Mr. Speaker, I am rising to respond to a question of privilege raised on Friday, September 25, respecting the premature disclosure of Bill C-7, on medical assistance in dying, from the previous session. As members well know, the bill in question died with prorogation, as did the reference of the question of privilege to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 2017, states at page 145:
The matter of privilege to be raised in the House must have recently occurred and must call for the immediate action of the House. Therefore, the Member must satisfy the Speaker that he or she is bringing the matter to the attention of the House as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the situation. When a Member has not fulfilled this important requirement, the Speaker has ruled that the matter is not a prima facie question of privilege.
I would also refer members to the footnote that is attached to the text that I just quoted. Footnote 369 states:
Any matter found to be prima facie and referred to committee in one session but not reported on would not survive a prorogation. However, if a Member wished to raise the question of privilege again in the following session, the Speaker could reconsider the matter provided that the rules of timeliness were respected.
The facts are clear. The former Bill C-7 died on the Order Paper with prorogation. The procedure and House affairs committee did not report to the House on the question of privilege. The member who raised the question of privilege on September 25 did not do so at the earliest opportunity.
I would draw to the attention of the House that the earliest opportunity to raise a question of privilege stemming from the previous session was Thursday, September 24. I would note that on Thursday, September 24, the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes raised two questions of privilege. That is a clear demonstration that this matter should have been raised on Thursday given that the House had adopted a motion on Wednesday, September 23, to allow all members to participate in the proceedings of the House whether in person or virtually. There is no excuse for not having raised this matter on Thursday.
I would conclude that since the matter was not raised at the first opportunity, the former Bill C-7 was discharged from the Order Paper with prorogation and there was no report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on this matter. This does not meet the well-established rule for raising a question of privilege.