Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Special Joint Committee—Receipt of Letter by Joint Chairman”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (6 November 1980)

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Date: 1980-11-06
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1980 at 4498.
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[Page 4498]



Hon. Walter Baker (Nepean-Carleton): Madam Speaker. I have a question for the hon. member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in his capacity as one of the joint chairmen of the committee on the constitution. with respect to the business before the committee. As the matter of the televising and broadcasting of the committee’s proceedings is not closed. can the joint chairman of the committee tell me when he received the letter of August 13, 1980, from whom was that letter received, and what did he do with it after he received it and before it was produced to the committee?


Mr. Serge Joyal (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Treasury Board): If Madam Speaker allows me, of course I will answer the question put to me by the opposition House leader. The letter was brought to my knowledge this morning by the clerk of the House attached to the committee at the time when I heard of a suggestion originating from a colleague of the hon. member asking committee members to study the possibility of televising and broadcasting the debates of the committee.

That was the first time I read the letter, although during previous discussions about gathering the necessary information on procedures I had already met the clerk, but he did not raise with me the point contained in the letter from Madam Speaker. It was this morning, therefore, that I learned of the existence of that letter. Having received and read the letter I asked that it be photocopied for distribution to members of the committee. Having read it and heard comments from various members of the committee I came to the conclusion that the interpretation given by Madam Speaker to the Standing Orders of the House was that broadcasting and televising the dcbates ofa committee fell within the purview of the House of Commons.


Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): I have a supplementary question for the hon. member for Don Valley East—

Some hon. Members: Order. ..

An hon. Member: He is chairman of the committee.

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton):—with respect to the business of his committee. Could he tell the House when he delivered the letter to his colleague, the hon. member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, when he received it, whether he gave it to arty minister and. if so. to whom?

Mr. David Smith (Don Valley East): Madam Speaker. may I say through you to the hon. member that I never forwarded the reply to the hon. member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): To anybody else?

Mr. Smith: The seven members of the committee were aware of the reply front Madam Speaker. I do not recall that any other person was sent a copy of it.

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton): There are seven Liberal members.

Mr. Smith: No, there are two Conservative members and one NDP member.

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