November 1, 1976 (30th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert McCleave (Halifax-East Hants) moved:

That, this House do modify its Standing Orders and practices, to the end that it bring its affairs more closely into conformity with modern (that is, acceptable mid-20th century expectations), by
1. Cutting by one-half the time limits for speeches where such time-limits are set forth in Standing Orders;
2. Setting up a committee composed of members of all parties, and of members of the parliamentary press Gallery-each component to number seven-which shall supervise the rules to govern the recording by instruments capable of radio broadcasting and of telecasting of the proceedings of this House and of any committee or other recognized entity thereof, and the public use thereof;
3. Providing that the rules for the so-called late show, or adjournment debate, be altered to provide for the participation of five instead of three, and that the Speaker have absolute discretion to extend the time for reply by up to three minutes;
4. Providing that no member of this chamber shall have to wait for recognition by the Chair for longer than three oral question periods if that member has risen in each of such three consecutive question periods, such question and recognition by the occupant of the Chair to be recognized upon the request of such member at the conclusion of the third such period;
5. Providing that the government through its House leader may designate up to six measures per session for consideration and disposition by legislation where such proposals reflect these principles:
(a) an amendment to existing legislation which shall incorporate not more than one major change, the final opinion in any dispute to be that of Mr. Speaker;
(b) the government does not propose to amend such legislation in any other manner in that calendar year without unanimous consent;
(c) the speeches by the mover and the designated replier for each party shall not exceed fifteen minutes, and by subsequent spokesmen of not more than five minutes;
6. Setting at five the number of those who may oppose unanimous consent to any motion made in this chamber.
He said: Mr. Speaker, these are six ideas, and any other member of the House could, I imagine, present six alternative ideas of equal validity for the reform of our practices and procedures. I framed my motion in such a way as to directly develop interest among hon. members. I think this afteroon we shall have the privilege of welcoming back an old friend into the debate, making his maiden speech as a backbencher. I refer to the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Sharp).

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