House of Commons (Legislative Report)

By Ouellette, Bibiane | Canadian Parliamentary Review, Autumn 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

House of Commons (Legislative Report)

Ouellette, Bibiane, Canadian Parliamentary Review

On May 13, 1999, during debate under Government Orders, Gilles Perron (Riviere-des-Mille-Iles, BQ) announced that he would take one minute of his allotted time to observe one minute of silence. The Member wished to protest against the government which imposed a time allocation motion on a bill. Deputy Speaker Peter Milliken reminded the House that the usual practice was that the Speaker calls for a minute of silence upon the death of someone, but not during a debate. A debate arose after which the Deputy Speaker sought unanimous consent to give the member the opportunity to observe one minute of silence. Consent was denied. Later, Denis Coderre (Bourassa, Lib.) rose on a point of order to state that the Member for Saint-Jean (Andre Bachand, BQ) was trying to do the same thing as he was taking one minute to straighten up his notes. The Acting Speaker (Ian McClelland) said that the Member should be allowed to organize his thoughts as he sees fit.

On May 25, 1999, during the debate for third reading of Bill C-78, Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act, John Williams (St. Albert, Ref.) rose on a point of order to challenge the procedural validity of the Bill since it was not accompanied by a Ways and Means motion. The Member argued that since the Bill empowers the government to deposit pension surpluses from contributions or investments into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, it could therefore affect any Canadian citizen as a potential employee of the government, and therefore, it should be treated as a charge upon the people. After debate, Speaker Gilbert Parent ruled that the Bill would not affect the Canadian public in general but a "defined and limited group of people" and consequently a Ways and Means motion was not necessary and the Bill was properly before the House.

On June 9, 1999, at the beginning of Government Orders and the debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-55, An Act respecting advertising services supplied by foreign periodical publishers, Mark Muise (West Nova, PC) rose on a point of order concerning the admissibility of the amendments, stating that they were beyond the scope of the Bill. The Deputy Speaker, referring to previous decisions, stated that the Speaker cannot unilaterally rule out of order amendments from the Senate, but that the House must ultimately make the decision.

Questions of Privilege

More questions of privilege were raised regarding the premature disclosure of committee reports to the media. On June 7, the Speaker returned to the question of privilege raised by Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.) regarding the disclosure by Gary Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Island, Ref.) in the Globe and Mail, of information from an in camera meeting of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Mr. Lunn stated that he accepted responsibility for comments which could be construed as being in the report of the Committee and apologized to the House and to the members of the Committee. The Speaker accepted the apology and closed the matter.

On June 8, the Speaker returned to the questions of privilege of Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, Ref.) and Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, BQ) about an article in the Toronto Star in which the Member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Nick Discepola, Lib.) allegedly commented on the content of a sub-committee report before it was presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and to the House. The Member admitted that he gave an interview to the Toronto Star, but stated that he was expressing his personal opinion and that he had not disclosed the contents of the report. Randy White (Langley-Abbottsford, Ref.) argued that since the House in its entirety was incapable of solving the problem of leaked committee reports, he asked that the Speaker intervene directly and set measures to solve the problem. The Speaker stated that it was unusual for the Chair to give any directions to the House, that it was the decision of the House to debate the matter and that, as Speaker, he would react as soon as the House made a decision.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

House of Commons (Legislative Report)


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?