Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As you know, for as long as I have been part of the BOIE, I have always sought compromise and tried to mediate when there were opposing suggestions or positions. So I am deeply saddened by Mr. Holland's request to force a vote. I know he has an important job. I understand that. He knows that I am empathetic and understanding of the fact that he has that job and that the incident that happened on April 14 deserves to be discussed by the BOIE. I don't deny that.
I am deeply troubled by the fact that he is trying to use the BOIE for political purposes to make these discussions public, when all opposition parties have already made it very clear to the BOIE that they want to thoroughly discuss this issue in camera. How will the Chair decide that this discussion is legal in nature, but another is not?
We need to take the time to discuss this incident in a portion of the meeting in camera that is on the agenda. There is no question of hiding anything. The incident is well known. An apology has been made to the House. The Speaker has made his ruling. Now we want to study the incident further. It is scheduled on the agenda; that shows that the BOIE wants to discuss it.
It is not appropriate to call for a vote and break with the important customs of the only body in Parliament that is supposed to be non-partisan, to remain calm and to handle difficult situations. I repeat, the incident is very important, I am not denying that.
I call for calm. I, for one, wish to discuss this thoroughly during the in camera portion. I don't want Mr. Holland to think that I'm trying to hide anything. However, even faced with the incident of April 14, we can't afford to set precedents that would be detrimental to the proper functioning of the BOIE and its performance. Even though we have strong opposition in the House of Commons, strong government, and good debate, the BOIE is our non-partisan bulwark for dealing with the toughest things.
I call for calm. Please, let's stop this discussion, let's not go to a vote, and based on the agenda, let's go in camera to discuss this item, as it was scheduled. No one is refusing to discuss it. No one is refusing to make decisions. What is being refused, and it seems pretty clear, is that we handle this matter in this way, because it involves all kinds of issues, some of them legal.
I would very much like to see Mr. Holland reverse his decision and not call a vote. It would be really distressing if the BOIE were used for political reasons. I'm sure that is not his original intent, so I would ask him to reconsider his request.