Mr. Speaker, of course there is no question of privilege here this morning, as the Chair no doubt has already recognized or, I suspect, as he is about to.
There has been some discussion here as to whether or not the speaker should recognize an emergency debate under Standing Order 52.
I will acknowledge that it was raised. I certainly do not want to contribute to that process because that is the Speaker's decision and only the Speaker's decision. I recognize the Speaker will do that with the usual wisdom.
Whether one likes or dislikes a report tabled in the House does not constitute privilege. That is not the case. Whether someone receives the budget and he or she wants to do his or her function is not a matter of privilege.
The member from Central Nova said that certain government departments sought legal counsel when there was a difficulty or a challenge to the interpretation of law. Surely the learned member of the House should not be offended by the fact that people seek legal counsel in the interpretation of laws. It is certainly not a question of privilege. I do not see how anyone could even take that allegation seriously.
The House leader for the official opposition said that the access commissioner did not provide sufficient access to his own document. That may be interesting as a point but the government does not distribute the copies of the access to information commissioner's document. My own colleagues were trying to get copies of this yesterday and could not get it either.
I was reminded by members across the way that this is an independent officer of the House. Surely the independent officer of the House is not going to be dictated to the government as to how many copies to bring along. That is something to be discussed between the Speaker and the independent officer in question, whether it is the auditor general, who will table documents later today, or whether it is the privacy commissioner or whether it is some other independent officer.
When independent officers who report to parliament do not provide sufficient copies of their documents, the Chair will discuss that with that independent office. It is not something that the government is in any way responsible for or otherwise. The mere allegation of that is bordering on the preposterous.
I know someone raised and was quite nervous about the fact that the Prime Minister made excellent cabinet appointments this morning. That nervousness was duly noted. I will not comment on it further other than restating that I do not believe a question of privilege has been raised today with the Chair.