Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The adoption of this ways and means motion which is the first step in implementing legislation in regard to the Nisga'a agreement is out of order.
Not only is this issue very controversial and will have a precedent setting impact on the entire country, the House should know this agreement is before the courts. Beauchesne's sixth edition, citation 505 states:
Members are expected to refrain from discussing matters that are before the courts or tribunals which are courts of record. The purpose of this sub judice convention is to protect the parties in a case awaiting or undergoing trial and persons who stand to be affected by the outcome of a judicial enquiry.
The government should not be allowed to proceed any further with Nisga'a legislation since it affects one of our most fundamental rights of free speech.
Beauchesne's also talks about respecting the sub judice convention in the interest of justice and fair play. Notwithstanding the fact that legislation enabling the Nisga'a agreement was passed by the most unpopular government in the history of British Columbia with a paltry 35% of the vote of the electorate, we in this House must respect the objections and the objectives of the other 62% of British Columbians and many other Canadians, including parties to several litigations on the matter, including the B.C. Liberals.
When considering this point of order, Mr. Speaker, you must understand that we will stand up for the equal rights of all Canadians, including the Nisga'a. We will do our utmost to convince the Liberal government to reconsider its position and to inform Canadians of the very significant mistakes that are being made.