Wednesday, March 9, 2016

TIME – 3 p.m.

LOCATION – Winnipeg, Manitoba

CHAIRPERSON – Hon. Daryl Reid (Transcona)

VICE-CHAIRPERSON – Mr. Ted Marcelino (Tyndall Park)


Members of the Committee present:

Hon. Messrs. Chomiak, Gerrard, Hon. Ms. Irvin-Ross, Hon. Mr. Reid

Messrs. Cullen, Goertzen, Marcelino, Pedersen, Swan, Wiebe


Ms. Patricia Chaychuk, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba

Mr. Rick Yarish, Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba


Proposed Amendments to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceeding of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba

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Mr. Chairperson: Okay, we're ready to proceed.

      Okay, good afternoon, everyone. Will the Standing Committee of–on Rules of the House please come to order.

      This meeting has been called to consider proposed amendments to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

      You will find before you copies of a document entitled Legislative Assembly of Manitoba Rule Change Proposals, March 2016, which we will be considering today. The French text of the proposed rules is also provided for you.

      Does the committee agree to consider the amendments in numerical order with the under­standing that we can stop at any time if members have any questions or comments? [Agreed]

      Does the committee wish the Clerk or the Deputy Clerk to provide an explanation for each amendment? As required? Okay, and I'll stop at each point to ask if there's any questions, and we'll let you–or give you the opportunity at that to ask your questions.

      Does the Government House Leader have an opening comment?

Hon. Dave Chomiak (Government House Leader): No, other than to thank everyone for their–everyone completely for all of their work on this and all of the–for all the Clerk's work and the Opposition House Leader and Liberal House leader. I think it's been a very useful exercise.

Mr. Chairperson: Thank the honourable minister.

      Does the Official Opposition House Leader have any opening comments?

Mr. Kelvin Goertzen (Official Opposition House Leader): Only to concur with the Government House Leader.

* (15:10)

Mr. Chairperson: Thank Mr. Goertzen.

      Is there leave–Dr. Gerrard, did you have any opening comments that you would like to make?

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Thank the Clerk and all the staff who helped, you know, do so much for this, as well as everybody who participated.

      Thank you.

Mr. Chairperson: Thank the honourable member.

      We will now begin consideration of the document, and for your reference I will be referring to the item numbers listed in the far-left column of the document.

      Item 1. Sessional Calendar. Any comments or questions?

      Item 1–pass.

      Item 2.

Mr. Goertzen: Only a comment, that I think there is a willingness among the different participants in this process to look at a future time, probably the fall of this year, if possible, at further changes to com­mittees generally and how they're structured, how they have–how there's 'populized', how they operate. And I think that there's been different commitments made towards that, and hard to know, of course, who's going to be involved in that process in the fall because we don't know who will be here, but I think it's important to put on the record that there is a desire among them, people on the rules committee that the next sort of tranche of examination should be committees and how they function and how they can function better.

Mr. Chairperson: Okay. For information of the committee members.

      Any further comments or questions?

      Shall item 2, Intersessional Bill Meetings, pass?

Some Honourable Members: Pass.

Mr. Chairperson: Item is accordingly passed, and for Hansard record of this, item 1 was entitled Sessional Calendar, which had passed.

      Item 3, Quorum. Any comments or questions?

Item 3–pass.

      Item 4, Legislative Assembly Management Commission. Comments or questions?

      Item 4–pass.

      Item 5, Deputy Speaker. Any comments or questions?

      Item 5–pass.

      Item 6, Divisions. Comments, questions?

      Item 6–pass.

      No. 7, Attendance of Members. Comments or questions?

      Item 7–pass.

      Item 8, Decorum at Adjournment.

Mr. Goertzen: This should be renamed the David Faurschou rule. I know that it bothered him greatly, and he was right. And I am a frequent abuser of this rule, and I think we now need to be better at that in standing and remaining in our place when the Speaker's leaving the House.

Mr. Chairperson: Thank you for the advice. What am I going to say?

      Any further comments or questions?

      Item 8–pass.

      Item 9, Decorum During Debate. Any comments, questions?

      Item 9–pass.

      Item 10, Strangers/Visitors. Comments, questions?

Mr. Chomiak: Just, were we going to use–I thought we were going to get used to the–get rid of the word strangers. So, this does take the word strangers out, right?

Floor Comment: Yes. Oh, pardon me.

Mr. Chairperson: Go ahead, Patricia.

Clerk (Ms. Patricia Chaychuk): Yes, it does replace what used to be strangers with the word visitors, which is a little bit more friendly term.

Mr. Chairperson: I thank, in particular, honourable members for their work on this.

      Any further comments or questions?

      Item 10–pass

      No. 11, The Prayer. Comments or questions?

      Item 11–pass.

      No. 12, Tabling.

Clerk: I just wanted to make mention of the fact that in 24(2) it mentions: Sufficient copies will be turned by the Speaker in consultation with the House leaders of all recognized parties. It's the intention that at the start of every new Legislature, the Speaker would meet with the House leaders to draw up the number of copies that would be needed because it will fluctuate depending on how many parties are represented in the house.

Mr. Chairperson: For information of the committee?

      Any comments or questions?

      Shall the item pass?

Some Honourable Members: Pass.

Mr. Chairperson: Item is accordingly passed.

      No. 13, Intersessional Tablings.

Mr. Ted Marcelino (Tyndall Park): Just one word–just the definition of recognized parties, what does that mean?

An Honourable Member: Four members or more.

Mr. Chairperson: Four–I'll–go ahead.

      He's on item 13, Patricia.

Mr. Marcelino: Twelve.

Clerk: Yes, the definition is provided in the rulebook. It says, a recognized party is a party 'representeded' in the Legislature by four or more members. And that's in accordance with The Legislative Assembly Act; as well, it's also a statutory definition.

An Honourable Member: So, when we allow–

Mr. Chairperson: Go ahead, Ted.

Mr. Marcelino: –an independent member to speak by consent, is it possible for us to at least define it as not just by the numbers?

Clerk: We don't allow independent members to speak. They have the right to speak in the House whether they are part of a recognized party or not. I just wanted to clarify that for you, but we do need to identify it by numbers for the purposes of what appears in The Legislative Assembly Act and for the rules. It has to be a recognized party which, to date, is considered the four or more members elected under that same party banner.

Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Wiebe, did you have your hand up?

Mr. Matt Wiebe (Concordia): No.

Mr. Chairperson: Any further questions?

      No. 13–pass.

      No. 14, Ministerial Statements.

Mr. Goertzen: This is a fulfillment of a promise that we made to the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) during the last rule changes. We didn't have time to incorporate it because it came pretty late in the process–in the last go-round of rule changes; so this fulfills, I believe, the last of the commitments we made as part of that former process.

Mr. Chairperson: Any further comments, questions?

      No. 14, Ministerial Statements–pass.

      No. 15, Grievances. Comments or questions?

      No. 15, Grievances–pass.

      No. 16, Opposition Days. Comments or questions?

      No. 16, Opposition Days–pass.

      No. 17, Order of Precedence. Comments or questions?

      No. 17, Order of Precedence–pass.

      No. 18, Order of Precedence–Adjournment. Comments or questions?

      No. 18, Order of Precedence–Adjournment–pass.

      No. 19, Private Members' Resolutions.

Mr. Goertzen: Just for clarity, and for the information, the private members' resolutions will still appear in its entirety on the Order Paper. It is just the therefore clause that–the therefore-be-it-resolved clause that will be read into the record to allow for more time for debate.

Clerk: That is correct, and in addition, the WHEREAS clauses will also appear in Hansard as if the member had moved them, although they're not reading them aloud, and they will also appear in the votes and proceedings.

      The intent of this is to give a little bit more time during private members' business to actually be debating the resolution instead of a member having to take up to three or four minutes to read the resolution in its entirety.

      And it should also be noted that when we're talking about a resolution being one resolved clause, that is one resolved clause, it doesn't mean it becomes an add-on sentence going on for half a page.

An Honourable Member: Are you suggesting that might happen?

Clerk: I'm just putting it out there.

An Honourable Member: So there will be no A, B, and Cs added on to it.

Clerk: Yes.

Mr. Chairperson: Ready for the question?

An Honourable Member: Question.

Mr. Chairperson: No. 19, Private Members' Resolutions–pass.

      No. 20, Private Members' Resolution, Question Period. Comments or questions.

* (15:20)

Mr. Goertzen: So this came about because we thought it was strange to have the question period at the end of that hour even though that came out of the last iteration of rule changes. This is, I think, an ongoing commitment to tweak the rules that are new as we realize they don't work as well as we thought they might have on paper, and I think that that process should continue going forward.

Clerk: That's very correct, and it also would make it consistent with the question periods that are held on government bills and private members' bills. Those question periods are also held immediately after the mover has spoken.

Mr. Chairperson: Any further comments or advice or questions?

      No. 20–pass.

      No. 21, Private Members' Resolutions–Intersessional Filing. Comments? Questions?

      No. 21–pass.

      No. 22, Amendments to the Budget Motion. Comments or questions?

      No. 22–pass.

      No. 23, Tabling of Documents. Questions? Comments?

      No. 23–pass.

      No. 24, Speaking Time Exceptions. Comments or questions?

      No. 24–pass.

      No. 25, Amendments to the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Questions? Comments?

      No. 25–pass.

      No. 26, Aspersions on Votes of House. Comments or questions?

      No. 26–pass.

      No. 27, One-day notice of motion. Questions? Comments?

      No. 27–pass.

      No. 28, Written Questions. Comments? Questions?

      No. 28–pass.

      No. 29, Motions to be in Writing. Comments? Questions?

      No. 29–pass.

      No. 30, Procedural Requirements for Motions. Questions? Comments?

      No. 30–pass.

      No. 31, Amendments to motions to leave Chair and for Budget Address. Comments or questions?

      No. 31–pass.

      Referral of bills–No. 32, Referral of Bills to Committee of the Whole. Comments or questions?

      No. 32–pass.

      Since there is–appears to be a typo on your sheets there. The last word on the new rules, the changes, says raises versus rises. Is there an agreement to change that to the word rises? [Agreed]


      Shall item 32, as amended, Referral of Bills to Committee of the Whole, pass–as amended?

Some Honourable Members: Pass.

Mr. Chairperson: The item 32 is–as amended, is accordingly passed.

      No. 33, Presenting Petitions. Comments or questions?

Mr. Goertzen: This matter caused some degree of discussion in our rules discussions. Our under­standing is that there's been instances where the–people who've had their names read as part of the petition have expressed concerns that they were not aware it would be read into the public record. Of course, I mean, it's all public in the sense that if somebody asks for the petition, it can be retrieved from the Assembly once it's tabled but not that it would necessarily form part of Hansard.

      Is that correct? It's a question to the Clerk.

Clerk: That is correct. It is to avoid any concerns over privacy concerns that people might have because there's no disclaimer on a petition that indicates your name could be read aloud as part of the public record by signing this petition.

Mr. Cliff Cullen (Spruce Woods): So, to clarify, then, no names will be read?

Mr. Chairperson: Mr. Cullen–sorry, Ms. Chaychuk.

Clerk: That would be correct. You would still read the petition in its entirety and the part that's asking for some remedy to be taken, but then you wouldn't say the names of the three petitioners at the end.

Mr. Chomiak: The only comment I would make to that is that the former rule was mandatory. This particular rule, because it's not mandatory in its nature, doesn't exclude if a member would choose to read names, does it?

Clerk: There's no requirement for the members to read it, and we would not be providing them with a script that would be prompting them to read those names.

Mr. Cullen: So I guess the question is, does the option exist to read names?

Clerk: We are suggesting that it really shouldn't for the issues of privacy concerns.

The committee recessed at 3:27 p.m.


The committee resumed at 3:32 p.m.

Mr. Chairperson: Okay, Mr. Yarish.

Deputy Clerk (Mr. Rick Yarish): So for item 33, Presenting Petitions, it's been proposed that some wording be added to the end of this.

      So, in the new rule 129(5), the last sentence would read as follows: The Member must read the full text of the petition, and may read the names of the first three petitioners.

Mr. Chairperson: Comments or questions?

      Ready for the question?

      Do you agree to accept the amendment to that? [Agreed]

      Any further comments or questions or advice?

      Item 33–pass.

      Item 34, Referral of Petitions to Committee. Comments or questions?

      Item 34–pass.

      Item 35, Concurrence and Third Reading Motion.

Mr. Goertzen: By way of explanation, my understanding is that this will allow the sponsor of the bill to move their bill at third reading and then can speak either then or at the end. Currently the–it's a tradition that the Government House Leader is moving all the third readings to allow the sponsor of the bill to speak at a time they determine. This will allow the actual sponsor of the bill to move their bill for third reading and then speak either at that point or in the future.

Clerk: That is correct. At the second reading stage, members who move bills have the right of reply, meaning they get to speak a second time and close the debate, but that doesn't exist at third reading, which is why the Government House Leader has always had to move government motions for concurrence and third reading. So now the ministers can move their own motions and they can choose to either speak at the time of moving the motion or speak later on and wrap up and close up the debate by speaking last.

Mr. Chairperson: Any other questions?

      Item 35–pass.

      No. 36, Officers of the House. Shall that–any comments or questions? No comments or questions?

      No. 36–pass.

      No. 37, Duties of the Clerk. Comments or questions?

      No. 37–pass.

      No. 38, Engagement of Extra Employees. Comments or questions?

      No. 38–pass.

      No. 39, Votes and Proceedings delivered to the Lieutenant Governor. Comments or questions?

Mr. Goertzen: Only that this was a request, I am told, of the Lieutenant Governor, both current and past Lieutenant Governors. So this is not something that we initiated on our own.

Clerk: That is correct. This is a request going back quite a number of years because every day, the Clerk's Office would provide a copy of the Votes and Proceedings signed by the Clerk, and they would take them and promptly recycle them, and they've asked us to stop delivering them.

Mr. Chairperson: Any further comments or questions?

      No. 39–pass.

      No. 40, Deputy Clerk. Comments or questions?

      No. 40, Deputy Clerk–pass.

      No. 41, Completion of the work at close of session. Comments or questions?

      No. 41–pass.

      No. 42, Hours of Attendance. Comments or questions?

      No. 42–pass.

      No. 43, Vacancies. Comments or questions?

      No. 43–pass.

      No. 44, Private Bills' Process. Comments or questions?

      No. 44–pass.

      No. 45, Speaking Times–Report Stage Amendment Exceptions. Comments or questions?

      No. 45–pass.

      No. 46, Speaking Times–"no confidence" Motions. Comments or questions?

      No. 46–pass.

      For the committee's information, at the last meeting of the rules committee on June 26th, 2015, there was agreement to remove the description of points of order found in the appendices. However, this item was inadvertently missed when the committee reported to the House. Therefore, does the committee agree to report back to the House that the point of order appendix be deleted from the rule book with this deletion to be included in the committee report from today's meeting? Is that agreed?

An Honourable Member: Agreed, although I don't understand what I'm agreeing to, actually.

Clerk: In June, the committee had agreed to delete this from the rule book. They had agreed in the committee, but somehow, that didn't make its way back into the committee report that reported back to the House. So in order for us to remove this from the rule book, it technically still needs to be reported back to the House and concurred in.

Mr. Chairperson: Any further comments or questions? You're okay with that? Okay.

      Is that agreed? [Agreed]

      Does the committee agree that the Clerk be authorized to renumber the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and make other minor corrections that in no way alter the intended meaning of these amendments? [Agreed]

      Does the committee agree that the Clerk be authorized to prepare, revise rule books, incor­porating all amendments, additions and deletions? [Agreed]

      Does the committee agree that these amendments to the rules are permanent, subject to future rule considerations? [Agreed]

* (15:40)

      Does the committee agree that the–for future reference the document entitled Legislative Assembly of Manitoba Rule Change Proposals–March 2016, be included in the Hansard transcript of this meeting? [Agreed]

      Does the committee agree that the amendments to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceeding of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, as agreed to by this committee, be reported to the House? [Agreed]

Clerk: There's one other point. I think we have to agree on the record when these rule changes go into effect. I don't think that they've done that yet.

Mr. Chairperson: At the–the document that was circulated to you, Legislative Assembly of Manitoba Rule Change Proposals-March 2016, at the top of page 2 of the document, under the heading New Rules (changes), that the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceeding of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba be amended as follows, and these amendments will come into force on April 20th, 2016. Is that agreed? [Agreed]

      Thank you.

      Does the committee agree that the amendments to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceeding of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, as agreed to by this committee, be reported to the House? [Agreed]

      The hour being 3:41 p.m., what is the will of the committee?

Some Honourable Members: Committee rise.

Mr. Chairperson: Committee rise.

      Thank you, all of you, to your work and to our Clerk's committee for all the work they've done in preparing this. Thank you very much, folks.


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