Mr. Speaker, I stand in response to a point of privilege that was raised in the House on November 21 by the members of the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Progressive Conservative Party. I will scan through my notes because I will be providing you with documents supporting what I am about to present to the House.
The first document is a notice of the original notice of the meeting which was provided to the members at 11:45 on November 15. It clearly indicates that the meeting would be 11:00 to 12:30, a public hearing; 12:30 to 1:00 a clause by clause. This was decided by the members of the committee at a previous meeting by a vote.
The next document, the Speaker will notice that the notice of motion, in addition to being short of 48 hours notice, does not make reference to it being disposed of before doing clause by clause.
Further, the decision to do clause by clause at 1 p.m. that day was a decision of the committee. It was decided by a vote of members of the committee.
Mr. Speaker, you will then see an amendment to the notice of meeting to accommodate the notice of motion of the member for Windsor—St. Clair. You will that the notice of motion was received by the clerk at 4:21 p.m. on November 19. Forty-eight hours would have brought us up to 4:21 p.m. on November 21, 2 hours after the planned meeting to do clause by clause.
As a courtesy, we dealt with the notice of motion at 11 a.m., 5 hours short of the 48 hours, to accommodate the mover.
The Speaker will see the amendment to the agenda where it has been indicated that Greenpeace declined to appear and it was the choice again of the member for Windsor—St. Clair. The member asked that Greenpeace be replaced by the Sierra Club of Canada and again as a courtesy to that member I agreed.
In dealing with the notice of motion from the member for Windsor--St. Clair, the Speaker will note that the hour of 11:30 was quickly approaching and that the blues will reveal that the chair did bring this to the attention of the members, who chose not to allow others to speak on it.
There was a motion by a member of the committee to call the question. The chair did put the question to the committee, and I quote the blues:
I am asking the floor to vote. If you want me to call the question at this time or not.
The record reveals that seven members voted yes to call the question and one member voted no.
Mr. Speaker, you will further note that the members who brought this point of privilege to your attention were: the member for Acadie--Bathurst, who was nowhere near Room 237-C at the time of the meeting; the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, who attends the aboriginal affairs and northern development issues; and his colleague, the member for Sherbrooke, who deals with natural resources issues, and who voted to call the question. The member for South Shore, who is one of 87 associate members, as is the member for Windsor--St.Clair, voted in favour of calling the question.
I feel that this filibuster has more to do with the leadership race of the fourth party than with the good work of the committee.