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House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Second Edition, 2009

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*   Place of Speaking

A Member must be in his or her designated place and must stand in order to be recognized and to speak.[79] These stipulations are a practical necessity in view of the difficulties involved in recognizing Members if each Member were free to speak while seated in a different place every time he or she addressed the House. The Speaker may exempt any Member with a disability from these requirements on an ongoing basis.[80] Otherwise, individual exceptions to these two conditions have occurred, for example, when a Member has been unable to rise as a result of an injury or illness.[81] When the Chair Occupant rises, a Member must sit down.[82] Members have been discouraged from sitting on chair arms or on desks with their backs to the House. When the House sits as a Committee of the Whole, a Member may rise and speak from any seat. During proceedings pursuant to Standing Orders 38(5) (Adjournment Proceedings), 52 (Emergency Debates) and 53.1 (Take‑note Debates), Members are specifically exempted from the requirement to be in their designated places in order to be recognized to speak.[83]

*   Remarks Addressed to the Chair

Any Member participating in debate must address the Chair, not the House, a particular Minister or Member, the galleries, or the television audience. Since one of the basic principles of procedure in the House is that the proceedings be conducted in terms of a free and civil discourse,[84] Members are less apt to engage in direct heated exchanges and personal attacks when their comments are directed to the Chair rather than to another Member. If a Member directs remarks toward another Member and not the Speaker, he or she will be called to order and may be asked to rephrase the remarks.[85] In a Committee of the Whole, Members must direct their comments to the Chair.[86]

*   Proper Attire

While the Standing Orders prescribe no dress code for Members participating in debate,[87] Speakers have ruled that all Members desiring to be recognized at any point during the proceedings of the House must be wearing contemporary business attire.[88] Current practice requires that male Members wear jackets, shirts and ties. Clerical collars have been allowed, although ascots and turtlenecks have been ruled inappropriate for male Members participating in debate.[89] The Chair has even stated that wearing a kilt is permissible on certain occasions (for example, Robert Burns Day).[90] Members of the House who are in the armed forces have been permitted to wear their uniforms in the House.[91] Although there is no notation to this effect in the Journals or in the Debates, a newly-elected Member introduced in the House in 2005 wore traditional Métis dress (including a white hooded anorak bearing an embroidered seal emblem) on that occasion without objection from the Chair.[92]

In certain circumstances, usually for medical reasons, the Chair has allowed a relaxation of the dress standards allowing, for example, a Member whose arm was in a cast to wear a sweater in the House instead of a jacket.[93]

*   Language of Debate

The Constitution Act, 1867 guarantees that a Member may address the House in either English or French.[94] Given the bilingual nature of the House and the existence of simultaneous interpretation,[95] Members rarely have difficulty expressing their views and having them understood in the Chamber. In addition, all parliamentary publications, such as the Journals, the Debates, and the Order Paper and Notice Paper, are printed in both official languages.

Other languages are occasionally used in debate, but not at great length[96] and a Member will sometimes provide the Debates editor with a translation of his or her remarks.[97] As the Speaker has noted, however, serious difficulties could arise in maintaining order in debate (and by extension accurate records of the House) if languages other than English or French were used to any great extent.[98] Members have also used sign language to make statements and to ask questions during Question Period.[99]

*   Speeches

Although not formally prohibited by a Standing Order, the practice of reading from a written, prepared speech while addressing the House was, until recent decades, frowned upon.[100] Members have long made use of notes when delivering a speech. The practice of discouraging the reading of speeches is of British derivation, and was intended to maintain the cut and thrust of debate, which depends upon successive speakers addressing to some extent in their speeches the arguments put forward by previous speakers.[101]

Although the tradition of not reading speeches existed at Confederation, in 1886 the House adopted the following resolution:

… the growing practice in the Canadian House of Commons of delivering speeches of great length, having the character of carefully and elaborately prepared written essays, and indulging in voluminous and often irrelevant extracts, [which] is destructive of legitimate and pertinent debate upon public questions, is a waste of valuable time, unreasonably lengthens the Sessions of Parliament, threatens by increased bulk and cost to lead to the abolition of the official report of the Debates, encourages a discursive and diffuse, rather than an incisive and concise style of public speaking, is a marked contrast to the practice in regard to debate that prevails in the British House of Commons, and tends to repel the public from a careful and intelligent consideration of the proceedings of Parliament.[102]

Notwithstanding this, the problem persisted and several Speakers felt obliged to address it, during the decades that followed, in statements and rulings discouraging the reading of speeches.[103] In 1956, Speaker Beaudoin received the consent of the House to have printed in the Journals a statement on the issue in which he cited the authorities on procedure (i.e., May, Bourinot, and Beauchesne and various Speakers) and the practice of the House. His careful summary of established practice in this regard remains definitive:

A Member addressing the House may refer to notes. The Prime Minister, the cabinet ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the leaders of other parties or Members speaking on their behalf, may read important policy speeches. New Members may read their [maiden] speeches. The Members speaking in a language other than their mother tongue, the Members speaking in debates involving matters of a technical nature, or in debates on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne and on the Budget may use full notes or, if they wish, read their speeches.[104]

As demands on the time and energy of Members of Parliament continue to increase, their use of speaking notes, and even of prepared texts, has become more common. The Chair has, accordingly, shown a disinclination to insist that Members refrain from reading written speeches. When points of order have been raised in this regard, Chairs have typically ruled that it is permissible for Members to refer to notes.[105]

*   Use of Lectern

It has long been accepted practice for the Minister of Finance to make use of a lectern during the presentation of the Budget. Before 2003, however, this convenience was unavailable to other Members, although Chair Occupants made no objection to Members laying their speaking notes on books. This changed in 2003, with the adoption by the House of a committee report recommending that portable lecterns be made available to all Members upon request.[106]

*   Citation of Documents

There is no Standing Order which governs the citation of documents; the House is guided mainly by custom and precedent. Generally, the reading of articles from newspapers, books or other documents by a Member during debate has become an accepted practice and is not ruled out of order provided that such quotations do not reflect on past proceedings in the House,[107] do not refer to or comment on or deny anything said by a Member,[108] or use language which would be out of order if spoken by a Member.[109]

A speech should not consist of a single long quotation or a series of quotations joined together with a few original sentences.[110] Members may not quote from the “blues” (the unedited preliminary version of the Debates) nor may they quote from correspondence when there is no way of confirming the authenticity of the signature.[111] They may quote from private correspondence as long as they identify the sender by name or take full responsibility for its contents.[112] Finally, Members may not quote from the proceedings of a committee before it has reported to the House.[113]

*   Tabling of Documents and Speeches

Any document quoted by a Minister in debate or in response to a question during Question Period must be tabled upon request.[114] Indeed, a Minister is not at liberty to read or quote from a despatch (an official written message on government affairs) or other state paper without being prepared to table it if this can be done without prejudice to the public interest.[115] As Speaker Glen noted in a 1941 ruling:

… an honourable member is not entitled to read from communications unless prepared to place them on the Table of the House. The principle upon which this is based is that where information is given to the House, the House itself is entitled to the same information as the honourable member who may quote the document.[116]

A public document referred to but not quoted by a Minister need not be tabled.[117] If a Minister quotes a private letter in debate, the letter becomes a public document and must be tabled on request.[118] However, a Minister is not obliged to table personal or briefing notes referred to during debate or Question Period.[119] Although it is customary to do so under the rubric “Tabling of Documents”, a Minister is at liberty to table at any time without any requirement for consent.[120] All documents tabled in the House by a Minister are required to be in both official languages.[121]

There has been a long‑standing practice in the House that private Members may not table documents, official or otherwise.[122] Speaker Lamoureux observed that while Ministers must table official documents cited in debate in support of an argument, this rule has never been interpreted to apply to any documents referred to by private Members. In 1974, when a Member attempted to seek unanimous consent to table a document, Speaker Lamoureux stated that there was “no provision in the rules for a private Member to table or file documents in any way”. The Speaker concluded by suggesting that Members “could presumably make them public in a number of other ways”.[123] However, since the mid‑1980s, Members have been allowed to table documents or material to which they may have referred during their speeches or during Question Period with the unanimous consent of the House.[124] These documents (often copies of correspondence or advertisements) have typically been tabled in only one language.[125] Private Members sometimes place material for the information of all Members on the Table, although this is not considered an official tabling.[126]

In order that the Debates be as accurate a record as possible of what has been spoken in the House, Members are not permitted to table speeches for printing in the Debates.[127] Very rarely, a Member has received the consent of the House to have long lists, statistics or similar material printed in the Debates as part of a speech.[128] There have also been instances when the House has given its consent to have documents or exchanges of letters printed as a formal appendix to the Debates for the information of the House.[129]

*   Displays, Exhibits and Props

Speakers have consistently ruled out of order displays or demonstrations of any kind used by Members to illustrate their remarks or emphasize their positions. Similarly, props of any kind, used as a way of making a silent comment on issues, have always been found unacceptable in the Chamber.[130] Members may hold notes in their hands, but they will be interrupted and reprimanded by the Speaker if they use papers, documents or other objects to illustrate their remarks.[131] Exhibits have also been ruled inadmissible.[132] During the “Flag Debate” in 1964, the Speaker had to remind Members on numerous occasions that the display of competing flag designs was not permissible.[133] Small Canadian flags and desk flags have been disallowed when they have been used to cause disorder in the House for the purpose of interrupting a Member’s speech.[134] While political buttons and lapel pins have not been considered exhibits as long as they do not cause disorder,[135] the Speaker has interrupted a division to request that certain Members remove “props” from their lapels.[136]

*   Maiden Speech

A Member’s first speech in the House is referred to as his or her “maiden speech”. Traditionally, the House extends certain courtesies to a Member delivering a maiden speech. On such occasions, the Speaker may recognize that Member in preference to others rising at the same time; however, this privilege will not be granted unless claimed within the Parliament to which the Member was first elected.[137] The Member is permitted to read his or her speech[138] and, by courtesy, is not interrupted.[139] Additional time beyond that allotted by the rules is sometimes granted by the Chair to permit a Member to complete his or her speech.[140] Since consideration of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne is normally the first extensive debate in a new session, many new Members take advantage of the occasion to make their first speeches.[141]

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[79] Standing Order 17. See, for example, Debates, November 9, 2006, pp. 4953-4. Members have been permitted to speak from a place other than their own by consent of the House. See, for example, Debates, April 9, 1962, p. 2629.

[80] Standing Order 1.1.

[81] See, for example, Debates, November 24, 1992, p. 13977; January 24, 1994, pp. 215, 218; February 2, 1998, p. 3181; October 21, 1998, p. 9229; October 11, 2002, p. 623.

[82] See, for example, Debates, February 24, 1993, p. 16404; June 16, 2005, p. 7357.

[83] Standing Order 17.

[84] Franks, p. 124.

[85] See, for example, Debates, April 18, 1996, pp. 1628‑9; March 19, 1998, p. 5115; February 7, 2007, p. 6540.

[86] See, for example, Debates, April 10, 2006, p. 306.

[87] Until 1994, the Standing Orders did contain one rule respecting a dress code: when participating in any proceedings, Members were required to rise “uncovered”, that is, to remove their hats. The Speaker allowed Members to wear hats as long as they removed the head gear before rising to speak. See Debates, March 17, 1971, p. 4338; June 20, 1983, pp. 26564‑6; June 3, 1992, pp. 11348‑9. However, since Members are no longer in the habit of wearing hats in the Chamber, this aspect of the Standing Order had become anachronistic and was finally deleted in June 1994. See the Twenty‑Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, June 9, 1994, Issue No. 16, p. 3), presented to the House on June 8, 1994 (Journals, p. 545), and concurred in on June 10, 1994 (Journals, p. 563).

[88] See, for example, Debates, December 10, 1981, pp. 13920‑1; September 12, 1983, pp. 26977‑8; August 10, 1988, p. 18176; August 11, 1988, pp. 18208‑9; April 5, 1990, p. 10206; June 3, 1992, pp. 11348‑9; November 20, 1992, p. 13745; April 19, 1996, p. 1703; February 28, 2001, p. 1331.

[89] See Debates, February 19, 1990, pp. 8485‑6; May 3, 1990, pp. 10941‑2; June 14, 2002, p. 12703. On occasion, male Members not wearing a tie have been permitted to vote. See Debates, March 31, 1987, pp. 4726‑7; April 5, 1990, p. 10206.

[90] Debates, January 25, 1985, pp. 1685‑6.

[91] Debates, February 4, 1943, p. 162.

[92] Journals, June 6, 2005, p. 834.

[93] See, for example, Debates, April 5, 1990, pp. 10242‑3; February 15, 2000, p. 3527. On one occasion, the Speaker allowed a Member rising on a point of order to propose a motion for a relaxation of the dress code pending repair of the Chamber’s air-conditioning system. The motion was adopted (Debates, May 29, 2002, p. 11884).

[94] R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 5, s. 133. The Constitution Act, 1982 also affirms that the English and French languages enjoy “equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada” (s. 16(1)) and that everyone has the “right to use English or French in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament” (s. 17(1)). The only references to language requirements in the Standing Orders are found in Standing Orders 7(2), 32(4) and 65. Standing Order 7(2) specifies that the Deputy Speaker must have a full and practical knowledge of the official language which is not that of the Speaker. Standing Order 32(4) requires that documents distributed or tabled in the House be in both official languages. Standing Order 65 requires motions that are seconded to be read in English and French. See also Debates, November 25, 1998, pp. 10432‑3.

[95] In 1958, the House agreed to the installation in the Chamber of a system for simultaneous interpretation in both official languages (Journals, August 11, 1958, p. 402, Debates, pp. 3331‑40). On occasion, there have been minor technical problems with the simultaneous interpretation system, but debate has not been unduly hampered because of this inconvenience to Members. See, for example, Debates, November 1, 1994, p. 7473; March 23, 1999, p. 13311; April 29, 1999, p. 14503; October 16, 2006, p. 3789; October 25, 2006, p. 4232; November 1, 2007, p. 660.

[96] On one occasion, a Member rose on a point of order to complain about another Member who had spoken in Inuktitut. The Chair responded that there was no rule preventing a Member from using a language other than French or English (Debates, June 12, 1995, p. 13605). See Debates, June 13, 1995, p. 13702, where the Speaker requested that a Member who had made a speech in Inuktitut consider answering questions in one of the two official languages. The Member complied. Other languages which have been used in debate include Dene‑North Slavey (Debates, October 21, 1991, pp. 3699, 3702), Punjabi (Debates, November 19, 1991, p. 5067), Japanese (Debates, June 9, 1998, p. 7806), Ojibway (Debates, November 5, 1998, p. 9893), Salishan (Debates, November 5, 1998, p. 9893), Cree (Debates, June 19, 2006, p. 2585), Chinese (Debates, June 22, 2006, p. 2863) and Italian (Debates, May 6, 2008, pp. 5490‑1). On one occasion, there was an exchange between two Members in Latin and Greek (Debates, February 18, 1983, p. 22983).

[97] See, for example, Debates, June 4, 1993, pp. 20356‑61; June 13, 1995, p. 13700; March 18, 1998, p. 5041; March 24, 1998, p. 5278; June 9, 1998, p. 7806; May 6, 2008, pp. 5490‑1.

[98] Debates, December 8, 1964, p. 10926.

[99] See, for example, Debates, May 13, 1998, pp. 6918‑9; May 6, 1999, p. 14381; May 30, 2001, p. 4405.

[100] The most notable exception to this practice is when the Minister of Finance is presenting a Budget.

[101] May, T.E., Erskine May’s Treatise on The Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, 23rd ed., edited by Sir W. McKay, London: LexisNexis UK, 2004, p. 425. See also Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 335. In 1947, Speaker Fauteux noted: “If the rule were otherwise members might read speeches written by other people and the time of the house [would] be taken up considering the arguments of persons who are not properly elected representatives of the people.” Debates, May 29, 1947, pp. 3567‑8.

[102] Journals, April 19, 1886, pp. 167‑8.

[103] See, for example, Debates, June 14, 1940, p. 781; February 20, 1942, pp. 730‑1; September 11, 1945, p. 66; May 29, 1947, pp. 3567‑8; February 20, 1951, pp. 496‑7; May 29, 1951, pp. 3494‑5.

[104] Journals, January 31, 1956, pp. 92‑102, in particular p. 97.

[105] See, for example, Debates, September 21, 1983, p. 27358; November 20, 1990, p. 15456; June 18, 1991, p. 1931; May 22, 1992, p. 11117; December 9, 1992, p. 14934; March 30, 2000, p. 5499.

[106] Fourth Report of the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons, par. 36, presented to the House on June 12, 2003 (Debates, p. 915), and concurred in on September 18, 2003 (Journals, p. 995).

[107] Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 336. See Journals, June 21, 1960, p. 675.

[108] Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 336. See, for example, Debates, October 22, 2002, p. 719.

[109] Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 336. See, for example, Debates, February 25, 1998, p. 4407; April 22, 1999, p. 14202; November 8, 2006, p. 4895.

[110] See, for example, Debates, July 23, 1963, p. 2549; October 22, 2002, p. 772.

[111] See, for example, Debates, May 31, 1928, p. 3604.

[112] See, for example, Debates, May 16, 1928, p. 3073; May 14, 1973, pp. 3725‑7; April 9, 1976, pp. 12682‑3; February 14, 1984, pp. 1361‑3; June 6, 2006, p. 2030; October 18, 2007, p. 70. See also Debates, February 1, 1954, pp. 1644‑5, 1647‑8 where the Speaker defines an unsigned or anonymous letter.

[113] See, for example, Debates, April 14, 1943, p. 2179; September 29, 1994, p. 6314; December 4, 2001, p. 7841.

[114] Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 337; Beauchesne, 4th ed., pp. 134‑5. See, for example, Debates, November 5, 1997, pp. 1582‑3, 1586; February 6, 1998, pp. 3499‑500; February 23, 1998, p. 4289; April 29, 1998, p. 6293; February 18, 2004, p. 784; October 2, 2006, pp. 3497, 3499. For further information on the tabling of documents required by statute or in respect to administrative responsibilities by Ministers during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Tabling of Documents”, see Chapter 10, “The Daily Program”.

[115] Beauchesne, 4th ed., p. 134. See also Debates, November 2, 1983, pp. 28627‑31; October 17, 1995, p. 15488; June 8, 2006, p. 2154.

[116] Journals, March 7, 1941, pp. 171‑2.

[117] See, for example, Journals, November 16, 1971, p. 922; Debates, March 4, 1975, p. 3755; February 11, 1983, p. 22755; November 14, 1984, pp. 219‑20; February 4, 1992, p. 6376; February 1, 2001, pp. 112-3; October 2, 2006, p. 3496.

[118] Journals, February 22, 1972, p. 15.

[119] See, for example, Debates, October 13, 1987, pp. 9898‑9; March 12, 2001, p. 1526.

[120] Speaker Milliken reminded Ministers that while they were at liberty to table documents at any time, they ought not to use such occasions to make statements (Debates, March 20, 2001, pp. 1960-1). See also Debates, May 4, 2005, pp. 5657-8.

[121] Standing Order 32(4). There have been occasions when a document has been tabled in only one language. See, for example, Journals, March 17, 1998, p. 574; March 16, 1999, p. 1618. On one occasion, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader sought unanimous consent to table a newspaper article which was quoted by a Minister and which was available in English only. Consent was given (Debates, February 19, 1998, p. 4125). Since 2000, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries have, on occasion, tabled unilingual items of correspondence without first seeking unanimous consent. See, for example, Journals, October 26, 2006, p. 587, Debates, p. 4307.

[122] Journals, April 6, 1971, pp. 475‑6. For cases where the Speaker has refused requests by private Members for unanimous consent to table a document, see Debates, February 1, 1985, p. 1914; February 13, 1985, p. 2313; March 25, 1985, pp. 3326‑7; September 23, 1985, p. 6864; June 27, 1986, p. 15006. In recent years, this prohibition has been relaxed, and Speakers have permitted the House to pronounce itself on such requests. See, for example, Debates, June 8, 2006, p. 2107; December 6, 2006, p. 5698.

[123] Debates, December 3, 1974, p. 1882.

[124] This was first allowed by the Chair on November 15, 1978 (Debates, pp. 1160‑1), and discouraged (but not forbidden) in the years that followed. In 1986, Speaker Fraser, noting that “the House has quite clearly decided to move outside the usual practice”, declined to discourage the practice further (Debates, October 24, 1986, pp. 709‑10). The two decades that followed saw numerous instances of tabling by unanimous consent (see, for example, Debates, December 5, 1990, p. 16330; November 30, 1992, p. 14276; February 1, 1994, p. 690; October 17, 1995, p. 15488; October 2, 1997, p. 415; December 4, 1997, pp. 2706‑7; February 13, 1998, p. 3866; March 17, 1998, p. 5029; November 24, 1998, p. 10388; February 16, 1999, p. 11980; October 28, 2003, p. 8835; November 25, 2004, p. 1926; October 27, 2006, p. 4358). On one such occasion, a document was tabled which had already been tabled by a Minister earlier in the day. Each tabled copy of the document was assigned a sessional paper number (Journals, June 1, 2006, p. 223). Also in 2006, a Member obtained unanimous consent to table an audio recording on a tape recorder (Debates, October 5, 2006, p. 3720). In 2007, a Secretary of State declared himself willing to table a printout from a handheld electronic “BlackBerry”, but not the device itself (Debates, October 18, 2007, p. 107).

[125] See, for example, Journals, December 5, 1990, p. 2379; November 30, 1992, p. 2254; February 1, 1994, p. 88; March 16, 1994, p. 260; March 20, 1997, p. 1325; October 2, 1997, p. 70; February 16, 1999, p. 1514; March 11, 1999, p. 1596; June 21, 2005, p. 942; May 9, 2006, p. 151.

[126] See, for example, Debates, June 13, 1991, p. 1646. See also the Chair’s comments, Debates, February 24, 1992, p. 7531. In 1992, the House adopted a Special Order allowing Members to table documents as sessional papers during a debate on proposals for reform of the constitution (Journals, February 5, 1992, p. 975).

[127] See, for example, Debates, June 3, 1971, p. 6359; December 3, 1990, p. 16085. This prohibition has, on rare occasions, been waived by unanimous consent. See, for example, Debates, June 11, 1992, p. 11887.

[128] Debates, December 8, 1997, pp. 2851‑2. Consent is also sometimes granted for lengthy answers to “starred” questions (i.e., questions for which oral answers have been requested) on the Order Paper to be printed in the Debates as if read. See, for example, Debates, March 10, 2005, p. 4236.

[129] See, for example, Debates, February 8, 1994, pp. 1030, 1095; March 25, 1994, pp. 2812, 2821‑2. The Speaker has refused to ask the House for unanimous consent to include as an appendix to the Debates, the text of a speech given outside the House (Debates, April 2, 1981, p. 8876). Nonetheless, the House has agreed to append to the Debates speeches made by the Prime Minister and the Governor General in the Senate at the installation of the latter (Debates, February 8, 1995, pp. 9334, 9367‑70; September 27, 2005, pp. 8132, 8136), remarks made by the Governor General at the funeral service of a former Member (Debates, January 20, 1994, pp. 112, 133‑5), and speeches delivered at the unveiling of the official portrait of a former Prime Minister (Debates, November 20, 2002, p. 1664).

[130] See, for example, Debates, March 30, 2000, p. 5443.

[131] See, for example, Debates, February 11, 1986, p. 10687; February 9, 1993, p. 15637; March 23, 1994, pp. 2671, 2674; December 8, 1995, p. 17444; May 7, 1999, p. 14886. Examples of printed material used as a prop and ruled out of order include advertisements, newspapers, books, business cards and money (Debates, April 26, 1989, pp. 994‑5; March 14, 1990, p. 9277; March 6, 1991, p. 18111; May 25, 1993, p. 19679; November 1, 1994, p. 7497; April 24, 1996, p. 1889; April 18, 2005, pp. 5213-4). Speaker Milliken ruled that “a document that has been recently tabled in the House and is being quoted by Members or used as the basis for either an answer or a question may sometimes be lifted up, pointed at or even quoted from” (Debates, November 4, 2005, pp. 9531-2).

[132] These include produce, samples of grain, detergent boxes, boxes of letters and petitions, a wig, a pen, a toy and chocolates (see, for example, Debates, June 16, 1969, p. 10156; October 29, 1969, p. 237; June 10, 1980, p. 1967; June 2, 1982, p. 18022; February 15, 1985, pp. 2387, 2404; May 5, 1987, p. 5763; March 13, 1995, p. 10383; March 5, 1997, p. 8649; November 18, 1997, p. 1846; June 13, 2006, p. 2321). On one occasion, a petition in the form of a birthday card was deemed an exhibit and ordered removed from the Chamber (Debates, July 5, 1982, p. 18990). On another occasion, a Member held up a sign when the Minister of Finance was making a statement and was subsequently ordered suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of the day’s sitting (Debates, June 27, 1985, p. 6270).

[133] See Debates, May 12, 1964, p. 3165; June 12, 1964, p. 4237; June 16, 1964, pp. 4352‑3; August 17, 1964, p. 6926.

[134] See, for example, Debates, December 14, 1994, p. 9057. On February 26, 1998, some Members used desk flags to demonstrate their opposition to certain remarks previously made by Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski–Mitis). The Chair found that such use of the flag created disorder in the House and asked Members that the flags be put back in their desks (Debates, p. 4488). When Mrs. Tremblay was recognized later in the sitting, Members began singing the national anthem (Debates, p. 4503). A point of order was raised (Debates, pp. 4509‑12) and, in his subsequent ruling, Speaker Parent underlined that the ruling was not about the flag or the national anthem. It was about “order and decorum and the duty of the Speaker to apply the rules and practices of the House”. The Speaker concluded that, until the House decided otherwise, no such displays would be allowed (Debates, March 16, 1998, pp. 4902‑3).

[135] See, for example, Debates, December 10, 1984, p. 1064; October 18, 1995, pp. 15537‑8. In 2006, a Member was asked to remove a political button when another Member objected to it (Debates, September 21, 2006, p. 3064).

[136] Debates, June 22, 1995, pp. 14465‑6. See also Debates, September 18, 1995, p. 14508; October 2, 1995, pp. 15108‑9.

[137] Beauchesne, A., Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, 3rd ed., Toronto: Canada Law Book Company, Limited, 1943, pp. 91‑2.

[138] See the section in this chapter entitled “Reading of Speeches”.

[139] On one occasion, the Speaker interrupted a Member during her maiden speech in an attempt to quell heckling (Debates, January 30, 2001, pp. 18-9).

[140] See, for example, Debates, February 25, 1994, p. 1882; April 14, 1994, p. 3027.

[141] See, for example, Debates, September 25, 1997, pp. 69‑71; September 26, 1997, pp. 164‑6; April 6, 2006, p. 66.

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