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House of Commons.

The First Session of the Forty-Second Parliament continued through the late months of 2017. The information below covers the period from October 16, 2017, to December 13, 2017.

Legislation

On October 20, 2017, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North), sought and obtained unanimous consent for Bill C-60, An Act to correct certain anomalies, inconsistencies and errors and to deal with other matters of a non-controversial and uncomplicated nature in the Statutes of Canada and to repeal certain Acts and provisions that have expired, lapsed or otherwise ceased to have effect, to be deemed read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on the same day.

On December 6, 2017, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett (Toronto--St. Paul's), Cathy McLeod (Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo), Christine Moore (Abitibi--Temiscamingue), Marilene Gill (Manicouagan) and Elizabeth May (Saanich--Gulf Islands) spoke at second reading to Bill C-61, An Act to give effect to the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. Pursuant to an Order made November 30, 2017, the Bill was then deemed read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on the same day.

Financial Procedures

On October 24, 2017, the Minister of Finance, Bill Momeau (Toronto-Centre), made a statement concerning the government's Fall Economic Statement. Mr. Morneau laid upon the Table a Notice of a Ways and Means motion to amend the Income Tax Act and requested that an Order of the Day be designated for the consideration of this motion. He also laid upon the Table a document entitled "Progress for the Middle Class: Fall Economic Statement 2017". Pierre Poilievre (Carleton), Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont--La Petite-Patrie) and Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette) made statements in reply.

On December 4, 2017, during consideration of the motions to concur in the Supplementary Estimates (B), the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole, Bruce Stanton (Simcoe North). It studied Bill C-67, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. The committee reported the Bill to the House without amendment.

Procedure & Privilege

Points of Order

On October 31, 2017, the House Leader of the Official Opposition, Candice Bergen (Portage--Lisgar), rose on a point of order requesting that the Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 69.1, divide the question, for the purpose of voting, on the motion for second and third reading of Bill C-56, an Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Abolition of Early Parole Act. This was the first time Standing Order 69.1 was invoked since being adopted by the House on June 20, 2017. Pursuant to this new Standing Order, the Speaker has the power to divide the question at second and third reading when an omnibus bill has no common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked. On November 7, the Speaker delivered his ruling, concluding that, since the subject matter of the bill as a whole dealt with the treatment of inmates, the various parts of the bill were related and that, consequently, the question on Bill C-56 should not be divided.

On November 3, 2017, Mr. Poilievre rose on a point of order, pursuant to Standing Order 69.1, regarding Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, requesting that the Speaker divide the question, for the purpose of voting, on the motion for second and third reading of the Bill. This was the first time section (2) of Standing Order 69.1 was invoked since being adopted by the House on June 20, 2017. New Standing Order 69.1(1) states that the Speaker may divide the question at second and third reading when an omnibus bill has no common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked. However, Standing Order 69.1(2) shall not apply if the bill has its main purpose the implementation of a budget and contains the provisions announced in the budget presentation or in the documents tabled during the budget presentation. On November 8, 2017, the Speaker delivered his ruling, in which he determined that the question at second reading should be divided into five groups of clauses.

On November 8, 2017, Mr. Ste-Marie, rose on a point of order regarding the participation of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Morneau in the vote on motion M-42, relating to tax avoidance. Mr. Ste-Marie alleged that, due to a private interest, the Minister had contravened the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. On November 30, 2017, the Speaker ruled that it is the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner who has the sole authority to apply the dispositions of the code and to investigate any alleged conflicts of interest. He noted that Members have the ability to refer matters to the Commissioner under Section 27 of the Conflict of Interest Code, and that the House may direct the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry by way of a resolution. The Speaker also reminded Members that he may not unilaterally deprive a Member of the right to vote.

Questions of Privilege

On November 2, 2017, Peter Kent (Thornhill) rose on a question of privilege concerning allegedly misleading statements made by the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (Papineau). On November 20, 2017, the Speaker delivered his ruling, noting that the Chair is only able to review the statements made in a proceeding of Parliament, and cannot comment on what transpires outside of the deliberations of the House or its committees. Additionally, he reminded Members of the three conditions that must be met to find that a Member has misled the House: a statement must be misleading; the Member must know in making the statement that it is incorrect; and finally, there must be proof that the Member deliberately intended to mislead the House by making the statement. The Speaker concluded that upon review of the evidence before the House, he did not find that there was a prima facie question of privilege.

On November 24, 2017, Erin O'Toole (Durham) rose on a question of privilege concerning statements made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly (Ahuntsic-Cartierville), which were alleged to be contradictory statements to those made by a former nominee for the position of Commissioner of Official Languages, Madeleine Meilleur. On May 17, 2017, Murray Rankin (Victoria) raised a point of order about the adequacy of consultations about Ms. Meilleur's nomination. On December 5, 2017, The Speaker delivered his ruling stating that he had previously ruled on the matter on May 29, 2017, and confirmed that ruling on May 31, 2017. He now considered the matter closed.

On December 5, 2017, Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge) rose on a question of privilege regarding statements by the Minister of Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier (Gaspesie-Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine), regarding the disability tax credit. Mr. Kelly alleged that the Minister had misled the House when, in a response to questions about the eligibility criteria for a disability tax credit, she stated that neither the criteria nor its interpretation had changed. Mr. Kelly argued that this statement contradicted information found in an internal memo from the Canada Revenue Agency, dated May 2, 2017, obtained through an access to information request, which suggested that aspects of the eligibility criteria for the tax credit had changed. On December 12, 2017, Ms. Lebouthillier added her comments to the question raised by Mr. Kelly. At the time of writing, the Speaker had not yet provided a ruling.

Procedural

On October 24, 2017, Diane Finley (Haldimand--Norfolk), rose on a point of order regarding the size of paper that is allowed in order for a petition to be certified. Having had her previously submitted petition rejected for reasons of paper size, as required by Standing Order 36(1.l)(c), Ms. Finley argued that by rejecting her ledger-sized petition, she was prevented from representing her constituents, some of whom have disabilities. The Speaker referred to House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition, at page 1166, stating that the rule is well established, but also suggested that the matter could be raised with the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. On October 25, 2017, Ms. Finley sought and received unanimous consent to present a petition concerning discrimination which was not in the format as prescribed by Standing Order 36(l.l)(c). The petition had not been certified by the Clerk of Petitions due to its paper size.

On October 25, 2017, Rheal Fortin (Riviere-du-Nord), sought and obtained unanimous consent for the following motion: "That, given the scale of the #metoo campaign, launched by female and female victims of sexual assault and harassment, that the House call on the Senate to consider the victims and promptly adopt Bill C-337, Judicial Accountability through Sexual Assault Law Training Act." This was the first time that a Twitter hashtag (#) was used in the content of a motion.

On November 6, 2017, the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented a report to the main Committee advising that Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels), standing in the name of Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo-Ladysmith), should be designated nonvotable. On November 9, 2017, Ms. Malcolmson and the House Leader of the New Democratic Party, Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby) appeared as witnesses before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to explain why Bill C-352 should be votable. At the end of the meeting the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs adopted a motion concurring in the report of the Subcommittee and ordered the Chair to present it to the House. Consequently, on November 20, 2017, Chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Larry Bagnell (Yukon), presented the 46th report of the Committee which advised that Bill C-352 should be designated non-votable. Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), Ms. Malcolmson filed a motion with the Speaker appealing the decision of the Committee. On November 23, 2017, the Speaker reported that he was satisfied that her appeal met the requirements of Standing Order 92(4), and directed that a secret ballot be held on November 28, 2017, and November 29, 2017 on the following motion: "That Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels) be declared votable." On November 30, 2017, the Speaker declared that the motion was defeated, and accordingly, the Bill was declared non-votable. This was the first time that the appeal process outlined in Standing Order 92(4) had been used.

On November 30, 2017, the Speaker named Blake Richards (Banff--Airdrie), for disregarding the authority of the Chair, pursuant to Standing Order 11(1)(a). The Speaker ordered the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove Mr. Richards and ordered the Member to withdraw from the House for the remainder of the day's sitting.

Committees

On October 25, 2017, Mr. Bagnell, Chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented the 42nd report of the Committee entitled "Review of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Commons: Sexual Harassment," in which the Committee examined the Code and recommended changes to it.

On November 30, 2017, Mr. Bagnell, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented the 48th report of the Committee entitled "Services and Facilities Provided to Members of Parliament with Young Children," which examined the services and facilities made available to members of Parliament with young children, specifically to members of Parliament who are pregnant and/or raising young children.

Private Members' Business

On December 12, 2017, the following private members' bills were granted Royal Assent:

* Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief)

* Bill C-277, An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada

* Bill S-211, An Act respecting National Sickle Cell Awareness Day

* Bill S-236, An Act to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation

Other Matters

Statements

On November 6, 2017, the Speaker made a statement commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the first Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau (Papineau), the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Scheer (Regina--Qu'Appelle), Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette--Temiscouata--Les Basques), Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher--Les Patriotes--Vercheres) and Ms. May also made statements.

On November 9, 2017, in honour of Remembrance Day, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale (Regina--Wascana) made a statement in the House. Phil McColeman (Brantford--Brant), Irene Mathyssen (London--Fanshawe) also made statements. By unanimous consent, Michel Boudrias (Terrebonne) and Ms. May ,also made statements. The Speaker made a statement as well.

On November 28, 2017, the Prime Minister made a statement of apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Scheer, Mr. Caron, Monique Pauze (Repentigny) and Ms. May, also made statements. The Speaker also made a statement.

On December 6, 2017 in honour of the victims of violence against women, the Minister of Status of Women, Maryam Monsef (Peterborough--Kawartha) made a statement in the House. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport--Cote-de-Beaupre--lie d'Orleans--Charlevoix) and Ms. Malcolmson also made statements. By unanimous consent, Ms. Pauze, and Ms. May also made statements.

Members

On November 20, 2017, the Speaker informed the House that the Clerk had received from the Acting Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election of Richard Hebert (Lac-Saint-Jean).

On November 22, 2017, the Speaker informed the House that the Clerk had received from the Acting Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election of Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River--Parkland).

On December 4, 2017, the Speaker informed the House that a vacancy had occurred in the Electoral District of Chicoutimi--Le Fjord by reason of the resignation of Denis Lemieux.

Moment of Silence

On October 18, 2017, the House observed a moment of silence in honour of Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip.

On October 24, 2017, the House observed a moment of silence in honour of the anniversary of the deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, which took place in October 2014.

On December 6, 2017, the House observed a moment of silence in honour the victims of the Ecole Polytechnique shooting.

Other

On November 29, 2017, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole to welcome Canada's 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games athletes. The Speaker welcomed them onto the floor of the chamber and congratulated the athletes on behalf of all Members. The Speaker also mentioned that there was agreement between all parties to have the names of the athletes who were present to be printed in the Debates.

On December 13, 2017, the House approved the appointments of Raymond Theberge as Commissioner of Official Languages, Nancy Belanger as Commissioner of Lobbying and Mario Dion as Conflict of Interest and Ethics Comissioner.

Andrea Mugny

Table Research Branch
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Title Annotation:Legislative Reports
Author:Mugny, Andrea
Publication:Canadian Parliamentary Review
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 22, 2018
Words:2580
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