Comment on Question of Privilege

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I have been torn about trying to intervene on what I saw or did not see, but I felt I had to rise. It is because my friend, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby at one point spoke for me as all four parties in opposition. I just want to try, if possible, to put some oil on troubled waters, bridges over troubled waters. Forgive me.

What we saw was unacceptable, but let us keep perspective. What I saw that was unwise and unacceptable was that the Prime Minister deliberately tried to move a vote along. There was some mischief. Let us face it. There was some mischief on the floor.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Elizabeth May: There was. I am sorry, there was an attempt to slow down the vote. There is no doubt about that, but it was innocent mischief.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Elizabeth May: Let me finish what I am saying. I am trying to keep perspective.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I have respect for everyone in this place, but I also have respect for all Canadians. I think a reflection of what just transpired could be useful for Canadians.

It was most unwise of the Prime Minister to attempt to move along the vote by moving along the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. That movement was clearly contact that was unwanted.

The second contact with my friend, the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, which was certainly the one that was the most emotional for the member involved, was clearly, from my perspective—I confirm what the member for King—Vaughan said—unintentional. I have to say that I saw the Prime Minister following the hon. member, trying to reach her, saying how very sorry he was, that he had not seen her behind him. That is the truth. Members can like it or not like it, but nothing that happened here today reflects well on us.

We do not want to be the House of Commons for some country that other countries watch on CNN and wonder what has become of us. We are grown ups. Let us act—