Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois just presented in a very eloquent way the problem that confronts us.
A question of privilege was originally raised by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis, who just reminded you of its nature. There is at least one new development, namely that the government is about to impose closure, with the result that we will likely begin to vote this evening, at 6.30 p.m., on the various amendments proposed at report stage of Bill C-20.
This creates two problems. The first one, which was raised by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis, is that two of our amendments, on which we worked with the legislative counsel, were deemed out of order before even having been tabled.
This greatly affected our ability to actually table these amendments later on, since they were deemed out of order before even having been tabled. This is not to mention the much more fundamental issue of the confidentiality that must exist between each member of parliament and the legislative counsels.
As for the voting process that will likely begin this evening, you will agree with me that it poses a problem.
The second problem concerns the amendments that were first deemed to be out of order. Explanations were provided to us by the Deputy Principal Clerk, who told us why these amendments had been deemed out of order.
We went back to the drawing board. We rewrote these amendments by taking into account the points raised and, surprise, these amendments were again deemed to be out of order.
You will agree that, if you were to rule in favour of the question of privilege raised by my colleague, it would then be necessary to include in the various groups of amendments all those amendments that were deemed out of order for a reason that we feel totally unjustified. It would be necessary to include these amendments in the various groups, so that they could be voted on this evening.
You will agree that we cannot possibly begin the debate on the amendments to Bill C-20. Moreover, we cannot begin to vote on these amendments if the Chair has not rendered its decision.
I want to stress what the Bloc Quebecois leader just said. If we were faced with the prospect of beginning the debate and, worse yet, of voting on the amendments proposed at report stage of Bill C-20, without the Chair having first made its ruling, we would have no other choice but to conclude that Bloc Quebecois members are not treated impartially.