Mr. J. P. Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):
Madam Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I hesitate to bring forward the perennial point of privilege about a situation that members on all sides sometimes experience but, quite frankly, Your Honour, my patience has almost come to the end. Any sensitivity for the issues before this country would have perhaps given some direction to the Chair as to why I have been rising right from the beginning of the question period for two days, having asked three to four questions in English and one question in French during the total time of this session. I do not rise frivolously in most cases, and I have not asked a frivolous question this session.
I have a matter that could potentially grievously affect my province in Atlantic Canada, and particularly my riding. There have been three members on this side of the House recognized today, fellow colleagues, admittedly, who were also recognized by Your Honour yesterday. The hon. member for South Shore (Mr. Crouse), for whom I have great fondness
May 27, 1980
and affection, was not on any list on Monday and was not on any list today, but you recognized him twice and still have been able to have a blind eye for this seat.
I would like to know what system the Chair uses. Admittedly you recognize front benchers, and you have help to guide the Chair, with which I fully agree; but I felt that once the question period was open the priority related to when members commenced to rise. I do not mind getting my exercise, Madam Speaker. I certainly enjoy getting exercise. But at some time I would like to know why my rising does not take precedence over other hon. members.
That is my question of privilege, Your Honour. I do not think either of the two ministers involved in the questions I wish to ask are going to be here tomorrow and I have given notice to both of them.