Standing Orders and Procedure

The Deputy Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 51(1), and the order made Thursday, February 16, 2012, the following motion is now deemed to have been proposed:

February 16, 2012–That, this House take note of the Standing Orders and procedure of the House and its Committees; that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to study the Standing Orders and procedures of the House and its Committees, including the proceedings on the debate pursuant to Standing Order 51; and that the Committee report its finds to the House no later than May 18, 2012–Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I have made quite a study of the Standing Orders since I became elected and it is useful for all members to become familiar with the fact that we do not need to change the rules in relation to question period to create a civil conversation. We merely need to respect the rules we have, which require no interruption of members when they are on their feet and no statements that are offensive to any member.

Will the hon. member join with me in a practice that I call zero tolerance for heckling? He may have noticed my practice on this point, that I not only do not heckle, I will not continue to speak when I am heckled.

Tom Lukiwski: Madam Speaker, what I do agree with is the fact that there needs to be increased decorum and civility in the House. Mr. Layton, when he was still with us, made a point when this Parliament first opened shortly after the election to suggest that the New Democratic Party would improve the civility and decorum of the House by not heckling. We agreed with that. Unfortunately, there was one party in the House that did not agree with that, and still does not, and that is the Liberal Party.

I would suggest for my hon. colleague, who sits very near the Liberals, that perhaps she could encourage them to improve the civility and perhaps she could improve the overall decorum of the House by having them refrain from heckling. If they did, I am sure both the official opposition and the government would gladly comply.