Canada’s House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled on Tuesday (April 23) on a government Member of Parliament’s complaint that the parties in the House are going too far in muzzling their MPs.
Journalist Colin Horgan summed up the ruling this way on Twitter: “What an interesting ruling. Basically Scheer just told MPs to act like MPs — if they want the floor, they have to stand and ask for it.”
As CBC News journalist Kady O’Malley wrote before the ruling: “[Conservative Mark] Warawa’s formal appeal to Scheer, called a ‘question of privilege’ in the language of the House of Commons, stems from being told by his party whip last month he was not allowed to deliver a members statement in support of his now-abandoned motion condemning sex-selective abortion.” For more from Kady O’Malley – here
“…I will continue to be guided by the lists that are provided to me and, when and if Members are competing for the floor, will exercise my authority to recognize Members…”
Members statements are made just before the daily Question Period. It is supposed to be a time for MPs to raise issues important in their electoral ridings. However, often the statements are used by the MP’s party to get them to make partisan statements.
The ruling Conservatives faced questions from a number of government MPs once Warawa raised his question of privilege – his right to speak.
The full official text of the Speaker ruling from Hansard is here
Speaker of the House of Commons information – here