Conservative MP John Williams backs Thibault, parliamentary privilege, common sense


.. in a letter to the Hill Times, no less. I wonder if he’ll be able to persuade the more — reluctant members of his caucus — particularly David “Cranky” Tilson, who brought the complaint to Dawson in the first place — to consider the long-term ramifications of her ruling, and not just gloat over the fact that it was a Liberal whose wrist was slapped:

Mary Dawson’s unfortunate decision: Tory MP Williams
Re: “Dawson ruling puts Parliament in ‘crisis,’ says top expert,”

(The Hill Times, May 29, p. 1).

[…] Whether or not Mr. Thibault allegedly defamed Mr. Mulroney will be settled in court if it ever gets there. What is more important for Parliament is her definition of a “private interest.” For her definition she relied upon her legal experience, oblivious to the fact that she is now engaged to adjudicate in the public world of politics and democratic right of free speech. Nowhere in her report did she discuss the constitutional protection of freedom of speech in Parliament or even acknowledge that Members of Parliament have a duty to speak on issues of public concern. […]

Lawsuits for statements made by an MP outside the House are one thing. Denying MPs the right to speak in the House on matters of public interest, is outrageous. Her unfortunate decision, if allowed to stand, is a dangerous infringement on the protection of freedom of speech in Parliament which is enshrined in the Bill of Rights (1689) (U.K.) and forms part of the Constitution of Canada.

Conservative MP
John Williams


Conservative MP John Williams backs Thibault, parliamentary privilege, common sense

  1. Verrry interesting! ;)

    Nice to see some back up from a CON…oh my, the levees are getting leaky holes?

    btw – Whatever happened to your weekly blogger segment on CBC Politics, Kady? I enjoyed it.

  2. Considering that Mr. Williams also has his fair share of cranky moments, this is a bit of surprise.

    A good one though.

  3. Just when I was thinking the Conservatives were engaged in an attack against parliament I see a principled statement like this. Thank you Mr. Williams.

    It’s not that Conservatives are solely responsible for the partisanship which infest Canadians politics, but I would be less edgy about the Conservative agenda overall if I saw a lot less gamesmanship and a bit more statemanship coming from the government benches.

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