Mr. Speaker, I would like to read into the record a short statement in reply to the statement by the chief government whip concerning the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs.
Members were initially informed there were three days of hearings for the subcommittee on private members' business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. These meetings were to start on Tuesday, March 12 and end on Tuesday, March 19.
Several of our members were counting on being able to present their items to the committee on March 19 and planned trips back to their ridings for most of that week. On Tuesday, March 12 our members were informed the meeting on the March 19 was cancelled and the committee wanted to report back to the House this week.
This 11th hour cancellation made it virtually impossible for a number of our members to present their items to the committee on their own behalf. Because of this change private members' business would now start on March 18 instead of March 25. This in turn created another set of last minute scheduling headaches for a number of our members.
We hope the cordial and efficient manner in which the committee functioned during the first session of the 35th Parliament will soon re-establish itself during the current session. It is our sincere hope that the unfortunate events of this week were merely a temporary aberration from the co-operative atmosphere members had become accustomed to in that subcommittee.