Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order concerning an announcement made this morning by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.
He made a statement outside this House concerning matters of considerable concern to this exact House, namely the costs associated with a multi-year renovation and restoration project for the parliamentary buildings.
The government's reluctance to make this type of ministerial statement in the House shows contempt for this place and it is something we have seen in the past.
Keep in mind, as well, that this statement was made at a time when most caucuses were sitting and members of parliament were unable to attend.
This is the exact House that these renovations apply to. This is also the House that occupies the most parliamentary space during this restoration period.
We are members of parliament who are answerable to the public, which does not always differentiate between the actions of the ministry, the departmental officials or the membership of the House of Commons.
The minister became involved in a very public dispute with a senior official in his department. That senior official was subsequently removed from the responsibility of this parliamentary project, which has been the subject of considerable debate, considerable criticism and rumour.
There are large chunks of the renovation which were in the original budget that have now simply evaporated, so there are massive costs still to come.
The minister owes it to the House to come to this House and give a full public accounting.