I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised earlier today by the member for Red Deer—Lacombe regarding the notice for time allocation given yesterday by the government House leader concerning Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters.
When raising the matter, the hon. member for Red Deer—Lacombe contended that nothing in the Standing Orders as written allowed a time allocation motion to cover both the report stage and third reading of a bill that had been sent to committee before second reading. To support his argument, the member referred specifically to Standing Order 78(3), which stipulates that a time allocation motion is allowed for both report stage and third reading only if the bill is sent to committee after second reading pursuant to Standing Order 76.1. Therefore, he asked the Speaker to rule the notice of time allocation motion out of order.
For guidance on this matter, I would refer members to House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, at page 673, which states:
In the case of a bill referred to committee before second reading, the motion [for time allocation] can pertain to both the report stage and second reading stage as well as the third reading stage.
The member himself acknowledged that examples existed where precisely the same approach as was proposed in this time allocation motion was adopted by the House. I want to thank the hon. member for drawing the fact of these examples to my attention. Indeed, there have been at least four instances where this has occurred. I refer members to the precedents of May 6, 1996; another from November 22, 1996; one also from February 22, 2000; and, finally, one from May 28, 2015.
These precedents demonstrate that the House has seen fit to combine more than one stage in a single time allocation motion for bills that have been referred to committee prior to second reading. This forms a solid enough basis to indicate that this is now an acceptable practice with respect to time allocation motions. For this reason, I find that the government's time allocation motion is in order.
Nonetheless, I appreciate the hon. member's point. To avoid any further confusion, I would recommend that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs review the matter, with a view to clarifying Standing Order 78(3)(a) vis-à-vis our accepted practices.
I thank the House for its attention on this matter.