After question period this afternoon the hon. member for Surrey Central raised a point of order concerning the events of yesterday evening when, by unanimous consent, a motion for concurrence in the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs was presented and adopted in the House.
As hon. members know, the report comprises eight recommendations on the way the House handles Private Members' Business.
I thank the hon. member for Surrey Central, the hon. government House leader, the hon. whip of the New Democratic Party and the member for Elk Island for their contributions. I am now prepared to explain how the Chair will proceed on this matter.
Recommendation No. 5 concerning how recorded divisions on Private Members' Business are taken will be implemented immediately since it is a matter of practice.
Recommendation 8 on the priority for drafting private members' bills will be implemented immediately, because this is an administrative matter.
Recommendation No. 7 lies within the purview of the Board of Internal Economy. That will be taken up there.
With regard to the other recommendations, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, these in the opinion of the Chair call for substantive amendments to the standing orders and require various technical interpretations. I have therefore asked the Clerk to draft proposed amendments to the standing orders which would implement recommendations Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 and to submit that draft to the House leaders.
As soon as the House has pronounced itself on the specific text of new standing orders to give effect to the recommendations it adopted last night, the Chair will be governed accordingly. In the meantime, however, because the Chair has no mandate to unilaterally change the text of the standing orders, the Chair will continue to be guided by the existent standing orders.