I appreciate the member for Windsor—Tecumseh raising this. I was here in the previous Parliament when my predecessor attempted to bring some kind of cohesive parameters as to what would be acceptable during S. O. 31s.
Members are granted a great deal of latitude on the type of things they are allowed to talk about during their statements. Some guidelines have existed and some have been enforced at various times and some have not been. For the House, especially in this Parliament, what may help members is, if they are referencing a particular individual, that the bar would be higher during S. O. 31s than it might be during question period or during the normal course of debate.
As my predecessor mentioned, statements by members is a time of the day when it is impossible for a member who has been referenced to respond. This is different from question period and it is different from other types of debate so, as previous Speakers have done, the Chair will look at a few things, such the nature of the words being used, as well as the reaction that it provokes. Members are free to take issue with statements or positions that other members have expressed and can talk about their own personal views on that or what the party might think in terms of ideas. However, when they are going to touch on these things in a very personal way, they need to choose their words very carefully and the tone and the reaction will be examined by the Chair.
I hope that helps. I do not think there is a formula. I do not think we can write down a mathematical equation as to what will be ruled in order or out of order but if all members took it upon themselves, if they are going to make reference to other members to highlight what it was that was said, that it not be done in a personal way. The House would appreciate it and then it would be easier for the Chair to determine what the nature is.
I am prepared to go back and look more closely at what the member for Mississauga—Brampton South said during her S. O. 31. As I heard it, it certainly did provoke a reaction and it seemed to assign some kind of motive to the member's alleged comments. I will go back and look at it if she feels she should not have been cut off. However, at the time it did seem to be causing quite a lot of disruption and it did seem to me to be worth stepping in to move on to the next one. I will come back to the House if necessary on that particular one.
I hope that answers the member for Windsor—Tecumseh's question in a more general format.