Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege of considerable importance. As members well know, a prime facie question of privilege arises when the rights of this House are transgressed, breached or usurped. What I raise is clearly a prime facie question of privilege.
I refer the Chair to Standing Order 8:
At the commencement of every session, or from time to time as necessity may arise, the House may appoint a Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole and also an Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole-
The phrase relevant to privilege and rights of the House is "the House may appoint".
A press release dated February 26 on the letterhead of the Prime Minister's office reads: "Prime Minister appoints"-and then the name of the member for Madawaska-Victoria-"as Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole".
Standing Order 8 is clear. This appointment is the right of the House as a whole, yet the Prime Minister has claimed the appointment as a power of his office. I contend that the Prime Minister has usurped and interfered with a vote of the House on this appointment, making and declaring the appointment as a fait accompli.
Mr. Speaker, if you find this to be a prima facie question of privilege I will move the appropriate motion to have it referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for deliberation.