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QUESTION PERIOD — Point of Order

Speaker’s Ruling Reserved

June 9, 2022


Hon. Julie Miville-Dechêne [ + ]

I rise on a point of order. I noticed that, in his answer to my question, Senator Housakos mentioned confidential information from an in camera meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications. I believe that’s a breach of confidentiality, which is a serious breach in this place. I paid close attention to his answers, and in my own question, I was very careful to say nothing about what happened during that meeting because it was in camera.

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

This is indeed the pot calling the kettle black. Senator Miville-Dechêne raised a question with Senator Housakos that entirely breached an in camera meeting. She inferred what had happened during an in camera meeting. She talked about the majority of votes: 12 to 8. Where did the 12 to 8 vote come from, other than from an in camera meeting? Indeed, Senator Housakos did refer to issues that had been discussed, but he answered a question that itself entirely breached the in camera meeting.

Senator Martin [ + ]

Good point.

Hon. Frances Lankin [ + ]

I want to contribute to this as a person who sat here and listened. I heard no reference to what went on in a meeting, in camera or otherwise. What I did hear was a question about when the committee would deal with it, and how the committee would respond to a motion that was duly passed by the majority in this chamber.

I’m not commenting on what the answer was. That will have to be examined on the record, but I certainly listened very carefully to the question and I heard no such breach of an in camera session.

Senator Miville-Dechêne [ + ]

I’d like to clarify. I did say that the majority of the committee members wanted to begin the study right away. Let me remind you that I am deputy chair of the committee, so I do prior consultations from time to time to take the pulse. That had nothing to do with what happened in committee. That was not the result of the in camera vote.

The Hon. the Speaker [ + ]

Honourable senators, I will take the point of order matter under advisement.

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