A stark contrast in styles

14th February 2019

 

I never cease to be amazed at the perfidy of our elected so-called representatives.

I am not going to go into the present controversy concerning Jody Wilson-Raybould, nor am I laying blame as I really do not know what happened.  A reporter for one of our wonderful newspapers quoting unknown sources claimed wrongdoing by the PM, PMO, PRO or others concerning the SC Lavalin case and this has been accepted as gospel by the opposition.

My problem here is the absolute hypocrisy concerning committees.

Does anyone remember how Brad Butt (CPC) lied not once but twice on the same day during the debate on the UNFAIR ELECTIONS ACT? (Hansard: 6th Feb 2014 at 1620, and again at 1720)

He would have got away with it because his word was taken as true by unsuspecting MPs, but I suspect that Elections Canada called on him to explain why he had not reported this to them and he had to make a very insincere apology to the House –(Hansard 1140 29th Feb 2014)   This resulted naturally in a call on the Speaker of the House (Sheer) to make a ruling as to whether Butt should be obliged to appear before the House Committee on Internal Affairs to explain himself.  To give him credit the Speaker ruled that he should which prompted an opposition motion to that effect which the Government House leader of the time (Van Loan) vigorously rejected and indeed the motion was defeated by a Conservative vote.  What appalled me at the time was that Speaker Sheer was not even in the chair to hear the result of the vote but left it one of his minions, and so no committee meeting was called to examine this total breach of House rules, and a Speaker’s ruling was rejected out of hand.

Contrast this to the demand for a committee hearing on the Wilson-Raybould affair, where a committee was called into an emergency meeting over the matter.  The actual performance of the opening meeting was not very conducive to a nonpartisan discussion and indeed was very partisan indeed and many derogatory remarks were made concerning the witnesses called prior to that meeting.  It was clear to me that the list could and would be expanded but, led by that somewhat odious MP Cooper, there were open accusations of a cover-up.

What the outcome will be is anyone’s guess but the contrast in agreeing to a committee meeting right away and completely denying the same on a Speaker’s ruling is very stark. I give the government kudos for calling the meeting and I trust that something will come of it, but at least they responded.

It is also worth noting what the Speaker had to say prior to Oral Questions on 7th February this year:

From Hansard:

The Speaker

Before we proceed to oral questions, I want to make a statement on what I have observed in recent days.

As members know, question period is an opportunity to hold the government accountable for its administrative policies and for the conduct of ministers in their official capacities.

[English]

I have listened carefully and patiently, perhaps too patiently, to questions put forward this week, some of which clearly fell outside the scope of permissible questions, since they had little to do with the administrative responsibility of the government. In addition, some of these questions were couched in language that amounted to a personal attack. This is also not permitted. I would caution members now, before we begin, that to maintain the dignity of this House, I will not allow such questions or such personal attacks. I will interrupt any member who asks a question that raises a matter that does not properly deal with public policy.

The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie will come to order.

[Translation]

There are other ways to ask questions so they fall within the administrative responsibility of the government. I am confident that members know how to formulate legitimate questions. If they cannot, I will give the floor to another member.

[English]

I am sure that all hon. members want to have a question period in which issues are dealt with with seriousness, rigour, and yes, intensity. It also needs to be respectful. I hope this will be the case today in going forward.

Order. The hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton will also come to order.

[Translation]

Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

 

While I not a fan of the current “sunny ways” – as I sit watching snowed fall yet again in the Banana belt of southern Vancouver Island – I cringe at the thought of a cowardly ex-Speaker leading this incredible country called Canada into hateful, two-faced Conservative ways again.

 

Clearly what we need is many small party or independent MPs who will swear allegiance to the people of Canada rather than the Crown, and who will hold any minority government to account, and not be accountable to corporate pressures.

 

I can dream, can’t I?

 

Jeremy

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