Yesterday the right hon. member for Prince Albert proposed to move a motion under Standing Order 43 in the following words:
That the subject matter of public statements made by the hon. member, and in particular those which are of a disparaging nature to the integrity and independence of the bench, be immediately referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Before putting the question the Chair expressed reservations about the procedural acceptability of the motion in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order 51. Although there appeared to be unanimous consent among hon. members to proceed with the debate, the Chair undertook to look into the procedural aspects of the proposed motion.
It should be pointed out that the unanimous consent of the House contemplated by Standing Order 43 has reference only to the setting aside of the notice requirements provided in Standing Order 42. That is the sole purpose of the Standing Order. It does not set aside the ordinary rules applicable to the form and content of motions.
Thus, when a motion is proposed under the terms of Standing Order 43 the Chair has an obligation to ensure that the ordinary usages of the House are observed. Even after the most serious and exhaustive consideration of the matter, the Chair has the same reservations as to the procedural aspects of a motion of this kind.
In the circumstances I would hope that it might be found possible either to redraft the motion and propose it in other terms or, if it is the unanimous desire of the House, to have a debate on this matter in some other form, perhaps under the provisions of another Standing Order or procedure. As hon. members know, there have been discussions in this regard. Hopefully, these consultations will result in due course in some understanding between all parties and individuals concerned. However, this is not for the Chair to decide, and for the moment I would have to leave this in the hands of hon. members themselves.
Subtopic: STATEMENTS BY MEMBER FOR YORK SOUTH
Sub-subtopic: ALLEGEDLY REFLECTING ON JUDGES-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43