Mr. Speaker, when I was on my feet earlier in this discussion, I indicated that there were precedents for motions of the genre that the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine has proposed.
I noticed in the course of his remarks the House leader for the Bloc made reference to one of those precedents, which was the same one that I had in mind, and I have since been able to find the exact reference. It appears in the Journals of the House of Commons for Tuesday, November 5, 2002. There was a motion put forward, interestingly enough moved by a member of the Conservative Party and seconded by a member of the New Democratic Party to change the Standing Orders of the House in that particular case dealing with the election of committee chairs.
The point is this. Like that motion from two or three years ago, the motion which we hope will be before the House tomorrow is a motion that proposes to change certain procedures under Standing Orders. That is the nature of what is being proposed, just as was the motion of a few years ago.
One might logically ask, what is more normal or natural for Parliament to do than to deal with its own procedures and Standing Orders in order to expedite the public business of the country? That surely is a matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada.
The government House leader has tried to circumscribe those words to say they mean something less than a plain, common sense meaning of those words would conclude. We should bear in mind what the words themselves say without circumscription; they say “any matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada”. That open and broad interpretation is confirmed, indeed, by Marleau and Montpetit and there are precedents, including the one to which I have just referred, which indicate that Parliament before has taken the kind of action on an opposition motion on an opposition day as that proposed for tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, I would also point out that in 2005, when the party that is now the government was the opposition, there were a number of motions on the order paper standing in the name of the Conservative Party that proposed similar types of action. We would have to check the record to see if any of them actually proceeded at that time because there was a long list of various measures put on the order paper, but the important thing to note is that those proposals made by the Conservative Party at that time were of a very similar nature to the kind of proposal that we are discussing.
Again, Mr. Speaker, I would make the point that once you have given this matter thorough reflection, you should in our view conclude, and we hope you will conclude, that the motion in the name of the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine is perfectly in order and the debate tomorrow should proceed as scheduled.