Mr. Speaker, the member for Crowfoot is right on here.
This is what we must have for all Canadians. It is how our society operates in an orderly and functional way. We have rules. We have rules to control our behaviour on the highway and in many other areas. There are two things every citizen needs to know and there are two things every member of this House needs to know. First, we need to know what the rules are. That is the first function of the law, to make sure people know what behaviour is allowed. And so the ethics code that will be produced will apply to members of Parliament, to minister of the crown and to members of the other place. The first function is to inform.
The second function of the law is certainly that it is to be used as a measuring stick and to provide for means of holding people accountable.
I refer to Canadians in general. We in the House of Commons are commoners. We represent the wider population. We need in this House a set of rules and regulations, a code of conduct which clearly sets out what behaviour is unacceptable and what is desirable, as the member for Crowfoot has said.
The second role of the law is of course to hold accountable those who would not live by the code of conduct. As a lawyer, I am sure Mr. Speaker knows the rules full well. It is not acceptable in the House that we have rules which are not published. How do we know whether a person is in breach of a regulation unless we know about them?
Some are available to us, but the Prime Minister's phantom secret code is not. That is not acceptable. We need to have a way of holding accountable those who would breach the standards. That, of course, is the role of the a code of conduct. I certainly concur that we need that. It should set out more than just minimum behaviour. It should have a broad spectrum of behaviour outlined so that members know when they have stepped across the line. If they know in advance, hopefully they will not do it. If they did not know it in advance, of course as the public in general knows, ignorance of the law is not an excuse, therefore it would then be used as a way of showing them what they should have done and also an example for others who remain.