Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few comments, as well, questioning the wisdom of the government suggesting in any way, shape or form that this supply day motion is out of order.
Supply day motions are one of the few opportunities the opposition has to hold the government to account. It is either through question period or supply day motions. Those are the two opportunities we have to demand accountability from the government on anything to do with its budgeting process. Those provisions are sacrosanct in our rule books.
There has been, over the years, very little attempt to intervene in the choice of opposition supply day motions. So it is quite unusual for the government today to suggest that there is a problem with the wording of this motion.
Our process requires that if there is a problem with a motion, or some disagreement with the actual direction the motion is taking, then the government or anyone concerned has the opportunity to vote against the motion at the end of that day. That is democracy—not an effort to prevent the debate in the first place. That is truly unusual and unprecedented in this place.
We have rules in the House allowing members to challenge the government every step of the way, and at no point should our rules be interpreted in a way that would allow the government of the day to suppress debate. That is the antithesis of democracy, as it does not even allow the issues to get to the table.
I have listened to my colleague from the Liberal Party, whose name is on this motion. He has clearly put on record those sections of the rule book that allow for committees and the House to call whatever documents and whatever witnesses they feel are necessary for the process. That is self-explanatory.
What I wanted to do on rising on this point of order was to make the case that in the true spirit of this place, the focal point of democracy in this nation, under no circumstances should the government try to suggest in any way, shape or form that the rule books allow it to interfere with debate taking place, or to repress it in the first place.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, you will allow this day to proceed.
Topic: Routine Proceedings
Subtopic: Points of Order