Right Hon. Joe Clark
Mr. Speaker, I was perhaps inarticulate before. Here is our concern. There is serious concern about the legislation that has been brought before this House. Members of Parliament have an obligation to move amendments and to express their concerns. We were not allowed to do that in committee and now, we are not allowed to do that in this House.
You are now telling me, and I must say that it is a surprise to me, that when the Speaker rules that there will be a full opportunity to discuss the merits of an amendment before it is deemed acceptable or unacceptable, he means that the full opportunity will be by whispering in the ear of someone at the Table.
That was not my understanding of a full opportunity. I can say with some confidence it was not the opportunity for the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot. It was not the interpretation by other members of the House. We thought that when the Speaker said we would have an opportunity to defend amendments that we were going to bring here, that the Speaker meant that we would stand in our place as members of Parliament and make our case which is what we are sent here to do.
Is there some other kind of procedure that allows people who whisper in the ear of the Chair to have a new ombudsman? A massive new amendment was brought in that had not been seen before that would create a new institute or centre. Yet, we are not allowed to bring forward or propose amendments because we do not have the adequate whisper power at the Table. That is a very alarming situation.
Mr. Speaker, you are the final recourse for members of Parliament when there are procedures that stifle and limit our capacity to do our job as members of the House of Commons of Canada. That is why I am coming to you.
Subtopic: First Nations Governance Act