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Procreprivatip e

Procreprivatip e

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Published by CBCPolitics

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Published by: CBCPolitics on Oct 16, 2012
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NOTES FOR AN OPENING STATEMENTBYMR. MARC BOSC,DEPUTY CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,BEFORETHE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROCEDUREAND HOUSE AFFAIRSTUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2012REGARDING PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE ANDACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTSMADE TO OTHER PARTIES
October 16, 2012
 
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Introduction
On behalf of the Cl
erk of the House, Audrey O’Brien, who is
unable to be here today, I would like to thank the Committee for inviting me to appear today regarding parliamentary privilege andaccess to information requests made to other parties. I amaccompanied by Richard Denis, Deputy Law Clerk and ParliamentaryCounsel.My purpose in appearing before you is to review some of thebasic concepts of parliamentary privilege, with a particular emphasis
on what has traditionally been considered to constitute a “proceedingin Parliament”, the key concept of interest in the matter before the
Committee. I would also like to outline a series of broadconsiderations the Committee may wish to take into account inpursuing its study.Let me begin by returning to the statement made by theSpeaker to the House on September 17 after the House, byunanimous consent, had passed a motion to waive its privileges in a
 
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particular access to information case. He described the facts of thecase and the series of events that have led us here this morning.Let me turn first to the outline of certain fundamental tenets of parliamentary privilege. The Speaker states, at page 10005 of 
Debates 
:
“ 
The privileges, powers and immunities of the House of Commons, as provided by section 18 of the Constitution Act,1867 and section 4 of the Parliament of Canada Act, include freedom of speech and debate as set out, among others places, in article 9 of the Bill of Rights, 1689, which provides that: 
“ 
the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.
” 
 As Erskine May's 24th edition, at page 227, states: 
“—
underlying the Bill of Rights is the privilege of both Houses to the exclusive cognizance of their own proceedings. Both Houses retain the right to be sole judge of the lawfulness of 

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