we want to ensure that there is oversight. That is of critical importance. We want to institute mandatory legislative reviews. Again, this is something that is very important to Canadians and the Liberal Party.
We want to narrow the overly broad definitions that are being put forward in Bill C-51. Again, this is an issue that is very important to all Canadians. It is something that we in the Liberal Party have been advocating at the committee stage and during the debates inside the House.
What we do not want is for the government to use the issue of scope at the committee stage. We do believe there is merit to the motion here today, so we can express some of the concerns I just put on the record. I do not do that lightly. The leader of the Liberal Party and my caucus colleagues, particularly our critic, have been sitting through committee, listening to the presentations at committee, where we are hearing that there is a real need for change and amendments at the committee stage. The concern is that the government is not going to tolerate a number of those changes by indicating that they are beyond the scope of the legislation.
At the end of the day, we do believe that there is some merit to having the debate today on the NDP motion that has been put before the House. We would encourage you, as the Speaker, to allow that debate to occur so that Canadians can be better served in regard to the many concerns that have been addressed with respect to Bill C-51. A number of the amendments are not only being brought forward by the Liberal Party, but I understand they are also being brought forward by the New Democratic Party.
We do not want these amendments to be ruled out because of the scope of the legislation. This is a very important issue for the Liberals at the very least and, I would suggest, other opposition members and all Canadians.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2015-03-31 10:29 [p.12575]
Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the comments from the House Leader of the Official Opposition and from the member for Winnipeg North. While the comments were very interesting, neither of them actually addressed the point of order I raised. Both of them spoke to the question of whether this motion was out of order because of expansion of the scope of the bill. This is not the issue that I have raised. I have not spoken to the question of scope of the legislation whatsoever.
What I have spoken to is the absence of a royal recommendation. It is a fundamental principle in our system of legislative government in the Westminster system that the question of establishing any new spending, any new obligation upon the government that would require the expenditure of funds such as expanded oversight, which is proposed by this, or new programs for counter-radicalization above and different from those that already exist, would require a royal recommendation. Both of these would be new. That is the reason they are in this amendment. As such, they are not things that are currently contemplated in legislation and, as such, to establish them, since they would place a charge upon the Crown, would require a royal recommendation. This is the point and the issue I am making, not one with regard to scope.
The citation from the big green book from the House Leader of the Official Opposition is all very good, were I to be standing up here and saying that the motion for instruction was out of order because it sought to expand the scope of the bill. That is not what I am standing here saying. I am saying it is out of order because it lacks the necessary royal recommendation to carry into effect that which it seeks to have the committee do for the expanded oversight and the additional new programming that it seeks regarding radicalization. I have also said that I am aware of no such intention on the part of the government to bring forward such a royal recommendation.
Therefore, without any response from them to the royal recommendation argument, it is quite clear that I have laid before you, Mr. Speaker, what I think is quite a black-and-white case as to jurisdiction and as to constitutionality, and the motion is simply out of order. It is seeking to have the committee establish new charges upon the Crown, new expenditures that it does not currently have the authority to do and for which there is no royal recommendation.
View Mauril Bélanger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mauril Bélanger Profile
2015-03-31 10:31 [p.12575]
Mr. Speaker, I have always believed that a royal recommendation is required when it is a private member's bill that introduces legislation that would incur Crown expenditures. However, if a government presents a bill, which is what we are talking about with Bill C-51, is not the royal accord to spend money implicit in that? I am rather baffled here that we would have that kind of an argument to oppose a motion such as the one that is before us today.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2015-03-31 10:32 [p.12575]
I will go first to the opposition House leader; he was standing first. If the government House leader wants to argue some of these points, I will give him the floor again.
The hon. opposition House leader.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2015-03-31 10:32 [p.12575]
Mr. Speaker, this is very clearly a delaying tactic on the part of the government. Why are the Conservatives so concerned about having a debate around oversight in this House of Commons and having a motion of instruction? Why are they so concerned about that? Canadians who are watching on television right now should be asking the question as to why they are so concerned with oversight when so many of their own witnesses before the Bill C-51 public safety committee actually said we need more oversight.
I just wanted to counter what is the paper tiger that the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has created. He has created this massive paper tiger that has nothing to do with the motion of instruction. He talks about programs. He talks about agencies. This is all a figment of his own imagination.
The royal recommendation argument, for a number of reasons including the argument that the member for Ottawa—Vanier has just raised, is absolutely irrelevant. The idea that there are agencies and programs in this motion of instruction simply does not hold water. It is easy to refute the government House leader because he has created a motion of instruction that does not exist.
What is before us now is perfectly in order, and I hope the government will stop its delaying tactics and allow us to have the debate on oversight on Bill C-51.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2015-03-31 10:34 [p.12575]
Mr. Speaker, first, with regard to the hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier, I will remind him that royal recommendations on government legislation are not implicit; they are actually explicit. The Crown has to decide to provide a royal recommendation, which applies to what is proposed in the bill.
With regard to the opposition House leader, it is he who said that the reason he is seeking the royal recommendation is that the current bill does not do these things. It is his own words that make the case for the fact that it is a new charge. He is seeking to have things done that he said are not done now. If his case is that the government already does provide enhanced oversight and has all the funding for it, and that the government already does the counter-radicalization program and the funding is there for it, then he need present no amendments. There is no need for this motion for instruction. That is not his case. He has said in his own words that these are things the bill does not do. That is why he is bringing them forward. These are new charges that are being created. These are not things that, if they are new, can be done without the expenditure of funds. In both cases that is what they require.
He may say that the government, in trying to defend the integrity of our system of controlling finances, is merely trying to delay. It is not surprising that an NDP member would make the case that expenditures should be allowed to happen in any way anyone wants, at any time, without paying any attention to the rules that have been in place for decades—nay, centuries—to protect the prerogative of those expenditures and protect the taxpayers. They are at the level of constitutional protections. I know the NDP members would love to be able to run roughshod over the Constitution, over the prerogatives, over the royal recommendation, over all these conventions. They would love to be able to run roughshod over them to increase spending at any time. The fact is that these are very important institutions, conventions, and requirements of a constitutional nature. They are well beyond conventions; they are of a much higher order than that. They are, in fact, constitutional.
This is a matter of great seriousness, and I have heard absolutely nothing from the opposition other than arguments that in fact support the case that what they are asking for is not covered by any royal recommendation and therefore that this motion seeking to give instructions to the committee is out of order.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2015-03-31 10:36 [p.12576]
I will very quickly hear the hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier and the opposition House leader, and then likely at that point I will have heard enough.
The hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier.
View Mauril Bélanger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mauril Bélanger Profile
2015-03-31 10:36 [p.12576]
Mr. Speaker, would it not be accurate to believe that the bill, which is a Crown bill—a government bill is a crown bill—ipso facto has the royal support for expenditures?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2015-03-31 10:37 [p.12576]
Mr. Speaker, what we are considering here is that the committee be granted the power to expand the scope of the bill in order to ensure that the government works with Canadian communities to counter radicalization and enhance oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies.
The government House leader has basically invented a fictional new motion of instruction and has brought forward arguments to counter that fictional motion of instruction. That is not what is before the House and that is not what you are being asked to rule on.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2015-03-31 10:37 [p.12576]
I thank all hon. members for their interventions on this point. I thank the hon. government House leader for raising it.
As I read the motion of instruction, it does seem to me to be a permissive instruction; it is not a prescriptive instruction—that is, telling the committee exactly how to accomplish the aims of it. Were the motion to be adopted, it would be up to the committee to decide if it wished to exercise the powers given to it by the House and how it would do so.
What is clear to me is that, in widening the scope of the bill, the committee would still be limited by the other rules of admissibility in relation to amendments, including Standing Order 79. Clearly in that regard, the committee cannot adopt an amendment that violates the financial prerogatives of the Crown. However, it may well be that the committee may find a way to accomplish the goals stated in the motion of instruction without infringing on the royal recommendation.
I do not believe the Chair should prejudge what steps the committee may take. Even though the government House leader was making arguments about what public statements may have been made, I do not know that that would put the Chair in a position to rule this out of order just based on those statements alone. As I said, it may well be that the committee would find other ways to accomplish what is set out in the motion without infringing on the royal recommendation.
For that reason, I believe the motion is in order, and I will allow it to proceed.
Debate, the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.
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