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Speech in Senate Chamber: First Report of Committee—Consideration in Committee of the Whole

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

First Report of Committee—Consideration in Committee of the Whole


On the Order:

The Senate in Committee of the Whole on the consideration of the first report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (Revised Rules of the Senate), presented in the Senate on November 16, 2011.

(The Senate was accordingly adjourned during pleasure and put into Committee of the Whole, the Honourable Donald H. Oliver in the chair.)

 


 

The Chair: Honourable senators, pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on May 17, 2012, the Senate is resolved into a Committee of the Whole to consider the first report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

The pages can give you copies of the Journals containing the report.

The business of this Committee of the Whole shall be conducted according to the following schedule:

During the initial portion of the meeting, the committee shall consider chapters five, six, seven, eight, and nine of the First Appendix of the report for a maximum of one hour.

During the second portion of the meeting, the committee shall consider chapters ten, eleven and twelve for a maximum of one hour.

Honourable senators, rule 83 states that:

When the Senate is put into Committee of the Whole every Senator shall sit in the place assigned to that Senator. A Senator who desires to speak shall rise and address the Chair.

Is it agreed, honourable senators, that rule 83 be waived?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: As I did last week, I would ask senators who intend to propose amendments to any of these chapters to do so now, if they wish.

[English]

The final consideration of the amendments will be suspended until we are disposing of the appropriate chapter. This will ensure that the committee is seized of the amendments should we run out of time.

After receiving the amendments, we will then proceed to debate the chapters. After having debated the chapters, we will deal with the motions necessary to dispose of them.

Honourable senators, are there any amendments, and is there any debate on Chapters Five to Nine?

Senator Tardif: I wish to propose an amendment to chapter 9, and I would like to ask the pages to distribute the amendment to all senators.

Based on discussions I have had with colleagues on both sides, I believe there to be a general sense of agreement with respect to this amendment. I would refer my honourable colleagues to Chapter Nine, which addresses voting.

Proposed new rule 9-6(2) is an attempt to clarify the final portion of present rule 66(3), which provides for a 15-minute bell for most non-debatable motions. New rule 9-6(2) specifies that when a standing vote is to be held on a non-debatable motion, the bells shall ring for 30 minutes.

At present, the normal practice of the Senate is to have a 60-minute bell if a standing vote is requested on a motion, regardless of its nature, debatable or non-debatable, unless the two caucus whips otherwise agree and then the Senate gives leave accordingly.

Since the changes to the voting rules were brought in, in 1991, it has been the unbroken practice in the Senate for the bells to ring for 60 minutes on all standing votes, even on non-debatable motions, unless otherwise agreed to. In fact, this practice has never been appealed to the Speaker and the Speaker has never made a ruling concerning the possibility of there being only 15-minute bells for non-debatable motions.

I think what has happened here is that, instead of changing the rules to reflect existing practice, the opposite has taken place. Existing practice is being replaced by a new-found interpretation of a rule that has never been applied.

In its report, the Rules Committee stated that the objective of the revision was to clarify the rules while avoiding significant changes in content. I would argue that proposed new rule 9-6(2) represents a substantive change.

For the reasons I have stated, I move:

That chapter nine of the First Appendix of the report be not now adopted but that it be amended by:

(a) renumbering rule 9-6(1) as rule 9-6, at page 74 of the Appendix (page 490 of the Journals of the Senate);

(b) deleting rule 9-6(2), at page 75 of the Appendix (page 491 of the Journals of the Senate); and

(c) updating any cross-references in the report and its appendices, including the lists of exceptions, accordingly.

The Chair: Honourable senators, it has been moved by Honourable Senator Tardif, seconded by Honourable Senator Carignan, that Chapter Nine of the First Appendix of the report be not now adopted but that it be amended by — shall I dispense?

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Chair: Honourable senators, this matter is this now lawfully before the Committee of the Whole. Is there debate?

Senator Stratton: Question.

Senator Joyal: Could the honourable senator provide additional explanation as to why she feels it is appropriate to propose the amendment, so that we know why we are accepting it?

Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, I think I have stated that. However, certainly I can again say that the standing practice has been to have a 60-minute bell. That has been the case since 1991. No distinctions have been made on that for debatable motions and non-debatable motions, except, of course, for a deferred vote, which has been a 15-minute bell. I think we should maintain the existing practice. This is not a technical change, but it is a fairly substantive change, and I think we should maintain the 60-minute bell. The whips can always agree that it will be a lesser amount of time.

Senator Joyal: That was going to be my second comment. The whips can always agree that it be a shorter period. It is the maximum period that we are maintaining in the rules.

Senator Tardif: That is correct.

Senator Kenny: Honourable senators, it seems to me that one of the important considerations on the length of any bell is whether senators can get here. If one goes back to 1991, there were relatively few senators in the Victoria Building then. To get from there to here is sometimes difficult if one does not allow a fair amount of time. Honourable senators might want to reflect on whether all of their members could arrive here in time to exercise their right to vote.

Senator Stratton: I think we just did that.

The Chair: Is there further debate?

Honourable Joan Fraser, Senator, The Senate of Canada: In response to Senator Kenny's point, which is a real one, the difficulties of getting here, particularly in winter, from the Victoria Building are well known and have created problems in the past. However, as written, this proposed amendment would allow the whips to determine a duration of the bells that would allow for people to get here from the Victoria Building. This may not explicitly address that question, but it certainly allows for the whips to make that determination.

Senator Robichaud: Question.

The Chair: Honourable senators, in this first hour, we are dealing with Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. Is there any more debate on these chapters?

Senator Cools: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to make on rule 5-7.

I move:

That the First Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be not now adopted, but that it be amended, in Appendix I, chapter 5, section 5-7,

(a) on page 47, by adding the following after paragraph (i):

"(j) raising a question of privilege"; and

(b) on pages 47 and 48, by re-lettering paragraphs (j) through (p), and any cross-references thereto, as paragraphs (k) through (q) accordingly.

The Chair: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore, that the First Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be not now adopted — shall I dispense?

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Chair: This motion is now before the Committee of the Whole.

Senator Cools: Mr. Chairman, this amendment will repeal rule 59(10). Perhaps we should put on the record what 59(10) is. Rule 59 is a classification of all those motions that require no notice to be moved. In other words, they may be moved forthwith. Rule 59(10) — and if I may connect it — is the most important and highest of our rights in respect of our privileges.

Perhaps I could begin by citing the last clause of rule 59. The point I am trying to make here is that this rule has been in our rules for well over 100 years, and it takes some thought to simply repeal it. If we look to the last item in that rule 59(18), it says:

(18) Other motions of a merely formal or uncontentious character.

To make the point, I would like to cite Arthur Beauchesne in his 1927 annotations Parliamentary Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada at page 117:

As a general rule every motion proposed in the House requires notice unless it is of a formal or uncontentious character, or raises a question of privilege.

Mr. Chairman, I am saying that until recently, genuine and valid motions of privilege were viewed as of an uncontentious character and were always supposed to be moved without notice.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to give a bit of what I call the pedigree of this motion. This is a rarely, almost never-used rule, and rightly so. It represents the ancient law and ancient privilege which commands that the first duty of senators is to uphold their privilege, that urgent motions for questions of privilege take priority, and that in certain defined and appropriate circumstances senators have an inalienable right and privilege to move such motions immediately without Notice of Motion.

Mr. Chairman, that rule, as it is articulated now, was first classified in 1906 when, as a result of a special committee on the operation of the rules, colleagues decided to classify all motions by notice; in other words, those requiring two days' notice, those requiring one day's notice and those requiring no notice. As you can see, rule 59(10) has been deleted from the new equivalent rule, which is 5-7. I believe it has been deleted in a most unfortunate way. In a very serious way, I want to call the attention of honourable senators to the fact that our privilege, that privilege, cannot be repealed by any Senate rule. That is a privilege granted to us, and by us by our Letters Patent. It is an inalienable privilege.

It seems that many people do not even understand that rule 59(10) is about a motion to put a question of privilege before the house. In actual fact, there has not been a debate on a question of privilege in this house for many years, that is a debate on a motion in respect of privilege. I lay that out by way of introduction.

Let us understand that the House of Commons' equivalent still stands in the very same language as it did 150 years ago and as it did in the legislative assembly. House of Commons Standing Order 48(1) states:

Whenever any matter of privilege arises, it shall be taken into consideration immediately.

The Senate also had such a rule in our rules since pre-Confederation, and did so in the old Legislative Council of the United Province of Canada.

Honourable senators, I am talking about the need for a motion on privilege in very rare circumstances. However, I would submit that those circumstances were present at the last Throne Speech when that young page unfortunately engaged in the most unfortunate and regrettable behaviour. Rule 59(10) is the motion to address those kinds of circumstances. I will repeat the circumstances for using rule 59(10): They are, affecting the Senate or senators directly, recently or suddenly arising, and needing an urgent Senate motion to take action to remedy, correct or resolve.

Rule 59(10) is not well known to senators. It has been invoked twice here in the last many years and on both occasions neither senator seemed to be really aware of or understand the rule that they were relying upon not knowing that they needed to move a motion.

Let us understand what rule 59(10) is all about. This rule is about that full phenomenon of this house being able to defend itself. It is all about this power — the contempt power as well — which defines Senate independence. That motion, in the appropriate circumstances, engages the plenitude of the Senate's inquisitorial, penal and judicial powers. It is a motion to be invoked rarely, but when those circumstances are there, there must be a rule that allows for it.

Mr. Chairman, it broke my heart when I sat and watched those circumstances at the last Throne Speech. Fortunately, they turned out to be benign, but similar circumstances could have been much more malevolent. I understood clearly that if I rose to move a motion, for example to authorize His Honour to take whatever action he had to take in respect of the matter, that no one would have understood what I was doing.

I sincerely believe that the proponents of this repeal of rule 59(10) misunderstand the rule. This is the fifth time in five years that a Rules Committee report has come to this Senate to repeal this very same rule 59(10). Four times I stopped it. Each time a report would come back and, without explanation, it would just reappear, and each time no senator debated it or understood it.

The Chair: I must tell the honourable senator that her 10 minutes is up on this motion and I have other senators who wish to debate this motion.

Honourable senators, I would like to advise you that for the discussion of numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, where the Senate has allocated an hour for us to be heard, we have until 3:58 p.m. to deal with 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

I now call on Honourable Senator Carignan, followed by Honourable Senator Tardif.

[Translation]

Honourable Claude Carignan, Senator, The Senate of Canada: I am glad that Senator Cools raised that point. We too are aware of the importance of questions of privilege. They are so important that we have suggested devoting an entire chapter to them, Chapter 13, wherein we propose a clear way to deal with questions of privilege. Questions of privilege must be raised at the earliest opportunity. Some situations, including those listed in Chapter 13-5, which states that:

If a Senator becomes aware of a matter giving rise to a question of privilege either after the time for giving a written notice or during the sitting, the Senator may either:

(a) raise it during the sitting without written notice . . .

Or delay raising it and give notice, as described in paragraph (b).

We are having discussions about this specific rule with the opposition, regarding when to raise a question of privilege. We are now discussing the possibility of amending parts of this rule to better reflect the importance of questions of privilege.

I would suggest that we reject this amendment for now and talk about it again next Tuesday when we study Chapter 13 and questions of privilege to consider whether the amendment proposed by Senator Cools is valid.

I therefore suggest that we reject this amendment for now and take it up again when we study Chapter 13 next Tuesday. We get the idea behind her amendment, so that will no doubt fuel our discussions with a view to achieving a formulation for Chapter 13 that I hope will satisfy all senators.

Senator Tardif: I was about to say much the same thing as Senator Carignan. Given that Chapter 13 is about questions of privilege and that Senator Cools' proposed amendment is about questions of privilege, I suggest we take it up again next week.

[English]

The Chair: Honourable senators, we are back on Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine.

Senator Cools: I did not realize we could raise other chapters that are outside those prescribed chapters. I thought we were confined to chapters right up to Chapter Nine. I did not realize we could step outside to speak to later chapters.

The Chair: I said several times that we are now dealing with Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine.

Senator Cools: Is Chapter Thirteen before us? Can we speak to it now? I do not know. Is it before us?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Chair: What is before us are Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. Our time for debating them will expire at 3:58 this afternoon.

Senator Cools: Mr. Chairman, I was not speaking to Chapter Thirteen. I am quite aware of and very well studied on Chapter Thirteen. I am sorry to say this, but Senator Carignan has fallen into the trap that many senators have.

Rule 59(10) is a totally different proposition from those in Chapter Thirteen. The rule I am proposing for reinstatement is this ancient rule. I would like to put some more authorities on the floor. I can wait until another time. I am sure I can do it, but Chapter Thirteen is all about what we call the Senate Speaker's prima facie role. I would like to say — I might as well say it now, as then — that rule 59(10) is about moving motions, which is how one puts a question before the house for full debate. Rule 59(10) is based on each and every senator's powers and individual privileges to move such a motion directly before the house.

Chapter Thirteen is not about that at all. Chapter Thirteen is about the process of prima facie. Someone has confused — and we know who it is, and I can cite the committee meeting where it happened — the meanings of the word "notice." The term "notice" in this rule 59 is about notice for a motion. The term "notice" in Chapter Thirteen is not about moving a motion directly; it is all about a prima facie process.

Let us understand, Mr. Chairman, and if I can just provide an example of this, during the time of a Speaker's prima facie ruling there is no question before the house. The prima facie process and notice is from an individual senator to the Speaker for a private supplication by which the senator is asking the Senate Speaker as a suppliant to rule on prima facie. Let us understand the difference in the two. It is an entirely different process. During that process, colleagues, senators have no right in respect of their own privileges to speak as of right in that exchange. In fact, senators are all supplicants to the Senate Speaker. This particular Senate Speaker, Senator Kinsella, the incumbent, has been very fair and just in granting senators the ability to speak. This comes from his own natural proclivity for justice and fairness in human affairs.

My point is that Senate Speakers have no duty to allow senators to speak in that exchange. There is no duty to do so. Senators speak by the indulgence of the Senate Speaker. Some Senate Speakers have not been as generous as Senator Kinsella has been, and there is no duty to do so.

I will read one of the annotations from our 1994 Companion to the Rules of the Senate of Canada — on the prima facie process at page 123: . . . the Speaker will determine whether a prima facie case of privilege has been made out. In doing so, arguments from other senators may be received. In accordance with rule 18(3), the Speaker shall determine when sufficient argument has been adduced to decide the matter and shall so indicate to the Senate, but may reserve a decision.

Let us understand clearly there is no contradiction in the two rules. They are two different propositions and two different meanings of notice. Someone has confused them. The no notice in rule 59(10) means that a senator can rise and move a question, move a motion by saying: "I move that." You cannot do that under rule 43. It is a different proposition. I regret and I am sorry that the honourable senator has misunderstood me and made me take up a fair amount of time to explain it.

I would like to put some more authority on the floor, if I may, remembering that these rules like 59(10) predated, as I said before, Confederation and that these items have been in the rules for a long time. Their pedigree needs to be examined.

I would like to cite two references, one from the House of Commons and one from the Senate. I will begin with the Senate to confirm what had been the practice of the Senate.

The debate was on a report from the old committee of all the senators called the Senate Committee to Consider the Orders and Customs of this House and Privileges of Parliament.

I will offer the following to Senator Tardif because it was a Liberal senator whom I will quote who was the speaker. His name is David Christie. In order that we can know who these people are, Senator David Christie, like Senator Wilmot, who spoke in that debate — he was from New Brunswick — are all those senators who were named in the proclamation of the British North America Act, 1867. I would like honourable senators to understand our high place in the constitution of this country.

The name of Senator David Christie, from Ontario, was on that list.

The debate was on the vacating of a seat of a senator. This is what Senate Speaker David Christie had to say on April 11, 1876:

My opinion has been asked whether a resolution proposed as a question of privilege, and therefore not requiring notice, is in order. . . . The point has since been raised whether the resolution is not one affecting the privileges of the House. It is a resolution of that character, and I find on reference to May that questions of privileges and other matters suddenly arising may be considered without previous notice, so that as a question of privilege it is in order to propose the resolution.

— which is to say the motion.

Another one is Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The year is 1892. What I am trying to show here, Mr. Chairman, is that there has always been a rule in both houses that, in certain circumstances, a motion may be moved directly, appealing to every member, engaging each and every senator's ability.

Senator Moore: What did he say?

Senator Cools: Wilfrid Laurier, then Leader of the Opposition, said:

The first question to be looked into is whether this is a matter of privilege. I submit that anything affecting the character or standing of a member of this House is a matter of privilege. All the books are unanimous on this subject. If this is a matter affecting the character and independence of a member of this House, it is a matter of privilege, and it is of no consequence whether notice was given or not. I will call attention to the words of May, page 291:

It has been said that a question of privilege is, properly, one not admitting of notice: but where the circumstances have been such as to enable the member to give notice, and the matter was, nevertheless, boná fide, a question of privilege, precedence has still been conceded to it.

We have had a series of precedents on this question since the year 1873, showing that similar questions have been treated as a matter of privilege, without any notice, and it is in the interests of all that this motion should be heard at the earliest opportunity.

Mr. Chairman, there is an issue with the senators who have been the proponents of this rule change — and I can cite some interesting testimony from a particular committee. I can even quote here from the committee some fascinating, interesting insights as well. The confusion seems to be around the meanings of the word "motion," the meaning of the words "a question of privilege" and when a question of privilege is actually before the house for a decision. Rule 59(10) puts a question of privilege before the house, meaning a motion for action or something before the house, immediately —

The Chair: I must bring to the attention of the Honourable Senator Cools that each honourable senator has up to 10 minutes to make an intervention, and the 10 minutes on her second intervention has just expired.

Honourable senators, we are back to general debate on Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine.

Honourable Senator Fraser?

Senator Fraser: I simply wish to reiterate the point made earlier by the Deputy Leader of the Government and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. We will have an opportunity to consider the whole and complex matter of questions of privilege when the time comes to address the chapter of this report that is devoted entirely to questions of privilege.

In the meantime, I believe it is appropriate not to address a single element of the matter of questions of privilege now via this amendment but to do so more fully in the context, as I say, of the whole matter of questions of privilege when we get to that stage by order of the Senate next week.

The Chair: Thank you, Honourable Senator Fraser.

Honourable senators, we are now —

Senator Cools: — motion to postpone consideration of rule 5-7 until later. If we accept the propositions of Senator Carignan and Senator Fraser, it will not be in order to defeat this or to vote on it. I understand that they are saying — and maybe I am wrong and Senator Carignan can correct me — to postpone consideration of rule 5-7 to another day.

If not, what are the honourable senators proposing?

The Chair: The Honourable Senator Fraser has the floor.

Senator Fraser: Chair, if in consideration of the matter of questions of privilege we decided that in that chapter there should be a section equivalent to what Senator Cools is suggesting, then the way this report is structured would simply mean, not that we had to go back and amend the actual wording in Chapter Five, but that we would add an exception to the lists of many, many exceptions, which honourable senators are aware appear throughout this report. I do not think that would be a matter of anything more than clerical responsibility.

The Chair: Honourable Senator Carignan?

[Translation]

Senator Carignan: Honourable senators, with all due respect for Senator Cools, her proposal to postpone the consideration of the chapter or part of a chapter would be contrary to an order of the Senate that was adopted and given to the Committee of the Whole. I do not believe that this proposal would be in order.

We are aware of the importance of questions of privilege and for that reason the revised rules were structured in chapters. We are aware that the concept of notice, here, deals with several motions and subjects. When we examine rule 46, however, when we identify exceptions, questions of privilege are identified as exceptions. Rule 5-5 deals with various other exceptions that, in some cases, do not require notice and, in others, require a different notice. That is how we decided to make the link with the questions of privilege for that section. But the complete code is found in Chapter 13, which deals with questions of privilege.

[English]

The Chair: Honourable Senator Carignan is correct. The order of May 17, section (c) said "after which the chair shall interrupt proceedings to put all questions necessary to dispose of these chapters successively . . ."

Therefore, the chapters I will be dealing with successively are Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. I will be starting that in about five minutes, because we have two amendments before us already.

Senator Cools: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, forgive me, but I did not hear a lot of what Senator Carignan had to say. I missed it in the translation because my ear piece was disconnected.

I would like to know what process we are now following to bump the discussion on rule 5-7, because it would have to move by motion.

You just cannot hold it in the air; something has to be decided today. We would have to agree to postpone the consideration of rule 5-7.

Senator Moore: Withdraw it.

Senator Cools: I am not withdrawing it.

The Chair: Honourable Senator Cools, you do not have to withdraw. In the debate that we are having at present, there are two amendments that are properly before the Committee of the Whole. There is room for others in Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine, but right now, there are two amendments that are properly before this committee.

Senator Cools: I am aware of that, but there has been dispute expressed. Some opinion has to be expressed here of the intention not to express an opinion then my motion and that it be postponed. Other than that, I do not find it very satisfactory.

I have a quotation before me where these very issues were discussed in a committee. I have Senator Fraser saying: I was going to support the option of just ditching, dumping, cutting, getting rid of rule 59(10).

The opinions are already established and clear.

What you are asking me to do is to argue the same thing again next week. That is not really fair because senators here have taken very firm positions on the repeal of rule 59(10).

I do not understand what we are doing. How are we temporarily suspending my motion? Opinion has been expressed. The honourable senator has been asked for an opinion. Should my motion go forward; should it not go forward?

I do not understand the process. It is quite novel to me; I do not understand it.

[Translation]

Senator Carignan: My understanding is that we must examine each of the chapters in accordance with the order of the Senate. We are discussing Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine. We cannot postpone this examination, as proposed by Senator Cools, since that would go against an order of the Senate. Either way, as I already explained, when we discuss Chapter Thirteen next week, Senator Cools' interesting suggestion will be part of the debate.

Senator Nolin: I do not see the confusion, and I think that Senator Cools is trying to sow confusion. The question is very simple. The senator has proposed an amendment. It will be voted on shortly and can be rejected.

When we examine Chapter Thirteen later next week, we will look at the question of privilege. I do not see why there is confusion.

Senator Robichaud: I support Senator Nolin's entirely appropriate remarks.

[English]

Senator Fraser: On a point of clarification, honourable senators, Senator Cools has the advantage over me; I do not have the transcript of the committee hearings before me. The extract that she read from remarks I made at a committee hearing begins by saying, "I was going to support . . ." It seems pretty clear to me, on the basis of that, that what I proceeded to say was what, in fact, happened to the evolution of my opinion, which was that I was going to support position A, but after debate, reflection and consideration, I changed my mind.

Senator Stratton: Thank you.

The Chair: Honourable senators, is there further debate on Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight or Nine?

Senator Cools: Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to Senator Nolin.

I deeply regret that Senator Nolin would impute negative motives to me. I deeply regret that.

I would submit that I was sowing no confusion here. My intention is to bring some clarification on a question that has been greatly not only confused but totally confounded. That is my intention.

I do not appreciate it, and I do not think it is worthy of the honourable senator to attribute malicious or unpleasant motivations. I strongly object, and I want to put that on the record.

[Translation]

Senator Nolin: I retract my comments if they offended Senator Cools. I will get back to the heart of the issue. What we have before us is an amendment—maybe two, but specifically the one that came from Senator Cools. This amendment will be voted on shortly and majority will decide.

At the next sitting, as we examine each of the chapters in chronological order, we will examine all of the rules regarding questions of privilege. That will be the time to address subsection 10 of section 59 of the current rules.

Again, I apologize to Senator Cools. If my comments offended her, I retract them.

Senator Robichaud: I supported what Senator Nolin said, and certainly the last part of his speech. Like him, I meant no ill will to Senator Cools. I think he gave a good explanation of the procedure to follow: amendments have been presented and we will vote. Chapters will be examined during another sitting, and we will examine the question that is presented as a question of privilege.

[English]

Senator Cools: I was trying to make the point that what is before us is rule 5-7. As far as I am concerned, that is the question to be resolved today. Some senators cannot just say, "Well, we can consider it in two weeks' time."

If that is the case, I can start on each motion and say let us consider it the following week. The honourable senator's own motion, the order of reference, says that we only have one more meeting to go. The honourable senator cannot go around creating new privileges for himself and for his favourites. The honourable senator simply cannot do it. That is especially out of order.

We have been told by his motion that we must proceed in this way. The motion is extremely rigid. The order of reference is extremely rigid, and I have complained about it. However, since it is the honourable senator's motion and we voted on it, he has some duty to follow it. He cannot make exceptions now. If he were making a different proposition, I would look at it very favourably, but I do not like being dismissed summarily.

The Chair: Honourable senators, is there further debate on Chapters Five, Six, Seven, Eight or Nine?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Chair: There being none, honourable senators, we are now disposing of Chapter Five of the First Appendix of the report.

The Honourable Senator Cools moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore:

That the First Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be not now adopted, but that it be amended, in Appendix I, chapter 5, section 5-7,

(a) on page 47, by adding the following after paragraph (i):

"(j) raising a question of privilege"; and

(b) on pages 47 and 48, by re-lettering paragraphs (j) through (p), and any cross-references thereto, as paragraphs (k) through (q) accordingly.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, that the amendment carry?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Senator Cools: Yes.

The Chair: The amendment is rejected and negatived.

Honourable senators, shall Chapter Five carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Abstain.

The Chair: Carried.

Honourable senators, we are now dealing with Chapter Six. Shall Chapter Six carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Abstain.

The Chair: Carried.

We are now dealing with Chapter Seven. Shall Chapter Seven carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Abstain.

The Chair: Carried.

The Chair: We are now dealing with Chapter Eight. Shall Chapter Eight carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Abstain.

The Chair: Carried.

Honourable senators, on Chapter Nine, it has been moved by Honourable Senator Tardif, seconded by Honourable Senator Carignan:

That chapter nine of the First Appendix of the report be not now adopted but that it be amended by:

(a) renumbering rule 9-6(1) —

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Chair: Shall I dispense, honourable senators?

Some Hon. Senators: Dispense.

The Chair: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion, as amended?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Abstain.

The Chair: Carried.

Senator Cools: Chair —

The Chair: Honourable senators, shall Chapter Nine, as amended, carry?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Carried.

Senator Cools: I abstain. I hope someone is recording that. I abstain.

The Chair: It is duly noted that the Honourable Senator Cools has abstained.

Senator Cools: On a whole series of them.

The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.