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There is a need to address the fact that a number of rules of the Manitoba Legislature are not being followed

ON June 13th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on a Matter of Privilege on the fact that a number of the rules of the Manitoba Legislature are not being followed.   My comments from Hansard, are below:
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege. This was the earliest time because I had to consult Hansard yesterday.
      I quote page 111 in which it–of O'Brien and Bosc in which it is very clear the privileges of a member are violated by any action which might impede him or her in the fulfillment of his or her duties and functions. This is a serious issue. We have a problem in this Legislature that we have a number of rules and practices which are not being followed.
      Let me start with the rule that we have two rules committee meetings a year. We had one last year, and we've had none this year in spite of the fact that I've talked with a number of people about the need to have that. And there is a need to update our rules, as I think we all recognize.
      Second, the use of unparliamentary language. Page 146 of Beauchesne's is very clear that use of the word, which I will spell but not say, l-i-e, and variations of this are referenced numerous times in Beauchesne's as being unparliamentary language and unacceptable. And yet this word was used twice yesterday before we even got to question period, and versions using different phraseology, which are also not acceptable, were used three times in the same period before question period.
      (3) There is a process which you as Speaker have alluded to many, many times that questions and responses by the government are to be addressed to the Speaker. And yet on numerous occasions, we have members of the government who have been, instead of facing the Speaker and directing their comments, addressing them to the Speaker, they have been facing the MLA who has raised the question and talked directly to the MLA instead of posing the response through the Speaker.
      (4) For many years, it has been the practice to not refer to the absence of a member, and yet yesterday, when the Minister for Sustainable Development did this and brought this up, I brought it up. The Speaker did not confirm that this was unparliamentary. I had asked, because it is unparliamentary, that those comments be stricken from Hansard, but my request was not responded to, and today I find that the Hansard record shows the reference to the absence of a member.
      So with those four points where the rules, as illustrative, are not being followed, I would move, seconded by the MLA for Burrows, that this be referred to an all-party committee.

My comments were picked up by the CBC.   The CBC story can be seen by clicking on this link - Long-serving Liberal MLA asks for better behaviour in the Legislature.


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