Points of Order – Statements by Members

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order related to what I think you may agree with me on. There has been a deteriorating quality of S. O. 31s. They are descending into a fairly unpleasant political spin, instead of what they are supposed to be. Of course, Mr. Speaker, I do not need to remind you of the rules. They are to deal with issues of national or local importance and are never to be personal attacks.


They are getting really quite despicable, for lack of a better word. I refer in particular to one yesterday by the member for Wild Rose, who used his S. O. 31 to attack me. In fact, I was flabbergasted by this. I am making more of a generic point that they are going downhill.

Hon. Peter Van Loan: Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. member, I will read to her what Standing Order 31 actually says. It states:

A Member may be recognized, under the provisions of Standing Order 30(5), to make a statement for not more than one minute. 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.

There is nothing saying that the content must be local, there is nothing saying it must be national, there is nothing saying that it cannot touch on policy. There is broad scope and range to it. In fact, there is no limitation whatsoever, other than the Speaker’s normal ability to determine that something is unparliamentary. Therefore, I fail to see what she is complaining about.

I would add one final point. I can understand, perhaps having fewer members than some of the other parties, that she is frustrated that other people get to say more than her, but that is not a reason to try to suppress the rights of others to have their say in this place.