No. 32 VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One-thirty o’clock p.m.

Prayers by Ms. Shin.

Order called for “Members’ Statements.”

Order called for “Oral Questions by Members.”

The Speaker delivered her reserved decision as follows:

Honourable Members:

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, the Member for Burnaby-Deer Lake rose on a point of privilege. On October 6, the Member reserved her right to bring forth a matter of privilege. The Chair also heard a submission of the Government House Leader on Thursday, November 6, 2014, on the matter. I would like to thank both Members for their submissions, which I have carefully reviewed.

In essence, the Member’s point of privilege is based on what she terms as the deliberate misleading of the House on March 5, 2014, by the Minister for Advanced Education in his response to a question by the Member for Vancouver-Point Grey respecting executive compensation at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. To support the point of privilege, the Member for Burnaby-Deer Lake provided a report titled “Kwantlen Polytechnic University, A Compensation Review dated June 13, 2014 ” prepared by Rob Mingay, Assistant Deputy Minister, Labour Relations, Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat, Ministry of Finance.

The Report reviewed compensation offered or paid by Kwantlen Polytechnic University to members of the executive. The Report acknowledges that the Minister was one of several individuals who provided information in support of this inquiry. The Chair is unable to determine following a reading of the Report, a reading of the question by the Member for Vancouver-Point Grey, and the response of the Minister, that a prima facie breach of privilege has been made out. What there undoubtedly is before the Chair is a dispute by Members on the interpretation of facts. Neither the Report provided by the Member for Burnaby-Deer Lake, nor the exchange in the Chamber, offers evidence that the Minister sought to deliberately mislead the House with his remarks on March 5.

Breaches of privilege involve the protection of Members from impediments to their functioning as Members of the Legislative Assembly, whereas contempts of the House are, broadly speaking, offenses against the dignity and the authority of the House itself. The strict definition of privilege or contempt cannot be expanded to include controversies as to facts and opinions, or in this case: differing opinions or conclusions on the interpretation of reports. The point raised by the Member for Burnaby-Deer Lake appears to be more a matter of debate than it is one of privilege or contempt.

Members will know that it has been a long-standing practice in this House that an Honourable Member’s statement is accepted by the House in the absence of indisputable evidence to the contrary. This practice is well described in the decision of Speaker Schroeder of April 13, 1982, which is cited in Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia, 4th edition at page 351.

Indeed, there must be some prima facie evidence that the Minister deliberately misled the House. This requirement of evidence that the House has been “deliberately misled” is described in Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice, 22nd edition, at p. 111 and Maingot’s Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, at p. 224.

In this case, there is no such evidence in possession of the Chair, and accordingly the application by the Member for Burnaby-Deer Lake fails. I thank the Members for their attention.

HON. L. REID, Speaker

The House proceeded to “Orders of the Day.”

Bill (No. 8) intituled Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act (No. 2), 2014 was committed.

Bill (No. 8) reported complete without amendment.

Bill (No. 8) to be read a third time at the next sitting.

Bill (No. 7) intituled Nisga’a Final Agreement Amendment Act, 2014 was committed.

Bill (No. 7) reported complete without amendment.

Bill (No. 7) to be read a third time at the next sitting.

On the motion for second reading of Bill (No. 4) intituled Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2014, a debate arose.

The debate continued.

Bill (No. 4) read a second time and Ordered to be placed on the Orders of the Day for committal at the next sitting after today.

The House resumed the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill (No. M 203) intituled Terry Fox Day Act.

On the motion of Ms. Elmore, the debate was adjourned to the next sitting of the House.

And then the House adjourned at 6.54 p.m.



Thursday, November 20

Ms. Shin to introduce a Bill intituled Electronic Petitions Act.

Mr. Farnworth to introduce a Bill intituled Fairness in Financing Local Government Elections Act.

Monday, November 24

Mr. Heyman to introduce a Bill intituled Safeguarding Young Peoples’ Future Act.


Thursday, November 20

11  Ms. Popham to move —

Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly appoint and activate a Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Monday, November 24

12  Mr. Bernier to move —

Be it resolved that this House continue to support efforts to connect B.C. businesses with the opportunities presented by the LNG industry.