Mr. Speaker, the government House leader is a very experienced man, so I am sure he is not surprised to see his motion give rise to what I would call very interesting discussions.
Unfortunately, the official opposition will vote against the amendment of our friends in the third party for a very simple reason: If this House did break with tradition and decide to appoint a Deputy Chair who is not a government member, it is clear to me that this Deputy Chair should come from the official opposition. I am convinced that our colleagues from the third party can only agree with our arguments.
We, however, feel sorry to have to do this. The government party is just emerging from a convention where everything was hunky-dory.
I imagine that during the convention there was no discussion as to whether or not the government should keep its promise to fulfil an important responsibility and appoint an opposition member to assist the Chair in carrying out one of its most basic, if not its most basic duty: the orderly conduct of House business and, ultimately, good governance.
Of course, there was no question about this, but it would have been a good idea to appoint an opposition member as the new Deputy Chair.
We will also vote against the motion. Yet, we will do so with regret. We will do so as a matter of principle because everyone of us recognizes that the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands has but one flaw: he is not a member of the official opposition. He has excellent judgment. He is well mannered. Every time he had to assume committee management responsibilities, he met the expectations of both government and opposition members.
I can assure the man who will likely be the next Deputy Chair that he will, of course, have our co-operation because we are confident he will be do a very good job of moving House business along.
I therefore move an amendment to the amendment. I move:
That François Langlois be appointed Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole.