Speaker Regan temporarily suspends Commons over Poilievre prop
OTTAWA – The House of Commons was temporarily suspended for a few minutes on Thursday, after things became raucous as the result of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre’s use of a prop.
During question period, Commons Speaker Geoff Regan ordered the House to be suspended after Poilievre rose to ask a question about the governing Liberals’ carbon tax plan.
Holding up partially redacted documents, the Conservative MP voiced concern over the numbers detailing the cost of the carbon pricing plan being blacked out.
Midway through his question, Regan interrupted him to remind him of the rule that MPs are not allowed to use props in the House.
Regan said he’d allow Poilievre to continue, without the stack of papers in his hand, to which Poilievre retorted: "Well Mr. Speaker when it comes to this government’s memos I can understand why you might mistaken them for props."
This was met with some standing applause and laughter from his caucus, but Regan, apparently not humoured by it, skipped over Poilievre’s turn and called on NDP MP Brigitte Sansoucy to ask her question on the latest troubles with the Phoenix pay system.
In response, yelling and groans could be heard in the House, originating from the Conservative benches.
This audible discontent continued throughout the answer from Liberal parliamentary secretary Steve MacKinnon, at which time Regan ordered the House to be suspended.
Question period resumed a few minutes later once the atmosphere settled.
After allowing another NDP question and answer exchange, Regan went back to Poilievre, noting that “it is not appropriate to challenge the chair or to ridicule the decisions of the chair.”
Poilievre then took another run at his question, without the props in hand.
Regan has been an active Speaker when it comes to cracking down on heckling in the House of Commons.