Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that action by the government, and I will accept the word of the government House leader that this was an administrative error only.
However, I think there remains a question for the Chair to consider because the Standing Orders in question are very clear. They require the tabling of those orders in council within five sitting days after their publication in the Canada Gazette . That did not happen.
Some of the appointments with regard to which it did not happen were very important appointments. They had to do not simply with the nomination of individuals. They had to do with, in at least two cases, major changes in the structure and operation of the Government of Canada: in one case, the establishment of a secretariat responsible for Canada-U.S. relations; and in the other case, the creation of a brand new office, a special adviser on security matters to the Prime Minister.
The latter is particularly important because there had been commitments made by the Prime Minister with respect to opening up the intelligence and security operations of Canada to parliamentarians. Instead of doing that, what the government was doing, until it was caught, until I raised the issue, was effecting changes with regard to security and intelligence within the government without effecting changes that would allow the House of Commons or the other place to examine those security and intelligence operations in the way the Prime Minister had promised would occur.
Not to prolong this, I think there remains a question, without opening the validity of the House leader's reference to administrative error, as to whether the privileges and the rights of this House were abused by the repeated failure of the Government of Canada to follow an order given by this House and spelled out in Standing Order 110(1).