Mr. Speaker, I have two very small points. I appreciate the new-found passion that the Conservatives have for independent members, because we can recall that when an independent member's bill was at committee, the Conservatives were gutting that very same legislation and denied her the ability to even address her own piece of legislation, claiming the very rules that we are talking about here today.
My specific point, and I am not sure if my hon. colleague was present for the entire citation that I used, is that the main argument that we used is if this is the remedy by which the government seeks to satisfy the involvement of independent members at the committee stage, that is a remedy that can be sought, but the power rests here with the House of Commons. It simply does not rest with the committee to invent the power to appoint or adopt motions from members who are not part of a committee. That is a fact.
The committee itself is a creation of the House of Commons. The members who are involved in that committee and any standing members who may be a part of it come from here, not come from any chair or from any motion that has passed.
In his response—and I know he is going to come back and deliberate further on the points that we raised—my hon. colleague needs to address this specific point, because it is the argument that we are making to you, Mr. Speaker. The argument is that the committee has the powers that are vested to it from the House of Commons. It is exclusive of that power to just invent who gets to sit on that committee. To suddenly invite amendments from members who are not there is also exclusive of that power. We cannot move motions of people who are not present. That is a fact. It is true here and it is true at committee.
I do not see why the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has such a problem understanding that, other than that he has found some convenient article. If the government chooses to do it this way, it can, but it has to come from here. For goodness' sake, let us protect some of the privileges and powers of the House of Commons.
The instruction from the House of Commons did not allow the committee to do that. It did not. I read out the citation and reference to the committee. It did not say that the committee chair can suddenly appoint whomever they like and take whatever amendments they like. It did not. It is in black and white. If my hon. colleague across the way would like me to read it to him, I can.
The fact of the matter is that the power rests with you, Mr. Speaker, as you refer a bill, and it rests with the House in designating which committees are instructed to study the bill, and how. How the committee does everything beyond that is its business, and we respect that right, of course.
However, to ignore the central point of our argument today in this point of order means either there is no counter-argument or they are going to search around for one for a couple of days. Obviously the decision rests with you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the comments from my colleague for Saanich—Gulf Islands.