Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. On February 8 during oral questions the member for Beaches—East York asked a question that was the subject of the committee's proceedings, not just its agenda or schedule, as would normally be allowed.
In the question, the member asserted that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and for the Status of Women and Official Languages misled the committee during her appearance. This assertion was the subject of debate within the committee and was not the proper subject of a question to a committee chair.
I reference Marleau and Montpetit, at pages 429 and 430, under the category of questions concerning matters before committees, where it is stated:
Questions seeking information about the schedule and agenda of committees may be directed to chairs of committees. Questions to the Ministry or a committee chair concerning the proceedings or work of a committee may not be raised.
Further, it is stated that questions:
--on a subject matter that is before a committee, when appropriately cast, are normally permitted as long as questioning does not interfere with the committee's work or anticipate its report. When a question has been asked about a committee's proceedings, Speakers have encouraged Members to rephrase their questions.
After the improper question was put, the member for Don Valley East, the chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, responded and continued to assert a position which was in fact a matter of debate and opinion that was not shared by all the committee members.
I cite again from Marleau and Montpetit at page 827:
During the Oral Question Period in the House, a committee Chair may respond to questions, provided they deal with the proceedings or schedule of the committee and not the substance of its work.
I contend and would ask you to consider that this question and the answer from February 8 should be ruled out of order, as both contradict the normal protocols for oral questions in the House.