Point of Order – Short Title of Bill C-30

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with regard to the tabling earlier today of Bill C-30. I would refer to Standing Order 68(1), which states:

Every bill is introduced upon motion….

It further states, in Standing Order 68(3), that:

(3) No bill may be introduced either in blank or in an imperfect shape.

I raise this looking for guidance. The copy of the bill that was distributed throughout the opposition lobbies referred to the bill as having a short title that was “the lawful access act”. However, having been briefed by the minister’s staff and representatives of the Department for Public Safety and the Department of Justice, we were informed earlier this morning in private, but without any copies of the legislation, that the bill was to have a short title, “protecting children from Internet predators act”.

I checked and found that the versions were distributed to all members of Parliament, at least to the opposition benches. I do not know whether the Conservatives received the proper copy. It appears to me that there is a significant chance that Bill C-30 was tabled in a way that violates Standing Order 68(3) and, therefore, was imperfect in its tabling and should be withdrawn.

This is a novel question for me in my brief time in the House but it suggests that it was a last minute public relations change to move from the short title “lawful access act” to “protecting children from Internet predators act”.

I raise this issue with you, Mr. Speaker, to have your guidance as to whether the imperfection in the way the bill was distributed to members affected the imperfection in the way it was delivered to the House itself.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her point of order and her intervention in this matter. We will look at that issue and get back to the House as would be necessary.