Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. I have two very brief points to make regarding the use of language by the Prime Minister yesterday in the House following question period.
First, I want to add to the point of order regarding the statement by the Prime Minister when he referred to the member for Milton as an ambulance chaser, which is described in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as a derogatory term meaning, “a person who strives to profit from the misfortune of others”. Page 619 of Bosc and Gagnon reads:
Remarks which question a Member's integrity, honesty or character are not in order. A Member will be requested to withdraw offensive remarks, allegations, or accusations of impropriety directed towards another Member.
The Prime Minister's statement of yesterday clearly breaches the rules of order and decorum. I trust that you will request he withdraw those offensive remarks as soon as possible.
It would appear that the member for Milton was not the Prime Minister's only target yesterday. My second point will address the rules regarding reflections on the chair. Pages 620 and 621 of Bosc and Gagnon state:
It is unacceptable to question the integrity and impartiality of a Presiding Officer and, if such comments are made, the Speaker may interrupt the Member and request that the remarks be withdrawn or immediately give the floor to another Member. Only by means of a substantive motion, for which 48 hours' written notice has been given, may the actions of the Chair be challenged, criticized and debated. Reflections on the character or actions of the Speaker or other Presiding Officers have been ruled to be breaches of privilege.
As you know, I raised a point of order regarding a question by my deputy House leader. In response to the Prime Minister's behaviour toward you, the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie asked the Prime Minister, “Are you in charge of the Speaker?” The Prime Minister replied, “Yes, I am,” suggesting that you are not impartial.
Now, a number of members witnessed that. According to our practices, this is clearly unacceptable, and the Prime Minister is obligated to withdraw those remarks. If the Prime Minister refuses to withdraw those remarks, I reserve the right to return to the House with a question of privilege.
I expect the Prime Minister to have a bit more respect for this House, its members and for you, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister must take responsibility for his actions and return to the House as soon as possible to withdraw the insults to the member for Milton and his slur against the integrity of you, the Speaker.
This is not the first time the Prime Minister has shown such disrespect for this institution and those who serve it. I do not have time to necessarily read into the record his complete list, but you will recall when the Prime Minister once called the member for Thornhill a piece of s-h-i-t. That was the word, Mr. Speaker. He then had to apologize.
His contemptuous attitude was also on display when he lost his temper on the floor of the House, ending in another member being injured. Again, he had to stand and apologize for that.
The Prime Minister is insulting members, and again, he is doing this and bringing into question the impartiality of the chair. It is an important matter, and I look forward to your ruling.