Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition tries to kill long-gun bill behind closed doors

Where: The subcommittee for Private Members Business
When: June 15th
What: A debate over the status of Private Members legislation, specifically on the voteability of Candice Hoepner’s bill C-391 (a bill to scrap the long-gun registry). It was debated by opposition members that it is similar to bill S-5, which is now before the Senate. However, it was ruled that the bill is voteable in the House because it is not before the government. Further, Gerry Breitkreuz’s bill (C-301) was dropped from the order paper because Mr. Breitkreuz did not show up to debate it. Therefore, the subcommittee was debating the ability of the bill to be moved before parliament.

Here’s what Scott Reid had to say:

Yeah, just the list of criteria as decided by the committee of procedure and house affairs under the standing orders the criteria made by this procedure and house affairs committee are in fact part of the standing orders, although not contained therein, and the four criteria include items 3 and 4—I’ll read them both: item 3 is the item on the basis of which opposition members opposed allowing bill C-391 to go forward while bill C-301 was on the order paper. The argument there on the criteria is, and I quote, “bills and motions must not concern questions that are substantively essentially the same as ones already voted on by the house of commons in the current session of parliament or as ones preceding them in the order of precedence. That criteria is no longer met. Item 4, which I assume that criteria number 4 is I assume what is being referred to here, and I’m quoting again is, “bills and motions must not concern questions that are currently on the order paper or notice paper as items of government business.” Now, order paper and notice paper are instruments of the house of commons, the bill S-5 is in the Senate and therefore is neither on the order paper or the notice paper and so there’s no need to fear that bill C-391 would in any way be out of order on the basis of where bill S-5 is. It would be different if bill S-5 would have been passed by the Senate and is now before the House on the notice paper/ order paper but it isn’t.

So, that’s the status of Conservative long-gun registry-scrapping bills before the upper and lower chambers of Parliament.

Reid, now having set the stage of the status of these bills, wanted a recorded vote of the opposition on the fitness of C-391 because he knew that the opposition was trying to spike the legislation before it got to the House so that opposition MPs from rural ridings wouldn’t be embarrassed by voting against the legislation. If the opposition could quietly kill the bill in committee, it would help them save face.

Unfortunately for opposition members (Ms. Jennings and Ms. Gagnon) the meeting of the committee was public and therefore bill C-391 may not face a quiet death.

I’m just curious if the intention here—I should advise members—I’m sure that everybody is going to vote based on the criteria if the intention is to vote with no actual criteria against the bill in order to stop it from going forward, I would just remind the opposition members of two things, one is that we are now meeting in a public session, so their vote is now on the record, and number 2 that it simply would be impermissible for us to allow this to go forward as a negative item and I would be in a position of having to prevent this from being reported back to the main committee, I would just make that observation, Mr. Chairman.

The opposition members, now visible to the public, move to bring this to a forum without accountability.

Mme. Gagnon: (trans.) Why isn’t it in camera? We were told it was in camera.

Chair: We indicated that it was a public meeting, and checking with the clerk there are no rulings indicating that the private member’s subcommittee needs to meet in camera, and on that basis we call the meetings a public meeting.

Mme. Gagnon: (trans.) Who decided? You, Mr. Chairman?

Chair: On advice, after discussing with the clerk whether it was procedurally possible. Correct.

Mme. Gagnon: (trans.) I’m new at this committee but generally that kind of decision is taken in a collegial way with the members sitting on the committee and decide together whether it’s in camera or public.

Chair: He is the master of its own fate and unless this committee chooses to meet in camera that’s certainly…

Mme. Jennings: I propose that the meeting move in camera, in conformity with the practices of subcommittees when discussing this kind of issue. My understanding is that this subcommittee has sat in camera every single time it’s met and this is my understanding and you can correct me if I’m wrong, the very first time that this committee is not in camera. As you can see from the reaction from some of the members, they assume including myself that the meeting was in camera, so I move that the meeting go in camera.

to which Scott Reid protests,

Mr. Reid: I believe that there was a motion on the floor to the effect that we would be voting on bill C-391, up or down, that you can’t go back after having had a vote, we had a show of hands, and then we were moving to an actual recorded vote, we can’t stop in the middle of the vote and have a discussion of whether we are going to go on camera. The fact was that as I saw it the three opposite members were all indicating that they wanted bill C-391 killed, voting it down, and I was voting in favour and I realized what had happened and I said that I would like to make this vote on division, you can’t stop in the middle of a vote and go in camera or do any other procedural item, so in fact we are in the stage now of debating, I gather that we are moving in to a vote period, and the vote is on whether bill c-391 is voteable under the four criteria before us—there’s not been any other subject and it’s certainly not something to be stopped whenever Mme. Jennings feels like throwing the rules aside in order to…

and then the meeting wraps up…

Mr. Reid: … What is going on is a reference to a rule that does not exist in terms of a requirement that we be meeting in camera, an effort to ensure that bill c-391 can be killed quietly by the parties, by the other opposition parties, in order to ensure that they don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of revealing that they in fact…

Chair: I’m going to call the motion, we’re going beyond the point of order, so we’re going to call the, uh, someone has to make a motion that we move in camera. Ms. Jennings?

Mme. Jennings: I move that this subcommittee move in camera.

Chair: Okay, that’s a non-debateable non-amendable, all agreed that we move in camera? Recorded vote? Okay?

Clerk: Mme. Jennings?

Mme. Jennings : Yea.

Clerk: Mme. Gagnon?

Mme. Gagnon : Oui.

Clerk: Mr. Reid?

Mr. Reid : No.

Chair: Okay, that motion is carried, we move into camera.

Reid summarizes the opposition politics in a member’s statement before QP later that day.

Many members of the opposition oppose the gun registry and if this bill were to make it to the House to be voted upon, it is unclear if the members would be whipped which would result in lost support in their ridings.

Members such as John Rafferty (NDP), Scott Simms (Liberal), Martha Hall Finley (Liberal), Charlie Angus (NDP) and Larry Bagnell (Liberal) have all expressed that the long-gun registry has failed Canadians.



38 thoughts on “Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition tries to kill long-gun bill behind closed doors”

  1. The point is, as I see it, that PMSH can blame the opposition for killing this bill. It will be used in the next campaign against said MPs. Was all this in or out of camera shuffle done on purpose to embarass the opposition. And to think that Jennings will be on the EI panel appointed today.

  2. So nice to see that no matter the proven pointlessness of a government program. The 3 socialist parties of Canada will always attempt to keep it running. After all, these 3 parties are dedicated to bringing you nothing but bigger government at your expense. It's to bad that big city liberals are to blind to see it.

  3. I guess this is similar to the Harpercrites trying to change the senate w/o provincial approval so they can ram it home and have the provinces only challenge it in court sfter the fact.

    Hypocrisy reigns supreme in the cons.

  4. That Ms Jennings has her little fingers in every pie,
    like being the secret negotiator for the Liberals in the Coalition of Losers,
    along with Goodale.

  5. oooooh, that reminds me,
    more 2 more Senate appointments real soon.
    By Jan 2, 2010 Conservative majority in the Senate…..

  6. Only problem is Harper won't be in power after about November 1….then guess what happens….

  7. >But apparently it will never make the House, so what is your point? That life sucks?

    That's ok. We'll keep bringing it back until it passes the house. Maybe stick it in next years budget as a cost saving measure.

    The registry is done, its just a matter of time.

  8. PMSH will be Prime Minister at the opening of the Olympics in BC in 2010.
    Does anyone think the govt will fall and go into an election when the G20 is meeting. And where is that meeting. Iggy has already agreed the House wont sit that week. With all the pre Olympic hoopla going on from Jan till the big event, no one will be happy to have an election during that time.
    Might happen after the March budget is presented, but by then the economy could be well on its way to recovery. Of course libs will complain about all the job losses in construction at that time, but it happens every year. And why would PMSH appoint Newman to the Senate?
    When is the GGs term up, Sept I think. And you can be sure if things look bad for the PM poll wise, he will appoint a very strong conservative for the next five years. And it wont be from the cbc.
    How about Deb Gray, she and Laureen could cruise around Ottaw on their motorcycles.

  9. Even if we don't have a majority in the Senate it will be so close that at least bills would be acted upon, and even reforms would make it thru. Libs would no longer be able to kill everything.
    Everyone would have to show up for work, and that would be a big shock to the liberals.

  10. If the Conservatives appoint Senators to fill all the vacancies, then by January 2, 2010, the composition of the Senate will be:
    Conservatives – 50
    Liberals – 50
    Ind. – 3
    PC – 2

    But I agree with you. The liberals will have to actually show up and if a couple don't then pretty much everything will pass.

  11. I don’t agree with the whole idea of “in camera” meetings. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to. These clowns are elected to represent the citizens of their constituency, we have a right to know what and when they make these type of decisions .

  12. I don’t agree with the whole idea of “in camera” meetings. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to. These clowns are elected to represent the citizens of their constituency, we have a right to know what and when they make these type of decisions .

  13. I don’t agree with the whole idea of “in camera” meetings. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to. These clowns are elected to represent the citizens of their constituency, we have a right to know what and when they make these type of decisions .

  14. Well BCL – now that we know how chicken the Liberal/NDP/Bloc Coalition is to actually stand up and be accountable; this will be a rallying point for the blogesphere to make this known to the Canadian public. If the media doesn’t pick up on this; it is up to those of us in the blogesphere to do their job.

    I guess life does suck huh.

    BTW – how’s Iggy working out for you guys?

  15. Well BCL – now that we know how chicken the Liberal/NDP/Bloc Coalition is to actually stand up and be accountable; this will be a rallying point for the blogesphere to make this known to the Canadian public. If the media doesn’t pick up on this; it is up to those of us in the blogesphere to do their job.

    I guess life does suck huh.

    BTW – how’s Iggy working out for you guys?

  16. Well BCL – now that we know how chicken the Liberal/NDP/Bloc Coalition is to actually stand up and be accountable; this will be a rallying point for the blogesphere to make this known to the Canadian public. If the media doesn’t pick up on this; it is up to those of us in the blogesphere to do their job.

    I guess life does suck huh.

    BTW – how’s Iggy working out for you guys?

  17. Harpo sealed his fate today by giving Iggy formal opposition dates in the fall the first one for the Libs is the week of Sept.28 and they will vote non confidence in the present government that week. guaranteed. election around nov.1 and new Liberal government installed around Nov.10 way ahead of the olympics.

  18. Everybody says the Conservatives will have a majority in the Senate by Jan 2, 2010 but that doesn’t make any sense. They will have 50/51 Senators but there are 105 senate seats which means you need 53, not 51 for a majority. The Tories won’t hit 53 until May ’11. The liberals will lose their majority but independents and PCs still make up the difference.

  19. Iffy gave himself yet another opportunity to create a crisis, and then clim down that hill.

    You forget your guy needs both opps to agree to bring down the govt.
    If Lib numbers are up, Dipper/Bloc numbers are down, they all drawn from the same pool,
    the coalition pool.

  20. Remember when you were crowing there was no way Harper was going to give Ignatieff anything?

    What was that – yesterday?

    I know you really really want to be a political analyst, but I suggest you stick with what you are good at instead.

  21. It's simple really. The Liberals and NDP hate farmers, ranchers, hunters, collectors etc of long guns, otherwise they would accept the error of their ways.

    They apparently have seen the bright light of wisdom regarding THEIR insane EI reforms of the mid 90's and so I propose they see the equally asinine garbage they created with the gun registry.
    Someone hand them a freaking light bulb! Ah a message during an election would suffice.

  22. If Ignatieff had a clue he'd stay in the country and bone up on what it takes to be a leader. He has to learn it's not all about himself. He's a self absorbed elite.

    The very fact he's leaving for his former home to flog a book about himself should be the end of his chances to be taken seriously at all.

    Read L Ian MacDonald in the National Post today, Issues and Ideas: ” Ignatieff's Lousy Week”.
    He points out how he used the first person pronoun more than 100 times in his news conference.
    Add to that, in an interview on the National with Mansbridge, in five minutes he said “I” 30 times, a couple of “Ive's” and 6 “me's”.

    Yeah, he really doesn't care about being prepared for the job, like a true elite, let the peons do the grunt work, carry the load.

  23. Terry, luv, have you been checking out the latest polls? You seem to put a lot of faith in them so you really should report to us as they come out.

    Have the Liberal insiders told you what exactly they will be voting to defeat the government on in September? What will be different? Could it merely be I-Me-Me-I's personal tour to Europe to flog his book that made him choke?

    Does it not strike you as passing strange he's not staying home and preparing himself for an election campaign he's “planning” three months down the road?

    Man oh man, what a disaster. Maybe the Liberals will take better care next time they go off in search of a mannequin to put in their window. For now they should work on putting some goods in the store instead of window dressing and bluffing.

  24. Liz J hysterical, my luv…….the polls still show Iggy ahead of Harpo and thye will be close for the next few months. Iggy does not want to peak until he gets closer to an election. he hasn't elaborated any policies and is ahead. So, figure on a surge in Lib support in the fall. I suggest it will go to about 40% by the end of October just before the election.

  25. Such unlimited talents you have, even able to foretell the future with certainty.

    Obviously you haven't seen the latest poll numbers.

  26. I'm glad you finally recognize my talents. I have seen the poll and it reflects the attack ads somewhat but the 1% drop in Lib fortunes is not quite the disaster you seem to think it is.

  27. Sorry pal, not the poll I was referring to, try again.

    BTW,we are not putting out attack ads. To consider them attack ads you'd have to assume Iffy to be attacking himself and the facts and truth are attacking him.
    If that's the case, what have you got to sell?

  28. Harper: “NDP Le Bloc Anglais!!”

    Harper is really pissing on Layton and the NDP with utter contempt … trashing them into oblivion if he could … which raises the question .. why is he doing it???

    One reason is that Layton is a slimy snake who attempted to overthrow the duly elected Conservative govt just hours after the conclusion of the election … with Layton slithering over to Duceppe to convince him to support a Layton-Dion coalition junta to take over the govt after voting no confidence at the earliest opportunity. Harper stopped that nonsense by proroguing Parliament and then watching the coalition collapsing and Dion being booted out of leadership.

    But if Harper can weaken the NDP that will strengthen the Liberals … so why do that???

    Simple … Harper wants the Liberals to move to the left to attract the NDP looney left in any next election … leaving the CPC sitting in the centre of Canadian politics.

    It also creates pressures within the crumbling Liberal party as the Iggy right and Fae left wings vie for control of the party … which forces Iggy to continue his flip flop act at which he is so adept.

    It’s gonna be a bloody good show ..!!!

  29. What did PM Harper give that was of any consequence to anything aside from giving the probation officer an out? It was the right thing to do for the good of the Country, something the Liberals don't ever consider when it comes to grabbing for power.

    Speaking of sticking to what your good at…..your last sentence in above comment reveals it all.

  30. I posted this over earlier at BLY and repeat it here, for what it's worth.

    Completely O/T … but now that the HoC is about to recess, a thought about reassessing some of the savage criticism we all engage in from time to time.

    I have often participated in slagging journalists myself, including Don Newman, forgetting that they’re people too ……. (H/T National Newswatch)
    “Along the way, he's endured more than his share of personal sorrows — the loss of his only child, his son Linc, and later of his first wife, Audrey Ann. No one who was there to witness his eulogy for his son in 1992 has ever forgotten it. “There wasn't a dry eye in the church,” says Mansbridge. “To this day, I don't know how he got through it.” Newman has since happily remarried.”

    I hope Mr. Newman has a happy retirement. I will miss the program, even if it often angered me.

  31. Ignatieff will be frustrated in any attempt to defeat the Harper govt this Fall because Layton will vote with the govt after extracting some nominal Billion$$$ of concessions for social aid .. and rub it into Liberals that he, Layton, gets substantive results while Iggy gets nothing when negotiating with Harper.

    Layton may just decide to shore up the Harper govt to stop Ignatieff's ambitions. In fact Layton may tell the Liberal party that the NDP will not support any Liberal non-confidence motion as long as Ignatieff is the leader of the Liberal party..!!!!

    Layton may well view Ignatieff as unworthy to be Canada's prime minister, particularly after Iggy's rejection of Layton's coalition accord that would have already produced a Liberal-NDP government. By rejecting the coalition, Ignatieff is also rejecting Layton … so if Layton gives the Liberals the ultimatum to get rid of Ignatieff, find a new leader who would support a coalition with the NDP, the Liberals would get their election.

    Ever think that Layton holds the hammer … ??!!!

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