Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege pertaining to the deeply disturbing events that took place during question period today. The issue that seized question period is a terribly serious issue and it cannot be treated with the frivolous disregard that we saw from the government over the course of the last hour or so.
There can be no doubt about the Prime Minister's intention. He can try to hide behind the excuse that he did not get an opportunity to read his insult into the record, but there is no doubt about what that insult was intended to be.
This is a matter that has impugned the character and the reputation of an hon. member of this House. The Prime Minister was asked on no less than 12 occasions to withdraw those remarks and to apologize to this House. That opportunity, that invitation, was ignored by the Prime Minister.
He has avoided the opportunity of doing the right thing, the honourable thing, and that kind of conduct in this House by the Prime Minister or anyone else simply cannot be condoned. To move on to the ordinary flow of business without first raising this issue is absolutely untoward.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I invite you to review the record of what happened here very carefully. As soon as people have had an opportunity to read the transcript in Hansard from question period and as soon as members have informed themselves of the Hansard record, I invite you to hear arguments in this House about how the reputation of this member of Parliament, an hon. member, has been impugned by the Prime Minister and by the government, and that cannot be allowed to stand.