Mr. Speaker, there are numerous precedents on the matter of consultation. The Chair has ruled on many occasions that the Speaker has no discretionary authority to refuse a motion if all the procedural requirements have been met. As indicated on page 676 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, “the Chair has no authority to determine whether or not consultation took place nor what constitutes consultation among the representatives of the parties.”
Furthermore, Deputy Speaker Comartin, on March 6, 2014, indicated:
The nature of the consultation, the quality of the consultation, and the quantity of the consultation is not something that the Chair will involve himself in. That has been the tradition of this House for many years. What the Chair would have to do, in effect, is conduct an extensive investigative inquiry into the nature of the consultation. That is not our role, nor do the rules require it. Therefore, I am rejecting the request for the point of order.
Finally, if I may, I will quote Speaker Fraser, who stated on June 6, 1988:
...I do not think the Speaker has the authority, in view of the Speaker's responsibility to rule on procedural matters, to inquire as to what consultation did or did not take place.
There might be some occasion when the question of whether or not consultation had taken place on some matter comes before this Chamber. I am not in anyway suggesting what I have heard today either amounts to sufficient consultation or no consultation or any kind of consultation at all. I am just pointing out that, as I read the rule, it is not for me to get into that. I would not want any comments I made today in any way to take away from the ability of the Hon. Member for Windsor West to argue whether a certain set of conversations did or did not amount to consultation at some future time if the Hon. Member wanted to raise the matter again under this Standing Order or any other.
I am saying that I think I am bound by the rule as it is and that I cannot investigate whether consultation took place because, frankly, the Standing Order is silent as to my authority to do that.