On two occasions this week, during statements by members, once by a member of the government caucus and once by a member of the official opposition, individual members took it upon themselves to recognize special guests who were in the galleries. I want to remind all hon. members that it has been a long-standing practice in the House that this is a prerogative of the Chair.
As O'Brien and Bosc's House of Commons Procedure and Practice states at page 284:
Only from the Speaker’s Gallery can distinguished visitors (such as heads of state, heads of government and parliamentary delegations invited to Canada and celebrated Canadians) be recognized and introduced to the House, and only by the Speaker. Members other than the Speaker may not refer to the presence of any visitors in the galleries at any time.
Only distinguished visitors can be recognized and introduced to the House, and only by the Speaker.
I ask for the co-operation of all members in respecting this approach, as it ensures fairness and safeguards the time of the House.