Saturday, October 8, 2011

It was the Deputy Speaker's reading of "Beauchesne"and Standing Order #9, which determined the appropriate attire of "conservative contemporary standards" in 1980. Have the standards kept pace with Christy Clark's images of 2011??

The responsibility of whether or not Christy Clark was appropriately "attired" when she the Premier was in OUR legislature this past week lies solely with (Hon. Bill Barisoff), the Speaker of the House.

 On July 21, 1980 it was the Deputy Speaker, Walter Davidson who invoked that "Beauchesne will continue to apply ........".

If the current Speaker, the Hon. Bill Barisoff would like to step aside and allow the Deputy Speaker, the Hon. Linda Reid to make the ruling, regarding what women should be wearing in Our Legislature, then what better examples than His and Her Official MLA photo:

 House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit

 The Speaker is charged with maintaining order in the Chamber by ensuring that the House’s rules and practices are respected.   He or she ensures that the rules are followed respecting proper attire, the quoting and tabling of documents in debate, the application of the sub judice convention to debates and questioning in the House, and the civility of remarks directed towards both Houses, Members and Senators, representatives of the Crown, judges and courts. In addition, the Speaker has the duty to maintain an orderly conduct of debate by repressing disorder when it arises either on the floor of the Chamber or in the galleries and by ruling on points of order raised by Members. The Speaker’s disciplinary powers ensure that the debate is focussed and permit the Chair to remove Members who persist in behaving inappropriately. Nonetheless, while it is the Speaker who is charged with maintaining the dignity and decorum of the House, Members themselves must take responsibility for their behaviour and conduct their business in an appropriate fashion.


Official Report of



MONDAY, JULY 21, 1980
Afternoon Sitting

DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, the Chair has noticed that there is different attire on some members today. I would point out that under standing order 9 the Speaker "shall preserve order and decorum" in the House. The ruling of the Chair will be that the male members shall wear shirts, ties and jackets in this chamber and would appreciate that members would....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please. I am not going to enforce the regulation today, but tomorrow that will be the rule of this House.
MR. BARRETT: On this point, Mr. Speaker....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: It's not a point for debate, hon. member. It is a ruling by the Chair.
MR. BARRETT: I bring to your attention that there is a ruling in existence from Speaker Schroeder that contradicts the statement you just made. I would ask that the House be advised that if rules are to be changed, notification be given members beforehand to avoid any confusion among members coming into the chamber.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: As I pointed out, the regulation was to come into effect tomorrow, for the benefit of those members.
MR. LEA: I need a bit of clarification on the Speaker's ruling. Are you saying that there is going to be a rule how males will dress in here, but none for women?
DEPUTY SPEAKER: For the information of the member, no dress of female members of this chamber has ever had to come to the attention of the Chair.
MR. NICOLSON: On a point of order, the House is guided, of course, by the parliamentary authorities and rules but also by practice and by previous Speakers' rulings. I would urge that before hard and fast positions are taken, members and Mr. Speaker refer to the ruling of Speaker Schroeder, with which I am not intimately familiar, before taking such a thing into consideration. I should say that in the years that I've been in this House, since 1972, there have been some considerations made for certain members in terms of their dress; it has been a practice that one or two persons do wear slightly non-conforming attire, wearing not a jacket but I believe a type of caftan. I would think that eight years of practice would actually set the practice of the House. I would ask Mr. Speaker, with respect, to consider that before next day.
MR. LEA: I would also ask that you look at the Constitution Act, because I believe that it says there can be no rule that applies differently to one member than to another.
MR. LEA: I will get the section, because it does say that in there. I think that your ruling would fly in the face of our Constitution Act, which governs us all. I think the Speaker agrees with me, and I think that the Constitution Act will not allow that rule.
MR. BARNES: I would just like to ask that, when you are considering the new regulation you give us some indication as to what is defined as a shirt, what is defined as a jacket and what is defined as a tie. Because I would point out to the Speaker that last year, in rather onerous times, we were required at least to review the rules and everyone was wearing shirt and tie, for obvious reasons; it was common sense. The weather is changing now, and we may find ourselves in a similar position, and you may be imposing a regulation that will be most difficult even for you, sir, to adhere to.
HON. MR. CHABOT: On a point of order, conditions of this chamber have changed dramatically in recent years. The chamber is now air-conditioned. It might have been a burden on the members to adhere to proper decorum in the House in the past, but it is no longer that situation. I just want to bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, a ruling brought down by Speaker Murray in 1967 regarding decorum. I wish you would refer to that one as you do your research.

DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, earlier today the Chair made a ruling with respect to the attire of members while in the chamber. I refer hon. members to the comments to be found at page 80 of the fifth edition of Beauchesne, namely that Speakers have enforced conservative contemporary standards in the House. I have examined the Journals of this House and can find no record of a ruling or statement by Mr. Speaker, although I believe a statement was made. I have also examined the Journals of the House and determined that no other ruling has been made, although a statement was made in 1977, wherein the Speaker of the day pointed out that the advent of air conditioning in the chamber had made it possible to keep the temperature at a reasonable level.  Standing order 9 clearly imposes a duty on the Speaker to preserve order and decorum, and unless the House should decline to relieve the Speaker of that obligation the comments in Beauchesne will continue to apply.


Mr. McClelland: Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order. Early in the first session of the 35th Parliament, I can recall very distinctly the occasion when a member opposite came into this Chamber wearing a turban.
People were all waiting for the explosive fireworks to happen. I can recall being asked about that and saying that it did not matter what was on a person's head but what mattered was what was in the person's head.
I would say today, it does not matter what kind of pants a person is wearing. What matters is what is in the pants.
The Deputy Speaker: Does anyone else want to have a go? It is hard to know how seriously to take this. Members will recall that the Chair ruled that members had to wear a tie and a female member got up and asked: ``Do I have to wear a tie?''
I thank the hon. member for Terrebonne, who raised the point by quoting Beauchesne. I would like to return to this point of order. It is true that in French Beauchesne refers to ``tenues classiques conformes aux usages contemporains''.
The English version is that in general Speakers have enforced conservative contemporary standards. I take seriously the member for Terrebonne who is concerned that a member from a western province would be wearing blue jeans.
There are many members here who probably think all British Columbians and Albertans wear blue jeans to their weddings. I have no idea.
In light of the fact that the member has made the objection, the Chair will try to come back with some kind of refinement of what has been said in the House today. I thank the hon. member and in due course, if it seems necessary the Chair will come back with some kind of ruling on that, as possible as it might be.

Google Search Criteria:
Beauchesne, namely that Speakers have enforced conservative contemporary standards attire

To paraphrase Mr. McClelland: I would say today, it does not matter what kind of blouse a person is wearing. 

There are three examples of men without ties in the "group" photo:

Harry Bloy
Dr. Terry Lake
Bob Simpson

Maybe the three gentlemen above would like to change their photos to match what was ruled in 1980, eh?

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