Opposition Motion – Changes to Standing Orders

That Standing Order 11(2) be replaced with the following: The Speaker or the Chair of Committees of the Whole, after having called the attention of the House, or of the Committee, to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance, or repetition, including during responses to oral questions, may direct the Member to discontinue his or her intervention, and if then the Member still continues to speak, the Speaker shall name the Member or, if in Committee of the Whole, the Chair shall report the Member to the House.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, could the hon. member for Edmonton Centre tell us what witness or reputable body suggested that “public office holder” be expanded to include thousands of public sector workers? Could he also tell us what the rationale was and who recommended it?

Hon. Laurie Hawn: I have to honestly say, Mr. Speaker, that I do not recall where that came from. I do not have the report in front of me. I have not reread it in the last couple of days. There was a ton of information gleaned from various witnesses. There was a lot of information from the government side. There was a lot of information from bar associations and so on. The report compiled all of that information and sifted it into recommendations, which were intended to be focused and not so much broad brush and throwing the baby out with the bath water. It was intended to be focused. It was to take something that people generally agreed was working well and make it better. It focused on some things that we can make better.

Do we get it right all the time? Clearly not, and I will admit that as the government. From the opposition’s point of view, we never get it right, and I accept that too. We are working in the right direction, and we are going to continue to do that.