Oral Question – Point of Order

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, this is a recurring issue. You have said in the past that there would be a chance, perhaps, to look at the rules and aid us in the proper use of Standing Order 31. What I refer to in Standing Order 31 is that the Speaker may order a member to resume his or her seat if, in the opinion of the Speaker, improper use is made of this Standing Order. We do not have much more guidance than that. We do know that Speaker Jeanne Sauvé, at the time, spoke of the importance of S. O. 31s, so that members had an unrestricted 60 seconds in which to express their concerns relating to their constituencies. In today’s statements by members, the members for Mississauga—Streetsville, Yukon, and Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke spoke. The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East was extremely amusing. However, the reality of this is that there is a hijacking of what is supposed to be individual member statements. As the member for Langley pointed out in his point of order last spring, members are increasingly scripted, not speaking of what the concerns are in their ridings. In this point of order, I do not expect a ruling this moment, but I would like to put it back on the table, asking the Speaker for guidance, that the discretion the Speaker has be used to preclude the use of scripted, partisan, political messages, which do not advance the work in this place.   Deputy Speaker: The Chair will not make a ruling at this point, but will get back to the House as soon as possible.