There was a moment of tension in the House Thursday afternoon when the opposition charged that dozens of Liberal MPs had entered the chamber after one of the questions to be voted on was still being read.
As deputy Speaker Anthony Rota was still reading the question, Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux rose to complain that he could not hear it — a move that gave some Liberal MPs time to make it to their seats. Opposition members, sensing that they might have the government cornered on a confidence vote, told Rota that those Liberal MPs who entered the House late were ineligible to vote.
After a prolonged and heated debate, Rota ruled that it was not up to him to monitor attendance and left it to the “honour” of individual MPs to decide whether they were eligible to vote when the question was read.
Rota read the question a second time, the vote went ahead and the government survived (several Liberal MPs rescinded their votes afterwards).