Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fine comments coming from the other side. It is a wonderful thing. I love the heckling in the House. It is always most enjoyable. It actually adds some theatre to this place sometimes. It is very much appreciated.
I remember when I was an elementary school teacher. In grade 1 and 2, we would often try to quiet the classes. It was not always easy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the hard work you do in order to make this a more enjoyable place to work.
To resume, at the end of the day he was concerned about my safety. There are security concerns on this Hill, and that is a paramount issue. We have to find a balance not only between the privileges of members and our responsibilities but also to ensure that we have security. If we cannot access the House, there might be a very good reason relating to someone's personal security. For instance, if the bus driver had said to me that he was going to let me off even though he saw cars whipping by, and I had been hit by a car, I do not think we would be farther along. More rules would have been put in place.
Sometimes it takes a bit of listening, for instance, to the bus driver who is trying to do his job in a good way, trying to make a difference and do his work. He was not actively out there saying that he was going to stop a member from going to vote. Hopefully that never occurs.
In the Speaker's ruling, I enjoyed reading that he talked to the director of the Parliamentary Protective Service and indicated that one of the director's annual objectives should be “to provide mandatory training on an ongoing basis for all members of the service on the privileges, rights, immunities, and powers of the House of Commons, including unfettered access of members of the House of Commons to the parliamentary precinct.”
The Speaker also indicated he “has every confidence that the leadership of the Parliamentary Protective Service will be able to achieve this important understanding of the parliamentary community that they serve by availing themselves of all opportunities available for relevant training, including those previously offered by procedural staff of the House.”
For me, it is wonderful that we are able to actually raise these issues at any given time. However, there is also a moment when it is important for us to accept the ruling, to understand that on the procedures of the House, the bureaucracy will do its job, that they will be able to take that information and craft policy and better procedures that will help protect members and ensure that they have unfettered access to this place, allow the Speaker the opportunity to do his job in a good way, allow him to work with the parliamentary staff so that they can do their job in a good way, and allow him to work with the clerks so that they are able to inform the protective services of the rights and responsibilities of MPs in the House of Commons.
However, we have to give them the time to do so. We have to give them the time to carry out that function. We cannot immediately have knee-jerk reactions and all of a sudden slap our knee and say, “We have to do this lickety-split, right now.” Sometimes snapping our fingers and trying to get things done too quickly leads to a work environment that is not conducive to the long-term benefit of all people involved. Sometimes it is good to take the time to consult, talk, and think about things.
I very much enjoyed speaking on this issue. I was really interested in reading some of the examples.
Maybe I will highlight some other things for the House. There is a case I was reading, for instance, that described how obstruction or intimidation of members can sometimes be related to electronic surveillance, and I wanted to get this on the record. I believe it was actually Speaker Jeanne Sauvé who made a ruling on this issue. It is something that has been in the news a little lately. That is perhaps far more important to discuss. Nonetheless, buses are also very important.
I am going to finish off with a quote from elder Winston Wuttunee, who said, “Always do things in a good way, with an open heart, to offer yourself to those around who you must serve, to give yourself to your family and to your community, to your brothers and sisters, to all your relations, to not think selfishly of what you're hoping to gain from something but what you can actually give back.”
When we debate this in this place, in our House, the people's House, we need to have that foremost in our minds. We need to remember that it is not about playing political games but about how we work together and what we do in order to create a better life for more Canadians. To me, what we are actually doing for Canadians is the most important thing, because at the end of the day they are all that matters and they are the reason we are here. We are not here to play political games. We are not here to simply spend many hours debating things. While debating is very important, it is perhaps less important than many other issues that Canadians want us to deal with here and now.