Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding the legitimacy of a document circulated to members and referred to in a statement by the member for Vancouver East last Thursday in this chamber. The member was referring to a recent trip by her, the member for Gatineau and the member for Etobicoke Centre to the West Bank and Gaza . The document circulated has the words "House of Commons/Chambre des Communes" prominently at the top.
The members refer to themselves as a parliamentary delegation when in actuality only opposition members participated in the trip.
The members in the text of the document refer to themselves as the Canada-Palestine friendship group but it is only noted inside and not on the cover of the document.
The member for Vancouver East claimed in her statement to the House last Thursday that the report had been presented. This implies the approval of Parliament in gathering the data and that the report was tabled in Parliament. In fact, the report was neither sanctioned nor reported officially to Parliament, nor indeed can it be. In fact, it was circulated to all members from the office of the member for Gatineau .
Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to review the facts and find that the members for Vancouver East, Gatineau and Etobicoke Centre have misrepresented the mandate of their group and the approval of Parliament of their report and findings.
Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to find that the members have violated the order of the House in the misrepresenting of their report to the House. There is no indication of whether the report actually represents the Canada-Palestine friendship group. The group is not identified as the source of the document. The three members refer to themselves as "a parliamentary delegation" which also implies they were commissioned by Parliament. They refer to their Canada-Palestine friendship group as the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association.
Members of the House would know there are several parliamentary associations. Identification as a parliamentary association is approved on application to the Board of Internal Economy and provides access to parliamentary budget funding for travel and support.
Parliamentary friendship groups do not have such access or privilege. In fact, buried in the report is the admission that the members travelled on their own to the Middle East and paid for their own trip.
Parliamentary associations can and do report on their activities to the House by tabling reports but parliamentary friendship groups do not.
I further ask the Speaker to instruct these members to strike the words "House of Commons/Chambre des Communes" and "Parliamentary Delegation" from the cover of their document and to clearly identify themselves as the Canada-Palestine friendship group as the source of this very biased report.
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