Canada, Senate Debates, “Proposed Special Joint Committee—Witnesses”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (29 October 1980)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1980 at 1014-1015.
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SENATE DEBATES — October 29, 1980
PROPOSED SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE—WITNESSES
Hon. Orville H. Phillips: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It arises out of my question of privilege earlier concerning the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution.
The members mentioned in the message from the House of Commons received earlier today have now received a request from the honourable member for High Park to appear before that committee as a witness. I would point out, honourable senators, that the honourable member for High Park had an opportunity to speak in the debate—something the majority of the Progressive Conservative members in that house did not have. This creates a most peculiar circumstance.
Will the Leader of the Government assure us that the committee will not be stacked with Liberal members of the House of Commons, who are to appear as witnesses, when the Senate has not approved the resolution.
Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government): Well, honourable senators, that question is a reflection upon the integrity and the quality of all members of the Senate, wherever they sit. The members who will be named to that joint committee, if the Senate approves of the resolution, I am sure will uphold the highest parliamentary traditions and standards.
As far as the report about witnesses being called by the committee is concerned, in my view it would be improper to issue invitations for witnesses to appear before a committee that has not yet been established. I would appreciate any information which the honourable senator may be able to provide.
Senator Phillips: I will be happy to provide the leader with information. I did not re?ect on the integrity of the Senate. However, I am not surprised that the honourable senator should use that word, because he has a different interpretation of it from what I have.