‘We call on you to uphold the highest standards of discourse’

Shortly after Question Period, Liberal John McKay rose to raise a question of privilege related to International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda. He concluded as follows.

Privilege as you well know exists for good reason. In this instance as all others it is to compel truthfulness – even when embarrassing – even when it doesn?t suit the government?s agenda. Privilege exists so that M.P.s can make decisions based on fact, not on fiction. Privilege exists as a core value of democracy because M.P.s and their constituents, the People of Canada, have every right to expect that public discourse in this Chamber is without artifice. You Mr. Speaker, are the guardian of that core value – the value of truthfulness between and among Members, Ministers, and the Prime Minister. Any ruling other than a prima facie case of breach of privilege in this case will inevitably lead to another even more egregious abuse. Mr. Speaker, I and my colleagues are calling upon you to put a stop to tampered documents, to blaming others, to casual regard for facts before a Committee of the House. We call on you to uphold the highest standards of discourse by Ministers in their communication to the House. Mr. Speaker, with the additional material before you, the case for contempt is even more compelling than it was before. I am prepared to move the motion of contempt upon your direction.

His full statement is here. He was followed by the NDP’s Paul Dewar and the Bloc’s Pierre Paquette.

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