Order. During question period today, the Prime Minister referred to the absence of certain members during a vote recently. I refer hon. members to page 522 of Marleau and Montpetit where it states:
It is unacceptable to allude to the presence or absence of a Member or Minister in the Chamber. The Speaker has traditionally discouraged Members from signalling the absence of another Member from the House because “there are many places that Members have to be in order to carry out all of the obligations that go with their office.”
I am sure that the Prime Minister is aware of this provision in our practice and that he would not want to repeat the error or set a bad example for other hon. members in referring to the absence of members from the House because it can lead to all kinds of recriminations as members draw attention to the absence of others at various times.
All of us have obligations and I am sure the Prime Minister would not want to repeat that error.
The right hon. Prime Minister.