In the House’s hands


Shortly after Question Period today, a report will be tabled from procedure and House affairs committee recommending that the government be found in contempt of Parliament for failing to turn over budgetary and financial information related to various pieces of crime legislation and the proposed purchase of 65 F-35 jets.

A separate finding of contempt against International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda is still to be decided, but it appears Ms. Oda may have the sympathy of Pat Martin working in her favour.


In the House’s hands

  1. OK folks, this is the money shot!
    Proposing schemes (F-35, prison expansion) without deigning to reveal the costs.
    True contempt of Parliament and the taxpayers.
    This issue alone is worth fighting an election over.

  2. Does someone know the procedural rules on this better than me?

    If the report is introduced today, isn't it a matter of privilege and matters of privilege are voted on immediately in priority to all other business on the order paper? or at least all other votes or motions?

    So wouldn't that mean either a vote on the contempt motion tonight or tomorrow morning (and a finding of contempt), prior to the budget?

    I read somewhere of the possibility the contempt motion may include a non-confidence motion. Has the wording of the motion circulated yet?

  3. Pat Martin's musing are irrelevant. He enjoys the sound of his own voice a little too much.

    There was a time when a cabinet minister would resign their post simply upon being investigated. Ministers in other governments around the world are sacked for far less – just look at Britain and the "expense account scandal".

    In Canada, it seems that all positions are secure until those accused are actually convicted by the courts, and even then only after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted. Look at Lawrence Cannon – $35 million in civil lawsuits against either the government or Cannon himself – cited by a federal court justice as 'acting in bad faith' – yet this clown still has his job.

    Just how low do we set the bar for "contempt of parliament". Are we doing the limbo dance here?

  4. Correction: "In Harper's Canada, it seems that all positions are secure until those accused are actually convicted by the courts".

    Under Mulroney, cabinet ministers resigned over such things as simple ill-thought-out jokes in lines at airports (Redway).

    Under Chretien, cabinet ministers resigned over investigations in their departments regarding activities of a prior minister, even when the charges against the department were dubious and later proven groundless (Jane Stewart, Judy Sgro).

    By contrast, under Harper, cabinet ministers take their lead from the PM and think they are above the law, think that they don't have to comply with the law, think rules of law such as subpoenas and civil procedure in trials don't apply to them or their staffers, think illegal campaign fraud that tilted an election with possible jail time is just an accounting issue, etc.

    We can choose Canada or Harper's Canada. That is the ballot question.

  5. but but but… I thought Harper and Canada were one and the same. So wouldn't opposing Harper mean opposing Canada (not to mention opposing the troops, Japanese tsunami survivors, hockey, grandmothers and ponies).

    Kidding aside, mike/Harper's Ashamed son, let's not go overboard with the rhetoric.

  6. Also, it seems that only in Harper's Canada, can one get cited for contempt of Parliament/breach of privilege twice in a week, be subject to two possible separate RCMP investigations in a week, have 4 of your operatives, including two Senators, be accused of and charged with electoral fraud, and yet have it declared by some pundit as a win-win: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/artic

    Makes me think of this: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength ….. Contempt of Parliament is win-win, NOT.

  7. Rhetoric Like "We can choose Canada or Harper's Canada. That is the ballot question."
    What about Layton's Canada or Ignatieff's Canada.

  8. Kidding aside, mike/Harper's Ashamed son, let's not go overboard with the rhetoric.

    Ted, you do realize this guy is a troll, right? I don't think your advice to "not go overboard with the rhetoric" is going to have much effect.

  9. Let me get this straight. There's a dispute over the costing of a couple of programs. Nothing new in that, of course. After losing a ruling by the speaker, the government does make efforts to comply, as it did with the Afghan documents situation. You honestly think Canadians will buy this as a reason for an election? I'm not talking about opponents who already hate Harper. I'm talking about average Canadians.

    a) I don't see a desire for a change of government;

    b) I don't see an alternative even if there was a desire for change;

    Yet, of course, the usual suspects won't accept any of these realities, so they'll yell and shout their way to a resounding electoral defeat. Again, it should be fun, and fascinating. Thanks.

  10. I like that we have a new law that precludes former senior government employees from lobbying the government…. too much

    Carson will likely walk because of a loophole that allows such individuals to lobby as long as it doesn't take up more than 20% of "their workload". A rather ephemeral standard, don'tcha think?

  11. Well at least this long-in-the-tooth Liberal has been shamed into quitting!!!

    "Senator Raymond Lavigne has resigned from the Red Chamber.

    The move comes after his conviction on charges of breach of trust and fraud.

    The Senate was about to debate ways to suspend his salary.

    Mr. Lavigne, who is a former Liberal MP, is now eligible for his parliamentary pension.

    The Clerk of the Senate, Gary O'Brien, has just released a memorandum on the matter, saying he has been advised of Mr. Lavigne's resignation by the Office of the Governor-General “effective immediately.”

  12. Yes, because that is what is on everyone's mind and far more important the contempt and illegal activities and criminal investigations of the Government of Canada the Harper Government.

  13. "You honestly think Canadians will buy this as a reason for an election?"

    "hope" perhaps vs "think"
    and yes very honestly,
    unlike your comments on the contempt situation

  14. Leo's channel changing routine seems to be wearing thin. He's not even getting polite applause anymore.

  15. My understanding is that a non confidence vote is not allowed on the contempt charge itself. However, it is expected that the Libs will attach it to a potential non confidence vote on Friday. We shall see. However, if the NDP and/or the Blocsupport the budget and it looks like they could (Ivison, National Post) and therefore the non confidence motion of the Libs will be for naught. It would be simply foolish to think that the NDP/Bloc would support the budget and then vote non confidence on Friday. However, we shall see.

  16. At least it is a REAL scandal.

  17. The budget won't come up for a vote before (a) the contempt motion, (b) the supply bill (automatically a confidence motion) and (c) the opposition day. So you won't have a situation of the NDP/Bloc supporting the budget then voting non-confidence, although if that is the way they are leaning you could conceivably have them pass the supply bill and then try to vote non-confidence. They would justify that as approving the last spending from a budget that was already passed by the House. But if the non-confidence vote is about ethics, then they would indeed look foolish.

    But what I am not clear on is when the contempt vote happens. I am under the impression that all matters of privilege take priority and precedence over all other votes and business of the House, if not even taken up immediately. So the contempt motion would be voted on prior to the supply bill, the opposition day and the budget vote.

    If they support the contempt motion, they should be held in contempt themselves if they then go on and show confidence in the government.

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