Mr. Speaker, I need to weigh in on this question of parliamentary privilege, but I will be concise in recognition of the time.
I do not claim to be as educated on the rules of the House as the many members who have spoken before me, so I trust you, Mr. Speaker, to make the judgment of whether or not the things that have happened are to the letter of the procedures of the House. However, I certainly do not think they are to the spirit intended for the procedures of the House.
The Speaker found a prima facie case of parliamentary privilege. Members' privileges were violated when they could not get here to vote. We have seen votes in the House, even in the parliamentary session since I was elected, come to a point where the Speaker had to break a tie, and there was a threat that the government would be overthrown, so voting privileges are really critical.
I was here during the debate yesterday. We talked about it, but we never came to a resolution. To have members from the governing party come in with a motion that does not represent what everyone in the House was coming to a consensus on, and to not even have a chance to have input into that is almost violating our privileges again, to be part of the decisions that happen in the House.
It is clear to me that the procedure and House affairs committee has always been the place where these things immediately go, and they immediately take precedence. I have no idea why there was so much resistance to that issue. With votes coming as early as next week, we definitely need to come to a quick resolution. This is not something we should be taking a lot of time with.
I recognize that there is construction going on and there are cars coming and going. I have personally been prevented both from leaving the House and going into the House. It did not affect my ability to vote, but it is definitely something that is going on. I really feel that the things that happened yesterday do not reflect the spirit of the House and the spirit of our democracy.
Mr. Speaker, you need to look into what happened, because if that does become a precedent and people start to think that they can just use their majority to overcome the rules of the House, the rules that are supposed to preserve our democracy, that is not what we are here to do. We are here to represent Canadians. Three hundred and thirty-eight people have the right to weigh in on this issue and not have it pulled out from under them, like a rug, and not come to a good resolution.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for hearing me on this issue. I tried to be concise, but I do not think that what occurred happened in the spirit of this House, and I look to you to see whether it did indeed meet the letter of the rules.