Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege which relates to the Minister of Health. He is denying information to members, specifically to me in my role as health critic for the Progressive Conservative Party.
I believe I am also speaking on behalf of other critics in the health field.
What I am talking about specifically is that all ministers routinely provide information to the critics in their legitimate roles in order for them to be able to perform their duties as critics.
Mr. Speaker, you are aware that this House has to operate on the best information available and we are being denied some of that information. For example, the Minister of Health has a budget of $1.5 billion. He has 6,400 employees to provide him with the best information. He is not doing it for the critics.
I am referring specifically to the clippings collected by members of his department from coast to coast every single day. We have always had the courtesy extended to us of having those clippings in our possession each and every day in order to perform in our roles as critics.
I will quote certain sections from Beauchesne's that relate exactly to the point I am making. In chapter two under privilege it states:
The privileges of Parliament are rights which are “absolutely necessary for the due execution of powers”. They are enjoyed by individual Members, because the House cannot perform its functions without unimpeded use of the services of its Members; and by each House for the protection of its members and the vindication of it own authority and dignity—