Canada day vancouver island 2048 xcel testing sites
Click here to ENTER
I am looking at my colleagues in the Bloc.
– Debates (Hansard) No. 60 – April 28, () – House of Commons of Canada
Yesterday the Prime Minister gave a very clear message. The message was very simple. Opposition parties will do what they do, but from the Government of Canada’s perspective, the Prime Minister, cabinet and Liberal caucus, at times with the support of the New Democratic Party and, even at times, members from the Bloc, the focus is on Canadians first and foremost. We have seen that in the many different budgetary actions that have been brought forward, whether it is actions to support seniors, which there are many of, or whether it is actions that have been ongoing to support small businesses in Canada.
For example, there is Bill C-8 , which is the one we have not been able to pass. These are the types of things Canadians want us to get through the House of Commons. Canadians want to see a House of Commons that is much more productive on the issues of the day. That is what I believe we, as a government, will continue to focus on. I am concerned about the cost of housing, inflation, health care and long-term care. I am concerned about the dental plan and making sure we can put that into place.
I am concerned about pharmacare and the cost of pharmaceuticals. I am concerned about our environment, and I am looking at initiatives such as the greener home build program and zero-emissions incentives, such as the incentives for electric cars and purchasing. The other day, one of the Speaker’s colleagues raised that the Province of Quebec is providing an incentive for people to buy electric vehicles. Now, Ottawa is doing the same, which is an additional incentive. Back then, I had put forward that this was the type of debate that I would love to see all members participate in.
We all come from provinces and territories, and can all contribute to that. I take what the province of Quebec is doing as a very strong positive. My challenge to Heather Stefanson, the Premier of Manitoba, would be to do something of a likewise nature.
Those are the types of debates that we could be having. At times, we see that debate taking place. That is all a part of allowing for the extension that we are requesting through this particular motion. How many speeches have been given here in this place where we talk a great deal about Ukraine and the war that is taking place in Europe? We have already had take-note debates on it this year. I believe we have also had an emergency debate, but it could have been two take-note debates.
The point is that those were debates about a matter that Canadians are generally concerned about, as they are about a multitude of different economic issues. Canadians want to know what the government is actually doing going forward. If there is a silver lining, in terms of the line of questioning that the Conservatives have been putting forward to the government, I would suggest it is that they do not really have much to say about the budget itself, which tells me—.
I am trying to figure this out now. Is the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader actually trying to filibuster his own motion here? I just need to know because I am hungry. I could go for lunch and then come back later. All I am trying to do is convince the member opposite, his colleagues, my friends in the Bloc and the NDP, why it is so important that we recognize that this is a motion that every one of us should be supporting.
By supporting this motion, what we are saying to Canadians is that we are prepared to work the extra hours. Who in here does not want to work the extra hours?
I am prepared to work the extra hours. Who in here does not want to enable more debate time on legislation and budgetary matters? Members can put their hands up if they do not want to. I believe that all members in the House are open to it. Having said that, why would someone not support the legislation?
It was raised in the form of a point of order earlier, in regard to the issue of quorum calls and dilatory motions. We have seen these types of things on the floor of the House of Commons on many occasions, whether it is one day or extended periods of time. Even to be able to initiate the extension of the number of hours in a day takes more than the government.
We have to go back to an opposition party. It could even be the House leader of the official opposition. These are the types of things that are built into the motion. I mentioned that there are two aspects to the motion.
We have the special joint committee dealing with medical assistance in dying. I know my friends in the Bloc have been following that discussion very closely, and understandably so. I believe my friends in the Bloc initially wanted to see this put off until October or to not recess before the summer.
There are opportunities for us to ensure that the report comes back to Parliament. We are now setting a date within this motion that it be October 17, , in terms of getting that final report. Given the nature of that special committee, and the requests and comments coming from members on all sides of the House regarding it, it seems to me that is also something that could be supported in the motion.
If we continue to go through the motion, there are some simple, straightforward things. When members choose to stand up, they should tell me specifically, even in the question and answer session, what would cause someone to vote against the motion. When that is done, keep in mind and reflect on the fact that these types of motions have been introduced by different levels of government and by different prime ministers, including Stephen Harper.
If they could do that, it would be very helpful. I think making that amendment to the Standing Orders is a very good thing. Are there members in the chamber who would oppose that? I suspect members would actually support that aspect of the motion. I would suggest that is something all members of the House would support.
I suspect that some members might have some concerns with respect to the clause that allows a minister to move a motion to adjourn the House until Monday, September 19, The motion does not require notice and has to be voted on immediately. There could be some concerns in regard to that. It is interesting that the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has made it clear that a motion like this would not be moved before the last week the House sits in June.
We have no intentions of that. The House leader has made that indication. I have full intentions of being here on June I plan to participate and be engaged until the very end. Whether it is myself or the member for Kingston and the Islands , I suspect one of us will always be inside the chamber because we want to ensure, as much as possible, that people are engaged in the debates that are taking place.
However, that cannot happen without the support of at least one other recognized party in the House. The opposition House leader is speculating as to who that might be. I will make a suggestion. There is nothing wrong with the member opposite deciding to become engaged.
John Brassard :. Damien Kurek :. I will ask the parliamentary secretary to continue his speech and to clarify his thoughts on that part of the motion. However, if he is moving an amendment to his government’s motion, I am sure the House would be happy to entertain that, but I would not want the issue to be confused as we debate this very important motion, which has a significant impact on the way this place, the centrepiece of Canadian democracy, is able to do business.
I hope we can get absolute clarity on this issue before we continue with the debate. Chris Bittle :. I know I enjoy hearing from the hon. The Conservatives will have an opportunity to respond, and I look forward to hearing that, but all of this back and forth is truly just debate. When it comes to the content of the motion to which the other member has alleged, that is not us debating the substance. That clearly has to do with whether the House is able to accurately debate the substance of this motion, so it has nothing to do with the perspectives of different parties.
It has nothing to do with the debate on the motion itself, but truly the substance at the heart of what creates the foundation for any debate within this place. At the end of the day, there is a motion that has to be moved by the government. That motion does not require other members or opposition parties to sign off on it before it is actually introduced.
The member needs to be aware that if the government moves a motion to adjourn for September 19, at the end of the day a vote takes place once it is moved. I suspect that getting that motion passed is going to require more than the government of the day. It is going to require at least one other opposition party. Hopefully that provides clarity, but the member can seek more clarity during questions and answers.
I made a commitment to the opposition House leader in terms of the length of my comments. I said we would have to take a look at who speaks longer. My commitment was to speak less than the official opposition House leader.
I know he was concerned about that, so this is really important to me. I want to be able to speak less than the opposition House leader. I am going to wind up my comments. In an appeal to all members, but specifically members of the Conservative caucus, I want you to think in terms of what it is that is within the motion.
The motion does two things, in essence. One thing is that it extends the special standing committee to deal with MAID, and I trust no one is opposing that. If you are, please stand and let me know or come over and tell me that you oppose that. To the best of my knowledge, that is not the case. I am going to believe that is not a reason why someone would vote against this. The other thing that the motion does is it extends the number of hours in which members on all sides of the House will be able to debate.
That is something that historically and traditionally has taken place in provincial legislatures and here in Ottawa. Why would someone not allow for more time for debate, unless there is of course a hidden agenda behind it? I think there is a responsibility to tell us why it is. As opposed to just being critical, tell us why it is specifically that you feel you do not think we should be working a few extra hours in the evening.
Tell us why it is that we should not be allowing more members to be able to participate in debate. If you vote against this legislation, I suspect that any future argument you have, asking for more time to debate on legislation the government brings forward, will lack credibility. As members will know, I hang out in this place a lot. I will be sure to remind members of the way in which they voted on this motion if they end up criticizing the government because we are not allowing more time for debate.
We are doing what other governments have done. Let us put Canadians and the people of Canada first. Let us allow the motion to pass. Let us put in a little more effort working in the evenings, allow for more debate, and allow for that special committee being dealt with.
Always remember it is a minority government, and Canadians expect us all to work co-operatively. Working co-operatively ensures there is a lot of accountability and transparency. It does not mean that you have to vote with us all the time, but it does mean that there has to be recognition that there is a legislative agenda. I did not even go through the details of all the legislation, but I can assure you there is a lot of good stuff that we are waiting for.
I want to make a couple of points. He spoke specifically about Bill C The bill was first introduced on December 15, It got approval at second reading on February 10, went to committee and got committee approval on March 1, and now it is at report stage.
We have had four weeks off in that time, yet the government suggests that somehow the opposition is obstructing. The other thing is that on April 4, the government put on notice a motion of time allocation. It was the NDP that refused to support that notice of time allocation. In fact, the government has mismanaged its legislative agenda, and that is why we are seeing the hammer fall as it is with Motion No. The member spoke about specific examples of other governments. The Standing Orders are very clear that there is a specific timeline in which we can extend debate.
Those are in the Standing Orders, and the schedule was agreed to by all of the parties. Can the member give examples, specifically, of where other levels of government, as he says, actually did this: extending hours at this point in time?
I would be very curious and interested to hear about that. In order to have a legislative agenda get through, we need that sense of co-operation. I hope that helps the member better understand the importance of working collaboratively. It does not mean colleagues must listen to everything we say and obey everything we say.
No, there is give-and-take. I suspect that if there was more give-and-take between the government and the official opposition there would probably be a higher sense of gratification on all sides of the House, as we want to try to do what is right for the people of Canada.
We have worked hard at parliamentary committee and saw that we would not have enough time to do all the work that such a sensitive topic demands. The other parties, some of which were not convinced, dragged their feet. The government decided to include this in a motion that muzzles the opposition, when it was unnecessary to do that since Standing Order 27 allows sitting hours to be extended.
That is like the government asking us if we like honey and us saying yes, but then the government adds arsenic to the honey and tells us to eat up. Why did the government choose to muzzle the opposition when it could have simply used Standing Order 27? I do not understand. For the life of me, I believe that a vast majority of Canadians would not object to Parliament sitting until midnight.
While I was in the Manitoba legislature, I would sit until two o’clock in the morning at times. Sometimes there is a need to work. I think about today being a very important day, the National Day of Mourning.
Today, on April 28, we know that workers, families, employers and people in our communities gather together at events, including in my riding, in Courtenay and in Port Alberni. They are held across the country, so that we remember those who have lost their lives on the job or who have been injured on the job, and we renew our commitment to creating safer workplaces.
The government, in terms of hiring people with disabilities, is the worst for any equity group in the federal public service. I have to raise this today, that with the federal accessibility legislation now in place and employment for persons with disabilities identified as a key priority, recognizing the explicit interface between disability, poverty and employment, I need to know this: What are the federal government’s key strategies in accommodating employees who acquire a mental or physical health impairment and who are unable to carry on their duties?
Maybe the member could speak to that and the importance of that, because I have not seen enough on the action that needs to happen. On the issue of people with disabilities, our minister has been very proactive in trying to bring forward progressive legislation to deal with some of these issues.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done. I am sorry, but I just do not have the details to provide to my friend that I know he was hoping for. Can the member for Winnipeg North share, should this motion pass, whether this would allow time for critical legislation like the Canada disability benefit act to be introduced and debated? Unlike government legislation, there is programming that takes place with private members’ bills, which will ultimately see it brought to the floor, debated and voted upon.
I do not know where that particular issue is at, in regard to Private Members’ Business, but I do hope to see a healthy discussion on the guaranteed annual income, because I know there is a great deal of interest out there. While he does not mind if we are here all night, which is not a problem, the fact of the matter is that they will be putting on their pyjamas as soon as the House rises here at , and not even tuning into Zoom.
Here we go again. I honestly do not know what to say after hearing the parliamentary secretary to the leader of the government in this chamber. As I said in my question to him, what I heard was a lot of justification with little accountability on why the Liberals are introducing what I would deem a draconian motion, Motion No. There is nothing under this coalition with the NDP, even up to the point and in advance of the coalition being announced, that the Liberals have not been able to put forward as part of their legislative agenda.
So far, of the 18 bills that have been introduced, eight have received royal assent. There is no question that there may be some other outstanding pieces of legislation that the government wants to put forward, but there is no reason why it cannot do that in the time specified in the Standing Orders and the schedule that was agreed to by my predecessor and the other House leaders last year.
The Standing Orders talk about the possibility of extending hours. We have seen that. I have been here for six and a half years, certainly not as long as my hon.
She has seen it all, through government and now through opposition. There has never been an example like this, at least in the history of this Parliament, and I suspect in the history of legislatures across the country in all of the provinces and territories, where on April 28 we are debating a motion that gives the government ultimate power to extend hours at this particular point of this parliamentary session. I am going to talk later on about the consequences of that, because I think there are significant consequences to the administration of this place, to the lives and the health, mental and physical health, of those who work in this place, but what I want to focus on initially is why we are at this point, a point that I believe we certainly do not need to be at.
I have heard from the government House leader and the parliamentary secretary that they are focusing on Bill C-8 as one of the reasons why they are proposing this ham-fisted Motion No.
The reality on Bill C-8 is that, as I said earlier, it was only introduced on December It received second reading in February, went to committee in March and came back to the House at report stage. There were some other issues of debate that were required as a result of its coming out of committee. In fact, I recall having a conversation with you, Mr.
Those concerns were certainly moving through the process. Within that timeline specifically on Bill C-8 , there are some important measures, measures that have already been implemented, such as purchasing rapid tests. The government has the authorities, when it issues a ways and means motion, to accelerate the spending within the piece of legislation.
When we look back, we have had four weeks where we have been off. I am sure we all agree to that timeline. This is effectively a mismanagement of the legislative agenda as to why Bill C-8 has not been put forward. As I said in my question to the parliamentary secretary , and this is important to understand because Liberals have been accusing us, the opposition, of obstructing this piece of legislation, it was on April 4 that the government put a notice of time allocation on the Notice Paper.
That was the week of the budget. The budget was introduced on April 7. The motion was not moved. When I asked the government House leader why he did not move the motion, the reason he gave me was that the NDP did not want to move that motion. How are we obstructing that?
If the Liberals’ coalition partners did not want to move a notice of time allocation, then their issue on Bill C-8 is not with the opposition but with their coalition partners, because they did not want to move the motion.
If the parliamentary secretary wants to, he can confirm that with the government House leader. Hopefully he gets the truth, but that was the basis of the conversation that we had. In fact, it was brought up at the House leaders’ meeting the next day.
The government suggests, specifically on Bill C-8 , that somehow we are obstructing the passage of that piece of legislation. Yes, we had some people who wanted to speak to it when it came out of committee, because there were important issues. However, I would suggest, respectfully, that it was the Liberals’ coalition partners who prevented the notice of time allocation from being moved, which, as I said, was introduced on April 4.
We could have been dealing with this at third stage even back before the budget in that first week. We certainly share those concerns, particularly from an agriculture standpoint as it relates to the carbon tax rebate and taxes. I know there are teachers who are waiting for that bill.
It is not lost on me, and it should not be lost on anybody in the House, that it is the Liberals and their NDP coalition partners who are stopping this. The other thing that is concerning, and I know the member brought this up as well, is the issue of medical assistance in dying and the extension within this motion on medical assistance in dying, which would push it to October There was a requirement for a legislative review to be held on this bill.
We went to an election in September. We were reconvened around November. However, it was not until the end of March, in the timeline that is required for this legislative review, that the government even started talking about the Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying and the requirement for this legislative review. In fact, this review was required to be done legislatively by May, so we had discussions.
I understand my colleague from the Bloc and I understand as well that there are very serious issues with medical assistance in dying that are required to be looked at, but with regard to the legislative review that was to be done in May, we actually agreed, as the opposition, to extend the timeline by another six weeks.
It was not our fault that the government delayed the legislative review. It pushed it off until March, and then we agreed to go beyond the extension. Initially, I was a little concerned about it, but we do not control the legislative agenda in this place. It is not the opposition’s job to sit here and determine what is going to happen in this place.
It is the government’s job. When we were in government, we determined the legislative agenda that was to occur in this place.
The Liberals’ failure, not just on Bill C-8 but on medical assistance in dying and the required legislative review and the timeline related to that, is their fault. It is completely on them, and that is why we agreed. I respected the concern of the Bloc House leader , and I know there are very deep and personal issues within the Bloc caucus on the issue of medical assistance in dying. That is why we agreed to extend the timeline by another six weeks and to provide the committee with what we believe was an appropriate amount of time, six weeks extra, to deal with this.
We actually also committed to having the committee sit more than what was regularly scheduled. That would have required moving resources from other committees to this committee, but we were committed to allowing that extended timeline to June 23, which all of us, including me and our party, agreed to.
Again, that is the government’s prerogative. We do not control the administration of this place. We do not control committees. We do not control virtual sittings. We do not control translation.
We do not control the administrative staff, nor do we control the clerks. It is all the government. We committed, in extending that deadline, to work and to be available during that timeline if extra sittings of the committee on medical assistance in dying were required.
We committed to get the job done, yet here we are. We are seeing now in this motion an extension to October There had to have been unanimous consent, because we had already agreed to extend it by six weeks to June Again, the government wasted time putting the committee in place. It took from the time we started sitting in November to the time it finally got around to talking about it in March, which it did so it would meet the requirements of the legislative timeline.
The other thing the government did was call an election last September. The House could have still been sitting.
We were only 18 months into that session of Parliament. We could have still kept going. The Liberals could have dealt with medical assistance in dying, or they could have dealt with other bills, such as Bill C-8 , within that timeline, but they chose not to. How is that our fault? How are we obstructing Parliament? How are we stepping in the way of the government’s legislative agenda, when its members, time and time again, fail to implement whatever is on their legislative agenda and fail to use the time and resources of the House in a manner that would allow them to get their job done?
That was the issue with medical assistance in dying. That is what happened, in case anyone is wondering why we are seeing that timeline in this motion.
I understand, as I said earlier, that it was important to my colleague, the House leader of the Bloc , and to those within the Bloc, to see the October 17 deadline extended beyond what we had all agreed to. Although I am disappointed by that, I certainly understand, based on my discussions with my colleague in the Bloc, why that is important to them. I do not think we have to put it in an omnibus motion in order to do that. We could have had further discussions, but I guess this was a way of handing some sort of opportunity to the Bloc to understand this motion, and that is okay.
I get that those things happen, because as I said, I realize how important this issue is to the Bloc. I know the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons wanted an explanation, and I just gave him one. We had all agreed to extend that deadline, and we did not see the reason, especially given the fact that we were willing to work with the committee to extend the hours. There was some talk that, during the break in May, that week after Victoria Day, we would have eight-hour sittings.
I spoke to our shadow minister about that, and it was an impossibility. It would have been eight hours a day sitting in committee dealing with medical assistance in dying when many of those resources could have been moved from other sources to deal with the medical assistance dying committee while the House is sitting.
That could have been done, but we thought that eight hours a day of sitting in that break week in May was an unreasonable request, and I think it was, because there were members on our side who had made plans with their families during that week, and because it is Victoria Day weekend here in Ontario, so some plans were already made.
We certainly could have worked together, but we are actually seeing a pattern of this type of activity happen. Members will recall Motion No. This is very different than that, because at the time there was strong consensus, agreement and alignment among the opposition parties. However, because there was that alignment, the government eventually did back down from that motion, at least some of the more destructive pieces of that motion.
This is different. Of course, the government has thrown a few nuggets to the NDP. We have seen that all that is required for NDP’s support in this unholy alliance and collusion, is just need to be thrown a few little nuggets and they will leap, because the Liberal Party effectively has the NDP in its hip pocket, to implement these types of motions.
It is quite concerning. There are extremely concerning aspects of this that really play into a pattern of what I would call a democratic decline in this country. We have seen this pattern over and over.
We saw it with Motion No. In fact, one of the first pieces of legislation introduced after the COVID crisis hit in March was an absolutely draconian piece of legislation from the government, and I am glad all oppositions fought it. Even the NDP fought it at that time because they had not yet formed this unholy alliance, but it fought this draconian piece of legislation, which would have given the government massive powers and massive overreach to suspend the activities of Parliament and tax Canadians without the approval of Parliament.
Can members imagine a government thinking it could take that on and actually affect that within a democracy like Canada. When I speak about this democratic decline, there are numerous examples over the course of not just during COVID but also prior to that, even with Motion No.
It is diminishing faith in our institutions and the respect that people have for our institutions, separating our institutions in a way that keeps them away from government politicization and government influence, yet the government continues to do that. The government is certainly doing this with Motion No. I want to go through and talk about some of the more concerning parts of the motion.
It does not just concern me as a parliamentarian seeing this diminishing of democracy happen in this country. There are examples, much like in some of the countries in eastern Europe where we are seeing it on a scale that is being measured, of the decline of democracy in this country.
There are measurements, and I will speak about that in a few minutes. I would suggest that Motion No. When we go through the motion, we see some of the things that the government has proposed. The motion reads:. On the day of the adoption of this order, the ordinary hour of daily adjournment shall be 12 a. Now let us think about what that means. A minister of the Crown, and it does not have to be the House leader, although the House leader is classified as a minister, but a minister could go to another party at p.
They need just one party, one recognized House leader, to agree. I wonder who that would be. I know that the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader said that I could agree to that, but there are certain provisions in this motion that I could never agree to, so why would I agree at p. Here is the scenario: The House is set to adjourn at p.
At p. What does that do to families? What does that do to MPs who perhaps have plans? It is one thing to do it during the normal, set schedule in the Standing Orders, but it is another thing to start doing it on April 28, which is today, because this would take effect if this motion passes.
What does it do to the administration of this place? What does it do to the clerks? They work hard, and they know they have to work hard, but one minute before the House is set to rise, the government and its buddies in the NDP can say that they want to keep everybody here.
They would want to keep the clerks here, the administration here and the pages here. Have people not been through enough throughout the course of this crisis? We have had to go through the extensions of the long hours in this place, the uncertainty and the impact on mental health, on families and on people’s lives, yet one minute before the House is scheduled to rise, they can suddenly extend it until midnight, and they can do that every single night if they want to.
How is that fair? How is that fair to a mom who works here who has kids at home who she needs to get home to, or to a father who works here who has kids at home who he needs to get home to? How about a husband and wife who work together, the partners and spouses who work in this place, having to work those long hours because the government is mismanaging its agenda and is not using its time effectively in this House?
What about the mental health impacts this would have? What about the drivers? What about the security guards? They will effectively be given a one-minute notice that they have to stick around this place. Come on. How ridiculous is that? The government can do it, as I said earlier, from the point this motion passes right through until June 23, or earlier if they decide that they are going to adjourn the House. Of course, another part of the motion is talking about proceedings on any opposition motion.
So, when it is government business, it is okay, we will extend the House, but not on opposition motion days. These are very valuable supply days that we get. However, on those days, we would rise at the appropriate time. There would not be any opportunity for us to extend beyond the normal sitting time, but there would be for government legislation. Perhaps we have an issue that is important to Canadians. Perhaps it is a geopolitical issue, financial issue or an issue affecting the health of Canadians that we want to bring forward and get consensus on in the House.
We would not have an opportunity to extend beyond the normal sitting time, but the government, with a one-minute notice and the help of its coalition buddies in the NDP, could extend the sitting time of the House every single day, including Friday. On Friday, we do the business of this place for this country and the House adjourns at p. However, at p. We can talk about the impact that this can have on families and the family unit, and the impact on the mental health and physical health of those who work to support this place.
This includes MPs, many of whom make travel plans on Fridays so they can go home to their constituencies. When they go home to their constituencies, they are going out to events on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, then working their way back here to Parliament by getting back on an airplane. Now the Liberals are suggesting that members of Parliament have to cancel their travel plans on a whim because they are not good at dealing with their legislative agenda and the schedule of the House, and they are going to keep us here until midnight on Friday.
I have sat here for six and a half years and have heard the NDP talk about a family-friendly environment in this place, about attracting more women to Parliament and about making sure that the lives of the people who work here and the lives of MPs are balanced so they can spend time with their families and can spend time in their constituencies.
However, if this motion passes today, the Liberals will push to extend the timelines to midnight every single day that the House is sitting with a one-minute notice, just one minute, including on Fridays.
I have no problem working Fridays. It is part of my job as the opposition House leader to be here on Fridays. However, I think it is absolutely unreasonable for anyone to expect, with one-minute notice, all of the administration, all of the support staff and the interpreters who work in this place to be here until midnight every single day, when the House starts at 10 o’clock in the morning, because the government mismanages its legislative agenda.
I have not even touched on the interpreters. At the Board of Internal Economy, we have been hearing about the impact that these virtual or hybrid sittings are having on our interpreters. We have seen an increase in injuries. Reports have been published that note a marked increase in the physical injury impact that this hybrid setting has been having on our interpreters. I have also talked about some of the other people who are going to be impacted by this.
If the government is that concerned about the health and wellness of the people who work here, including the interpreters, why would it even suggest extending until midnight every single day? It is because of its failure to impose its legislative agenda within the timelines that have been prescribed in the Standing Orders. This is also going to have an impact on committees, which I am going to touch on a bit later.
This will have an impact on the ability of the committees to do their work because of the shuffling of resources that will be required. It stands to reason that if we are going to go to midnight, we will have to take something away from somewhere, and the important work that is being done by committees will suffer.
Maybe that is the intent. Maybe that is what the government wants. Maybe it wants to take that work away from committees so it can further avoid accountability and transparency and we can further see the democratic decline that is happening in this country. This is a beauty. As I said earlier, after p. It has to be a joke; there is no other way to explain it.
The motion states:. That is just on unanimous consent. At least they have included the House leaders of recognized parties on some sort of unanimous consent motion that can be passed. However, what is interesting here is the constitutional obligation to have quorum in this place. What Liberals are saying in this motion is that after p. John Brassard: Mr.
Speaker, the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader just said to me that this has never been done before. It has never been done in a circumstance like this, and it has always been done with the agreement of all recognized parties through unanimous consent.
This is a motion the Liberals are ramming through Parliament, so yes, this has never been done before without the expressed unanimous consent of all the House leaders.
This does not take that into account; it imposes that on us. Let us think about how ridiculous this is. There is no quorum call, and members of the opposition take their responsibility and role as members of Parliament very seriously.
Just as it is a constitutional right to have quorum in this place, it is still a constitutional obligation on the part of the opposition to hold the government to account.
We take that role very seriously. The fact they are not allowing for quorum in this place means, effectively, that we can be here as an opposition and the Bloc can be here as an opposition to ask questions and debate government legislation, but government members do not have to be here.
They can literally be sitting at home doing nothing, watching This Is Us or the Blue Jays, while we and our colleagues in the Bloc, as opposition, are sitting here debating government legislation. The way this reads right now, when questions and comments come up we could be the only ones asking questions of ourselves on government legislation. This gives an indication of the programming of this place as a result of the motion.
It means, as we know because of the agreement we have all seen that the NDP and the Liberals have signed, that things are already programmed in this place. Government members do not want an opposition; they want an audience, and they are going to get it because they do not have to be here. They could be sitting at home in their pyjamas watching CPAC while we are here doing the work of the country and debating their pieces of legislation.
That is what this part of the motion means. With no quorum calls, there is no obligation for the government or the NDP to show up. I suspect the only two parties that will be showing up are the official opposition and the third party, the Bloc, because we are the ones who want to work. I am looking at my colleagues in the Bloc. Am I the only who thinks it is ridiculous that the government and the NDP can be sitting at home while we are debating their legislation and, in questions and comments, asking ourselves the questions the government should be asking in debate?
That is what the motion calls for. Speaker, the hon. I think Bloc members are actually smart and see how ridiculous this motion is. I think they do. I have dealt with the member for La Prairie and he is a pretty smart guy. He understands exactly what government members are doing, as we do.
They do not want an opposition; they want an audience. That is what they want. We have seen this pattern over the six and a half years that I have been here, since , and I have highlighted some of that stuff, whether it was Motion No. The government members seem to think they can ram anything through. We did have an election in September and the Liberals formed a minority government.
At the time, I believe the Prime Minister thought two things were going to happen. Number one, he thought people were going to throw rose petals at his feet for the way he handled COVID. That did not happen, obviously, by the results. Second, the Liberals knew very well what was going to happen in this country. They knew the economic crisis was looming. They knew the affordability crisis was looming, and the only way they could find cover from that was to hope for a majority government in September.
Of course, they were trying to provide cover for themselves, a cover that only a majority government would provide. It did not take long for them to find that majority government, did it? By throwing a few little crumbs to the NDP, giving them this and that to get support for at least the next four budgets, they have found that cover.
I have stood up here before on this, and I cannot express my profound disappointment in our friends in the NDP for giving the government the cover it sought in September during the election. I just cannot believe it. I sit here in question period and hear some of the questions coming from NDP members and just shake my head. How can they realistically say they are holding the government to account when they are supporting every aspect of what it does?
A climate change report that came out the other day called the government’s efforts on climate change a sham. It was the environment commissioner who said that, yet NDP members, who talk about being the guardians of climate, are sitting here criticizing the very people they are in cahoots with, the very government they are aligned with.
It does not make any sense, unless the only thing they can buy is a few little crumbs, which apparently is the case. I have talked about quorum and dilatory motions.
The motion also reads:. Again, the fact that the Liberals are mismanaging the legislative agenda in the House is the reason they have decided to take a fly off everyone’s forehead with an axe using this piece of legislation.
A all remaining motions to concur in the votes for which a notice of opposition was filed shall be deemed to have been moved and seconded, the questions deemed put and recorded divisions deemed requested. Again, this is just to accelerate or fast-track pieces of legislation. Much of that is power the government already has, but it is certainly more prescriptive in this motion to make that happen.
B the Speaker shall have the power to combine the said motions for voting purposes, provided that, in exercising this power, the Speaker be guided by the same principles and practices used at report stage. That is fairly self-explanatory. Then, of course, this is quite interesting:.
Reports that come out of committee come to the House for concurrence. As I said in a recent article that I was interviewed for, there are wide eyes on this place. There are people who watch the House of Commons who normally may not be engaged in committee processes or other processes. A perfect example of that was this morning, when we moved a concurrence motion on the WE Charity scandal.
The member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman moved a motion that it be referred back to committee, so the witnesses who had been deemed in contempt of the committee and a minister could come back to the committee, because that is what we want.
We want to get down to the bottom of the WE scandal and not obstruct, but make sure we are putting the government in a position of being accountable and transparent. The Liberals are actually moving that part of the procedural process into the 35th sitting day after interruption, which effectively means that we would not be able to move any of our concurrence reports on committee recommendations until after September.
On the issue of accountability and transparency, again we see the government providing itself with cover. Certainly its coalition partners in the NDP, by supporting this motion, are helping it to obstruct not just the work of committees, but also the work of Parliament, which again is seeing a further democratic decline in Canada.
We are seeing it again, so again there is this pattern. What does that mean? They can do this at any point from the day that this motion is adopted. It could be next week if things really start heating up. I look back at some of the scandals that the government has been involved in, particularly the Prime Minister , and by extension and by involvement everybody on that side who has provided cover and has continued to support the Prime Minister on all of these scandals, whether it was SNC-Lavalin, the WE Charity scandal or the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
It could happen the day that this motion is adopted. What it does is allow the government to prorogue Parliament without implementing prorogation.
That is what it does. I think it should, because the missing piece of its initial investigation was admitted by the Prime Minister in this place the other day: he did not grant himself approval, as the head of government, to take that trip. What if the RCMP decides that it is going to investigate? Think of the political heat of that issue. It may be something else. There are other things that I know are brewing, with respect to the government and the potential for scandal. Members know that. I can say that there are many people who are looking for those connections.
What if a scandal like that hits? What if there is another WE Charity scandal? The invocation of the Emergencies Act is a perfect example.
The Liberals are very good at couching things. As a former prosecutor, the Minister of Public Safety is very good at using his words. However, the government has already indicated that under the Emergencies Act, both at committee and through the judicial review that is legislated, the Liberals are going to sit there and are not going to allow cabinet confidentiality to be moved.
They are not going to allow those documents to be viewed. What if there is a brewing scandal with that? Then there is the Winnipeg lab scandal. What happened there? It was kind of funny yesterday that I got a call from the government House leader. There was no indication from him that he was going to do what he said he was going to do. We found out last night that, with or without the Conservatives and with or without the Bloc, the government was going to have the Liberals and the NDP form a committee to look at the documents from the Winnipeg lab scandal and determine whether anything was untoward in that.
It is like having the wolves looking after the hen house. They are already in cahoots. They are working together. The government House leader called me yesterday and I said to him to let me circle back, because I was not the House leader at the time that this happened. There was no discussion. There was no opportunity for us to work together to try to come up with some solution. The government House leader referred to a situation back in January, which I was being briefed on at the time that I found out this agreement had been made between the NDP and the Liberals, the wolves looking after the sheep, on this document.
I found out at that time that this was already a fait accompli. It was going to happen anyway, whether we agreed to it or not. The Liberals accuse us of the very thing that they engage in. That is obstructing the constitutional obligation of the official opposition party on the Winnipeg lab document.
The point is that, at any point from the time that this motion is introduced, the government can pull the plug on this place if things start getting bad or if it starts feeling the heat. If there is a political reason for the government not to allow Parliament to function, to not allow the opposition parties, and there are two of us that are holding the government to account, to do their constitutional obligation to hold the government to account, the Liberals can end that at any point if it gets too hot for them.
If that does not cause a concern or a problem, it is prorogation without prorogation. Members recall what the government did back during the WE Charity scandal. Things were getting close. Things were getting tight. The Liberals were feeling it. What did the Prime Minister do? He did the very thing he promised in he would never do, and that was to prorogue Parliament. He did it. Everything died at that point: all of the work of the committee and all of the reports.
That is why the concurrence motion this morning is so important. We have already asked, through a question of privilege, whether we can reintroduce the issues of contempt from the Prime Minister’s Office staff and, at that time, a minister of the Crown. We asked if we could reintroduce that, and through a point of privilege you ruled that it was not appropriate. I respect the Chair, and I respect the rulings.
That is fine. What other course of action do we have to hold this government to account? We tried this morning, through a concurrence motion of a committee report, to bring those people back to the committee, and why not?
What is wrong with being accountable and transparent? To the Liberal government, there is a lot wrong with it. This is why we are seeing this Motion No. The heat starts to occur as things start ramping up, and they typically do when Parliament is sitting. I will say that the issue of Public Health Canada using mobility data to determine process and health issues of Canadians without their knowledge happened during the Christmas break, but it is very rare in this place that during a two-week break period we are going to start seeing scandals.
It is only when we start getting down to the business of the House, when we are getting Order Paper questions back or we are getting access to information papers back, as is the case with the RCMP investigation. It was only because of the ATIP that we found out what the missing part, or the missing link, of the RCMP investigation was not to charge the Prime Minister with fraud over his multi-hundred-thousand dollar, illegal luxury vacation.
It was only after we got that ATIP back that we realized there was one missing element to the RCMP investigation, and that was whether the Prime Minister deemed himself the head of government, and whether he, as the head of government, gave himself permission to go on that trip.
Now, we have requested that the RCMP reopen the investigation, because it now has a piece of the puzzle that was missing at the time this was investigated. I know, because I sat here yesterday and I listened to the Prime Minister talk about these personal attacks. It is never about being accountable. It is always about justification with this Prime Minister. There is no statute of limitations on fraud charges.
If the Prime Minister committed fraud, with this new piece of the puzzle that has been found, then it is up to the RCMP to determine whether in fact those fraud charges should be laid against the Prime Minister for his illegal vacation, which the Ethics Commissioner already found and deemed to be against the Conflict of Interest Code.
That will be up to the RCMP. That is done because the House is sitting. It is not done because the Liberal Party and their coalition partners are sitting at home, because there is no quorum call. They are not even participating in the role of Parliament, and not even debating their own pieces of legislation. They are letting the opposition carry the water on all of this stuff.
It is effectively a war of attrition: That is what this motion is all about. That happens when this place is functioning, when democracy is functioning and when we are not seeing a decline in our democracy, which is the pattern we have seen over the course of the last six and a half years. If things get really hot and the government is feeling a lot of pressure, it could prorogue without prorogation.
I know what the Prime Minister is going to say and I know what his cabinet would say. The reality is that this is giving them exclusive and unnecessary power to basically take this place and shut Parliament down. There are a lot of issues, there is no question about it. There are a lot of issues that we are dealing with, not the least of which, as I mentioned earlier, is the affordability crisis.
There are some geopolitical issues going on around the world. There are issues related to our economy, inflation pressures, the housing crisis and the opioid crisis. All of those things are important issues to Canadians. August 31, — for a full listing of exhibits, click August 31st at this link on the Cohen Commission website.
August 30, — for a full listing of exhibits, click August 30th at this link on the Cohen Commission website. August 29, — for a full listing of exhibits, click August 29th at this link on the Cohen Commission website.
August 26, — for full listing of exhibits, click August 26th at this link on the Cohen Commission website. August 25, — for full listing of exhibits, click August 25th at this link on the Cohen Commission website.
August 24, — for full listing of exhibits, click August 24th at this link on the Cohen Commission website. August 23, — for a full listing of exhibits, click August 23rd at this link on the Cohen Commission website. August 22, — U pdated from the Cohen Commission website ; for full listing of exhibits, click August 22nd at this link.
Cohen Aquaculture Evidentiary Documents. Miller-Saunders to S. Riddell to A.
Deaths in Residential Care in Canada by facility – Google Диск – More on COVID testing
We have had to go through the extensions of the long hours in this place, the uncertainty and the impact on mental health, on families and on people’s lives, yet one minute before the House is scheduled to rise, they can suddenly extend it until midnight, and they can do that every single night if they want to. Maybe that is what the government wants. That is obstructing the constitutional obligation of the official opposition party on the Winnipeg lab document.