moved for leave to introduce Bill C-596, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (conduct and speech of members).
Mr. Speaker, in our system of Parliament we operate under the presumption of honesty of all hon. members, but it is not written anywhere. Arguably, it would be beneficial to enshrine that presumption.
My bill seeks to amend the Parliament of Canada Act to provide that members of Parliament shall endeavour to ensure that their conduct and speech reflect certain characteristics. Specifically, the bill adds section 4.1 which states:
The members shall, in the exercise of their privileges, immunities and powers referred to in section 4, endeavour to ensure that their conduct is fair and generally beneficial, fosters good will and encourages and cultivates friendship, and that their speech is truthful and consistent with that conduct.
These ethical criteria for the conduct and speech of members reflect the Rotary International four-way test as a guide for everything we think, say and do.
I believe that the capacity of legislators to inspire a nation is diminished unless our words and our deeds are indeed true, fair, beneficial and promote friendship and goodwill.
I sincerely hope that all hon. members will agree that the adoption of this bill is desirable for Parliament and is in the public interest.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this bill, the Rotary bill, to the men and women of Rotary International in gratitude for their wide-ranging contributions through community service in Canada and around the world.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)