I will thank the Minister of Public Safety for his comments.
As the Speaker well knows, there is very clear direction to the House when a member is in the process of moving a unanimous consent motion. Some have been quite lengthy and complex in their nature. My friend is seeking to amend the omnibus legislation Bill C-45, which removes many tens of thousands of lakes and rivers from the protection of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. The House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which all members know well, and should know page 590 very well, says:
....a Member wishing to waive the usual notice requirement before moving a substantive motion would ask the unanimous consent of the House “for the following motion”, which is then read in extenso.
This is an important part of the instruction given to this House. After the motion has been read in extenso,
The Speaker then asks if the House gives its unanimous consent to allow the Member to move the motion.
It is impossible for the House to make a decision on a motion that has not yet been fully read. That is clearly the direction that has been given to this House.
We have had the former House leader for the government move such a motion on one of their own bills. It was extensive. It was long and complicated. However, the House gave leave for that member to read the extensive motion.
What I am a bit concerned about is that in the decision the Speaker just made to curtail the ability of the member for Halifax to read out the motion, the Speaker called for a question that has not yet been put. Clearly in our instructions that we follow stringently in this place, that question cannot be asked until it has been asked.
I will remind the Minister of Public Safety that the latitude given to members is a liberal latitude and that there is some extensiveness used in guiding the Speaker and this House as to what can be done under unanimous consent motions.
The clarity over the Speaker curtailing the ability of the member for Halifax to read the motion out, and then calling the House to answer the question yea or nay seems to me an impossibility and in direct contravention of the rules that guide this place.
I humbly seek some clarity as to how this process has proceeded.