Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Special Joint Committee—Broadcasting of Proceedings—Instruction to Committee”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (12 November 1980)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1980 at 4583-4584.
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COMMONS DEBATES — November 12, 1980
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE—BROADCASTING OF PROCEEDINGS—INSTRUCTION TO COMMITTEE
Right Hon. Joe Clark (Leader of the Opposition): Madam Speaker, my question is direct to the Prime Minister concerns the capacity of the joint committee of Parliament which is considered the constitution to have its proceedings televised. The Prime Minister will know that Madam Speaker has ruled that that decision can be taken only by this House so far as the House of Commons is concerned. Would Prime Minister tell the House whether it is the intention of government to take an initiative which would allow Parliament to give what Madam Speaker has called a permissive instrtion to the joint committee which would allow full coverage radio and television of the proceedings of that committee?
Right Hon. P.E. Trudeau (Prime Minister): Madam Speaker, I had occasion this morning to listen to the views various caucus members on this subject. It was concluded the government House leader would be willing to meet House leaders of the other parties, as soon as they are rea to discuss ways in which television might be brought into committee if agreement can be obtained all around on the in which it can be done.
Mr. Clark: Madam Speaker, I am pleased that we moved that far, although I think that was a conditional given by the Prime Minister. Is it the position of the government ment that there should be live radio and television coverage the proceedings of the joint committee?
Mr. Trudeau: Madam Speaker, I believe that is a of the same question, and I can only answer in the same perhaps more elaborate if necessary. The position of this has been for a long while, in spite of the foot dragging by official opposition, that television should come into the Ho The Leader of the Opposition will recall that television cov age in the House be done under very specified circumstanc that there be certain kinds of electronic Hansard, and so The answer I gave earlier indicates that our caucus is will to go in the direction of televising this particular committe the proper conditions, safeguards and framework are wor out between the House leaders.
Mr. Epp: What conditions?
Mr. McDermid: Before December 9?
Mr. Clark: Madam Speaker, again we do not have indication yet that it is the intention of the Government Canada to recommend full radio and television coverage Prime Minister says that their agreement would be conditi al. Would the Prime Minister tell the House of Comm what his conditions are?
Mr. Trudeau: Madam Speaker, I have indicated that our House leader is prepared to meet his House leader and the House leader of the New Democratic Party to discuss these conditions.
Mr. Clark: Madam Speaker, to discuss what conditions?
Mr. Trudeau: Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition surely remembers that when television was brought into the House, it was after a long series of negotiations on many conditions. Some conditions were put forth by his own party. We want objective coverage, somehting in the nature of an electronic Hansard. We do not want spots. We want to have the equivalent of what takes place in the full House. There are other conditions to be discussed which the House leaders will be able to look at.