Mr. Speaker, my comments will be brief, because what has just taken place here is clearly neither a question of privilege nor, for that matter, a point of order, but simply a grievance by the hon. member who is unhappy with a decision that was properly taken at the environment committee. I will make just the two points.
First, it is well established in the procedure and practices of the House that the rulings by committee chairs can be appealed and overturned by the committee. The hon. member just mentioned Standing Order 117, but Standing Order 117 also states that the chair shall decide “all questions of order subject to an appeal to the committee”. So in this respect there is nothing objectionable about a decision taken by the environment committee yesterday.
Second, Mr. Speaker, you have commented on many occasions that you are very reluctant to intervene in the affairs of committees, as committees are masters of their own proceedings and only in extreme circumstances would the Speaker want to intervene in committee decisions. I would submit that this issue certainly does not meet that standard, as this decision taken by the committee is clearly consistent with the procedures of the House.