Elizabeth May on Decorum in the House

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think you will find this a real point of order. It comes from our Standing Orders. It is not just a small reminder, but picks up from your efforts earlier in question period to remind members. While I was at COP21, I heard great news from Parliament that there was a new spirit in this place, that there was a real consensus around no heckling, and that we could expect greater decorum.

Mr. Speaker, you said from your chair that you could hear the noise. From here, I want to remind members that Standing Order 16 and Standing Order 18 make it an offence to interrupt members when they are speaking and to be disrespectful to members. I would like to see some respect for our rules and decorum in this place, and I would do anything in my far corner to assist you, Mr. Speaker, because in the noise I could not hear members’ questions and ministers’ answers.

The Speaker Geoff Regan: I thank the hon. member for her intervention. Whether it was a point of order is another question, but I appreciated it very much. I appreciated her support for these efforts because I know very well that Canadians feel very strongly about this. They know that students come here regularly and see what happens in Parliament, and they want this to be a place of vigorous debate where we also show respect for one another. We all have the capacity, which most members here have shown, to restrain ourselves when there are things we do not hear.

We could also have a bit less in terms of standing ovations. That would also help.