Mr. Speaker, my point of order has to do with something which you may or may not find to be within your jurisdiction to comment on, but I claim that wherever parliamentary traditions and the legitimacy of Parliament are threatened this House of Commons should be concerned, and you, Mr. Speaker, as our servant and representative in many ways, should also be concerned.
I am speaking of a situation that has developed in Canada recently where parliamentary institutions are being called into question. A concern has been expressed by none other than the former clerk of the House of Commons, Monsieur Marleau, and it has to do with the fact that the Ontario government is proposing to release its budget not in the Ontario legislature but in a TV studio.
The former clerk of the House of Commons who, as we all know, co-authored the book Marleau and Montpetit, is quoted in the paper as saying that what is being done in Ontario is “an act of colonial arrogance, of a kind without precedent and not seen in the history of Canada, since the 1838-39 rebellion”. Our former clerk then went on to say that this TV budget “would be illegitimate in the parliamentary sense” and that the government there “does not understand the gravity of the course they've chosen”.
Mr. Speaker, I would call on you in the course of this point of order, and I would be interested to hear what members of other parties have to say on this, to speak on our behalf, to send a message on behalf of all members of Parliament here who value parliamentary tradition and the role of Parliament. What would we think, and I say this to all members of Parliament here, if any federal government chose to deliver the budget in a TV studio to a hand-picked audience instead of the House of Commons where it should properly deliver the budget?
I ask you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all of us, to send a message to the Ontario legislature and to send a message of support to the Ontario Speaker, who is speaking up against this outrage. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to do this on behalf of all of us.