Hon. members, I would like to open this session of committee of the whole by making a short statement about take note debates. This may be the first time some members have participated in such a debate so I want to explain how we will proceed.
This evening's debate is a general one on agricultural issues. As is the case for all proceedings of the committee of the whole, members need not be in their own seats to be recognized.
Each member will be allocated 10 minutes for debate and each speech is subject to a 10 minute question and comment period. Although members may speak more than once, the Chair will generally try to ensure that all members wishing to speak are heard before inviting members to speak again while respecting the proportional party rotations for speakers.
During the 10 minute period for questions and comments there are no set time limits on each intervention. I will work to allow as many members as possible to participate in this part of the proceedings and ask for the cooperation of all members in keeping their interventions as succinct as possible.
As Chair, I will be guided by the rules of the committee of the whole. However, in the interest of a full exchange, I will exercise discretion and flexibility in the application of these rules.
In turn, I would ask all honourable members to exercise caution during this evening's debate. It is very important to respect the traditions of the House in terms of decorum. The members must exercise judgment in their comments and questions so that order is maintained.
May I also remind members that even in committee of the whole ministers and members should be referred to by their title or riding name and, of course, all remarks should be addressed through the Chair. I ask for everyone's cooperation in upholding all established standards of decorum, parliamentary language and behaviour.
The first round of speakers will be the usual all party round, namely, the government, the official opposition, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.
At the end of this evening's debate, the committee shall rise and the House shall adjourn until tomorrow.
We may now begin this evening's session.