By Aaron Wherry - Friday, May 11, 2012 - 0 Comments
On the afternoon of January 26, 1971, Robert McCleave, the Progressive Conservative MP for Halifax-East Hants, rose on a point of order to complain about Bill C-207, the Government Organization Act. In Mr. McCleave’s opinion, the bill should not be read a second time, but rather be divided as it contained “at least seven distinct proposals or principles.”
I suggest to Your Honour that there is more than one proposal or principle involved in this bill, and therefore, having regard to the very ancient privilege of the House that members should not be asked to give simple answers to what are, in effect, several questions intermingled together, I ask Your Honour to take the position of ordering that the bill be divided when the vote comes so that honourable members have a chance to make a decision on each proposal.
A discussion—including contributions from revered parliamentarians Allan MacEachen and Stanley Knowles, among others—ensued. After various members had had their say, Speaker Lucien Lamoureux ruled. It was this ruling that Young Stephen Harper invoked when he objected to the Liberal government’s budget implementation act in 1994.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
And Kenney’s nickname
John Baird wondered about the PM’s outfit
Before Stephen Harper surprised the audience at the National Arts Centre’s gala fundraiser by playing the piano and singing a Beatles song, he was enjoying drinks at 24 Sussex with his wife, Laureen Harper, Transport Minister John Baird, and the PM’s former head of communications Sandra Buckler. Baird and Buckler didn’t know the PM was attending the gala, let alone that he would be performing. Ironically, notes Mrs. Harper, while at the house “my husband was playing the piano—dressed in black like Johnny Cash—and John said to Sandra, ‘He really should play at one of these events.’ Sandra agreed and it was the toughest moment of my life to keep my mouth shut.” Baird did think it was odd that the PM was all in black and that he at one point opened the door himself and told them all to get going, pretending he was staying behind. Baird tried to say something like “We aren’t in a rush at all.” As they left 24 Sussex, Mrs. Harper spotted the van that had the band in it. The musicians and PM had it planned so that they’d all head over together, undercover, for the surprise.
U.S. skimps on the water
Toronto Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett testified in front of the U.S. Senate. She was there to talk about why in Canada, in her words, “we pay less [for health care], live longer, and don’t have as many infants die in their first year of life.” The experience wasn’t quite like testifying in front of a Canadian Senate committee, she says. For example, in the U.S., Bennett was given a small bottle of water. In Canada there are glasses and pitchers. “I’m a big water drinker,” noted Bennett, who had to pace her sipping during her testimony because of the small amount made available. She also periodically forgot to turn her microphone on and off. In Canada, it’s someone else’s job to turn mikes on and off during committee hearings. Bennett had to explain to the Americans that Canada has a publicly funded health insurance system “and not socialized medicine—[that] as a family doctor I was not a public servant.” After testifying, she was taken to the U.S. Senate dining room for lunch, where she had some “pretty delicious crab cakes.” Continue…