This is page numbers 149 - 175 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was chairman.

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Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 173

The Chair Brian Lewis

Yes, the chair has ruled that he can deal with these issues as long as he deals with them one at a time.

You don't have a point of order, Mrs. Marie-Jewell. It is a practice of this House that the right to speak on issues is fundamental and I fail to recognize...Mr. Patterson did have his hand up. It was pointed out to me that he did have it up on clause 3 and I think that it is fundamental that the right to speak should be upheld in this House, that is why I have decided to allow him to deal with clause 3. Mr. Nerysoo.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Then I will challenge your ruling.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

The Chair Brian Lewis

So that I can report to the Speaker as to what the nature of the challenge is, would you like to state what the exact challenge is to the chair? Mr. Nerysoo.

Challenging Of Chairman's Ruling

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You had already called, Mr. Chairman, the matter of whether or not Members approved clause 3, you then called clause 4. And, as such, the fact was the decision had already been made on clause 3 and you were dealing with clause 4. You were calling the question on that particular matter, at which time the honourable Member could have raised a question relating to that particular clause.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

The Chair Brian Lewis

Okay, I will rise and report to the Speaker that the chair has been challenged on the issue of whether we have gone beyond the point of no return.

---SHORT RECESS

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Lewis.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In committee of the whole, we had dealt with the issue of deferring this bill. That motion was defeated. Then we proceeded to go clause by clause.

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be some urgency in getting this bill dealt with expeditiously. From my seat, as you know, from the design of this chamber, Mr. Speaker, there is someone between myself and Mr. Patterson. He had asked to be recognized. He had his hand in the air. Because he is behind me and not in front of me, I didn't recognize him, although it was pointed out to me by the table officers that he wanted to be recognized. I had to make a judgement then about the issue of Members' rights in this chamber. Sometimes the rights of the people who sit on the ends are not recognized. For that reason, when it was pointed out to me, although we may have passed clause 3, I decided that Mr. Patterson's request to deal with several of these clauses and defer them one at a time seemed to be just and reasonable. I did point out to him that he would have to deal with them one at a time and not in a bunch, the way he proposed.

On that basis, I decided to allow him to do what he wanted to do and was challenged by Mr. Nerysoo, who pointed out to me that we had passed clause 3 and, therefore, the Member had lost his right to be recognized. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 174

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Mr. Lewis, it is the desire of the House to conclude this bill. I haven't seen the Hansard, although I have been observing it from television. I can't say what happened until I look at the Hansard. I would like to take a 15-minute break -- it will take five minutes to get the Hansard -- then I will make a ruling.

---SHORT RECESS

Speaker's Ruling

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

February 17th, 1995

Page 174

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

I will call the House to order. I have had an opportunity to review the unedited Hansard surrounding consideration of Bill 15, An Act to Amend the Elections Act, which had lead to the point of order by Mrs. Marie-Jewell and the challenge to the chairman's ruling by Mr. Nerysoo.

In reviewing the Hansard, it is evident that there was some confusion in the committee as to what Members wished to do with the clause-by-clause review. I noted that, in fact, the Hansard does indicate that the committee had agreed to Clause 3 of the bill and the chairman had called clause 4. It was at that point that Mr. Patterson was recognized by the chairman to bring forward his request as to the appropriateness of introducing a motion to defer clauses 6, 41 and 3. At that point, the chair ruled that the Member could not introduce a motion that would defer a number of clauses. That ruling was correct. At that point, Mr. Patterson moved that clause 3 be deferred. The point of order is that the committee of the whole had already agreed to clause 3, so the Member could not now move that motion.

When I reviewed Hansard, it is clear that the House agreed to clause 3 and the appropriate citation on this is, and I quote from Beauchesne's, 6th edition, citation 691(1):

"The clauses of a bill in committee must be considered in their proper order; that is, beginning with clause 1 then taking up clause 2 and so on, to the end of the bill. The chairman usually calls out the number of each clause and reads the marginal note, and may read the clause at length if it is demanded by the committee. Each clause is a distinct question and must be separately discussed. When a clause has been agreed to, it is irregular to discuss it again on the consideration of another clause."

However, it has been the practice of this Assembly to allow Members to go back to clauses that may have been already agreed to, at the discretion of the chairman. I recall that, with the speed that sometimes the committee goes through clauses, the chair has permitted Members to go back a couple of clauses. We also have the practice of allowing Members to request to go back to clauses that may be as far back as nine or 10 clauses. But, normally, the permission of the committee is required. I feel that the role of the chairman is similar to that of the Speaker and that is to ensure that when debating a matter, all Members have an opportunity to express their views. The chair should not be caught up in the issue so that one side of the issue can dominate or filibuster to the detriment of other Members' freedom of speech.

My observations of the debate were that the chair had fulfilled this role by allowing Mr. Patterson to go back to clause 3. On the strict interpretation of section 691(1) of Beauchesne's, I would have to uphold Mr. Nerysoo's challenge. However, I feel the practice of this House, as I have outlined, should be followed as long as no one Member has an advantage over another in debate. Therefore, the chair has some discretion to return to past clauses in this situation. Based on Hansard and the confusing circumstances that existed, this discretion was appropriately exercised. Therefore, I uphold the chair's ruling.

The committee will resume. Mr. Lewis.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 175

The Chair Brian Lewis

The committee will come back to order. We were on Bill 15. We are on clause...I'll make sure I'm in the right place before I open my mouth. We just completed clause 3. Mr. Dent.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 175

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Mr. Chairman, I move we report progress.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 175

The Chair Brian Lewis

This motion is not debatable. All those in favour? All those opposed? Motion is carried.

---Carried

I shall rise and report progress.

Committee Motion 21-12(7): Defer Clause 3 Of Bill 15
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 175

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 20, report of committee of the whole. Mr. Lewis.

Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 175

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been quite a day. Your committee has been considering Bill 15 and would like to report progress. Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of committee of the whole be concurred with.

Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 175

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Do we have a seconder? Mr. Koe. The motion is in order. All those in favour? All those opposed? Motion is carried.

---Carried

Item 21, third reading of bills. Item 22, Mr. Clerk, orders of the day.