Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
I am sorry that I have to interrupt another Conservative filibuster. I would love to rebut the member for Barrie—Innisfil's comments, but of course, he is stopping and blocking the entire House so that nobody has a right of reply, which is tragic. I will say that the member for Barrie—Innisfil is a very hard-working member of Parliament.
I am rising to add some comments regarding the alleged matter of privilege that was raised earlier today by the member for Calgary Centre regarding the events of yesterday evening.
As members know, yesterday evening a technical interruption prevented some members from participating in House proceedings remotely. My colleagues and I are fierce defenders of the rights of parliamentarians to participate in proceedings remotely, so much so that we actually want to see hybrid proceedings extended as a consequence of the ongoing pandemic and as a useful tool for modern parliamentarians. Ultimately, I do not agree that this is a matter of privilege.
As the government House leader indicated, the events were completely external to anything that is within the control of the House; namely, it was a technological matter. As noted by the government House leader, hybrid proceedings have worked in 99.9% of instances. I certainly hope the Conservatives are not using the matter of privilege, which is a very important proceeding that ought not to be abused, to further a political point.
Unfortunately, as we know, this evening, we do not have the right to reply to the comments of the House leader of the official opposition.
I do somewhat disagree with the government House leader in that I believe that matters external to the control of the House can sometimes infringe on the privileges of a member, but if there were a power outage or a sewer malfunction, I do not believe that these would constitute breaches of privilege. I believe a technological hiccup is akin to these, and not a matter that the House needs to weigh in on or study. This is my submission.
It was not a matter of privilege, because when the matter was brought to the attention of Speaker and the various House leaders, the appropriate action was taken. The Speaker suspended the House, technicians attempted to address the issue, and when it became apparent that this would not be resolved in a timely way, the House adjourned. There was no breach of privilege, as no members were denied the opportunity to participate because no proceedings took place.
Imagine the catch-22 we would be caught in, if due to an inability to participate remotely in a request that the House adjourn, the House were forced to continue sitting and debating something, all the while excluding those who could not log in. That would be preposterous.
I do want to take a moment to thank the Speaker and all the House leaders for the good will that was shown last night when the matter was first raised in suspending and ultimately adjourning. I believe that was the right and appropriate thing to do. I was glad to see all parties take that approach co-operatively. It is unfortunate that that good will from last night is not extending to today, and the Conservatives are not allowing other parties to speak to the motion that is before the House. They are basically shutting down and refusing members of all other parties except themselves the right to speak on behalf of our constituents.
To conclude, I do want to raise one minor complaint, which is that members were not provided further information about the technological glitches of last night until 2:00 p.m. today, despite the Speaker's office providing details to the media. In the future, I believe it would be more appropriate for members to hear directly from the Speaker rather than having to read details in the news.
We will now return to the Conservatives' monopolization of House time.