I have an important statement to make to the House about the result of the vote taken yesterday evening on Motion No. 228, which was moved by the hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River.
As hon. members know, the announced result was a tie, with 143 members recorded as having voted in favour and 143 members recorded as having voted against.
On hearing that the votes were equally divided on the motion, the Deputy Speaker correctly gave the casting vote in the negative on the procedural grounds that, since no further discussion on the motion was possible and the House could not reach a decision, it was not for the Chair to decide that the proposal would go forward.
Some minutes after the Deputy Speaker had cast the deciding vote, and after the House had moved on to other business, it was brought to the attention of the Table that a member had been erroneously counted as having voted nay. Further verifications were made to confirm that an error had in fact been made and it was discovered that at one point during the vote several members stood out of sequence and then sat down in quick succession when voting on the motion. In amongst that group of members was one member who had remained seated throughout and had not in fact voted, namely the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes. However, in the confusion, his name had been called and his vote counted with the nays.
Shortly afterward I was informed by the table officers that this had occurred. As hon. members will realize, if this nay vote had not been counted in error, events would have unfolded differently. No tie vote would have occurred, no casting vote would have been required and most significantly Motion No. 228 would have been agreed to by a vote of 143 to 142.
As your Speaker, I always strive to observe the highest ethical standards in the exercise of my duties. Thus, in the present circumstances I have concluded that the decision on Motion No. 228 recorded in yesterday's Journals cannot stand, given our knowledge that it rests on a single incorrectly recorded vote.
Accordingly, I am informing the House that Motion No. 228 has been agreed to by a vote of 143 yeas to 142 nays and I have directed the Table to correct the Journals of June 22, 2005 so that the true decision of the House may be properly reflected in our official records.
I thank hon. members for their attention during this rather unusual announcement.
The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean on a point of order.