The Speaker takes a stand (IV)

by Aaron Wherry

Tim Uppal rose just now and attempted a rant against Michael Ignatieff, only to be cut short by deputy speaker Andrew Scheer (a Conservative, for the record).

Dean Del Mastro was allowed to use his statement to both mock Peter Milliken’s ruling and criticize former Liberal policies.

Conservative Leon Benoit was allowed to say that “someone” wants to introduce a carbon tax and raise the GST.




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The Speaker takes a stand (IV)

  1. Oh Leon Benoit, so clever.

  2. Heaven forbid a politician say something political about another politician. Mustn’t sully the reputation of this ordinarily solemn and serious chamber. Gawd, this is the lamest non-issue I’ve ever seen.

    • There’s enough of it in QP, and when the talking heads take their turn on Politics/Power Play. Maybe I’m being to quaint, but I do like when 15 mins of members statements can just be about congratulating people and honouring people from their ridings. I actually hope Milikken brings the hammer down on Monday about the subtle mocking of his rule. Then again it took him years to bring down any sort of hammer in the first place, so I eagerly await his ruling in subtly breaking the rules in 2020.

      • … because nothing says you are a citizen of accomplishment like your MP’s congratulations on your decade-and-a-half of service as grand-pooh-bah of Unit4675, Tatamagouche Kiwanis Club, appearing in two fficial languages in a document no one will ever read.

        • Yeah, why on earth would we want to encourage ordinary Canadians who do their best to improve the lives of others?

          You’re right, MYL, much better to make fun of community volunteers on a National magazine’s website.

          When did you get so low on common decency? A member’s statement costs us taxpayers just as much money if he’s sneering at opposition members as it does congratulating community members for their helping hands. Why is the former a better use of our money than the latter to you?

    • Get the feeling that Scheer and Milliken intentionally timed it so Milliken could give the ruling, take the first stand, and Scheer could take the second day?

    • Are you sure Kady : after all a deputy showing he can be tough on one of his own and in the meantime getting a headline, where let’s face it the issue is only highlited and the message still gets across – I don’t know if he really needs any sympathy – I wonder who the next speaker will be post-miliken as it were … just thinking out loud here.

      • Miliken and Scheer have just guaranteed their jobs until they lose their seats in an election.

      • The thing is, Andrew Scheer actually does love the House, and parliament, and I suspect it is eating him up inside to see how his party is behaving at the moment.

        • Listen to the Australian House… Doesn’t take much for their Speaker to toss an unruly MP or barr them from asking/answering a question for 30 days. Something had to happen and I support Mr. Milliken’s ruling from yesterday.

        • He does, doesn’t he?

        • Big surprise that you forgot to mention that Millikian might be disappointed in the way the liberals are acting in the house? Just be honest you look for any reason to attack Harper and the conservatives.

          • geez; sneak attack much? get back to reality jay; ppl have a right to comment and will do so concerning behaviour that is deemed inappropriate for *high* office; now if PM Stephen your boss/hero/party/whatever by your comments hadn’t been so focused on developing and perfecting the “Book of Parliamentary Disruption” and instead focused on representing the majority as we, taxpayers and voters funding them, expect them the minority conservs to do, there would be no need for comments that you don’t like. i’ve seen Liberals and NDP and Bloc called out; why your precious conservs?
            []
            as for the nature of the comments you don’t like: most of us think independently; we are not mindless followers of anyone.

          • correction,
            why *not your precious conservs?

        • How do you know Andrew Scheer loves the House so much?

        • i hope Mr. Scheer respects the institution; i think we expect no less of one who makes their living through this means; his *party* is disgraceful–this is based on 3.5 years of watching the conservs change and poison the atmosphere of the House.

  3. Do they realize how childish they appear?

    And that we all employ them and are paying their salary to undertake this juvenile behaviour, while Canadians are losing jobs at a record pace, outpacing most other nations in job losses?

    • It’s a great time to buy the services of the desperate and unemployed. A truly great buying opportunity! More McJobs for the slobs while the ruling party occupies itself with not being allowed to insult, belittle and slander the opposition…

      • Well, not allowed to for 15 minutes anways, which really is an eternity

        • In the lead up to prorogration, & the initial coming into being of the coalition, the insults & belitteling by Harper & his fellow MP’s were terrible. Downright vitriolic. If it happens again, outside of thise 1st 15 mins. I hope Milliken or Scheer also cut the mikes then too. The 15 mins. was not the only time that slander, lies, & nastiness were prevalent.

          • @penlan. now *that* would be something!

          • *that* being the cutting off of the mike! absolutely brill!

  4. This Parliament edges toward a surreal “Thunderdome” where the methane produced will be enough to make the oil sands redundant.

  5. Dean Del Mastro is on the fast track to being in Cabinet. Harper must love how he “answers” questions in the House.

    • It’s a shame that this is how a MP has to act to catch the bosses ear!! Bluster and volume is not a substitute for wit or character. Del Mastro actions are those of a bully and the way to beat a bully is to ignore them!!

      • Interestingly enough, I spent four years in Peterborough going to University, and had the opportunity to see Del Mastro speak during the 2006 election. While, like all then Opposition candidates, he certainly attacked the Liberals, he gained a lot of respect from the university community there (hard to do at Trent frankly) for being willing to sit and discuss and take a ton of heat for, various Conservative positions.

      • what is most unfortunate is that these ppl choose to demean themselves thinking they’ll do better once they get to where they’re goaling.

        Del Mastro “catching” his boss’s ear means appearing less intellectually capable than his boss who feels threatened by anyone who looks *better than*.

        i remember the very same Del Mastro had shaking hands during the Mulroney-Schreiber ethics committee hearings; his current bravado is unfortunate.

    • Did you hear the rumors that Del Mastro might run for the leadership of the Tory party in Ontario?
      I will move to Nunavut before I have to endure that man are our premier.

      • I hope he does run! Gets him out of the Federal govt. & believe me he won’t win the leadership & even if he did there is no way Ontarians would elect the PC’s with him at the helm for sure.

  6. I can see both sides in this dispute.

    I can see the need for decorum.

    But I also see the need for members to feel that they can criticize othe rmembers.

    • I respectfully disagree. Criticize the actions they take, criticize the stances they take, but NEVER criticize the other members. The rule of thumb was to keep politics about the issues: if you do that, you can’t go wrong.

      I got here in 2003; the issues have taken a backseat since about 2006 in favour of building “images” and “sticking to the message.” Oh, and taking personal shots at other MPs.

    • Yeah, its like there’s a personal restraint button that prevents them from criticizing their rivals the rest of the 23:40? If this brief statement period is not intended for purely character assassination, where the target is given no opportunity to respond, can be slandered or smerched with no basis in truth and fact, then I suppose parliamentarians of all stripes — but let’s be real, we know who have turned this circus into a jungle — will have to use the rest of their day to do their dirty laundering.
      I sure wish the speaker had the ability to fine heavily the MPs who continually breach the rules and protocols of the House. I don’t think big Deano would be so eager to curry his puppy master’s favour if he knew his dinner money was being curtailed.

    • When it’s disguised as a Member’s Statement, there’s no opportunity for rebuttal – the statement stands unchallenged.

    • You think MPs should be allowed to stand up and make statements like: “The honourable member from such-and-such is a big fat poopy head?” Because that, and other statements like it, are the only things that have been banned. They can continue to hammer on Liberal policies if they so desire.

      A bigger concern to me is the complete disregard for the truth. I’m not sure if bald-faced lies can actually be banned in the House, but it would be nice.

    • perhaps; but the effects of character and political assassination are real (Dion and the Green Shift that would have benefitted most of us and helped us better weather this “synchronized”, or manipulated, crisis of a global recession); the consequences should be appropriate and immediate penalties applied to those whom we elect to represent us; and by penalty i don’t mean the lame resort to the toothless threat of solely *voting* the idiots out; the real and immediate prospect of public embarrassment, fines and possible charges levied against such disgusting miscreant behaviour seems to be the only thing that particularly the conserv MPs might understand.

  7. somewhere in the bowels of the Conservative Research Group is a poor, no doubt young Researcher, forced to write these Member’s Statement for Del Mastro and Benoit, finding ways around the Speaker’s ruling… someone accepting a cheque from taxpayers, who according to latest figures, are made up more and more of unemployed Canadians.

    I say young Researcher, cast off your shackles and rebel: is this really what you want to do?

    • maybe, if the researcher is young enough, those considered morally responsible and in a position of authority by law could be charged with child abuse for encouraging bullying and the undermining/corruption of a younger, less responsible person.

      • I believe the provisions exist in the Hemlock Act of 1921.

  8. I have thought of a solution. Some may argue it’s too brilliant, where as I would argue it’s just brilliant enough: Why don’t they just designate a certain amount of time every day for character assasination? Character Assassination Period, or CAP, we’d all call it. That way member statements would be used for their intended purpose, and Conservative MPs will still have an outlet for their irrepressible inanity. It’s win-win.

    • Character/Reputation Assassination Period. I like it.

    • To be followed immediately by Bare Knuckles Boxing Period, for those who grow weary of mere words.

      • Now we’re talking. We could also have the Prime Minister in the dunk tank third Wednesday of every month.

        • In a white tank top, or is that too lowbrow (or gross)?

        • There should be public parties in the House of Commons. Throwback to the good old 1970s

    • But, if there’s a CAP, will anyone still cover QP for the TV news?

    • Good idea! Also, no cameras, public, or reporters allowed in while they have this “CAP”. How long do you think they would bother to continue without any attention from the media? Wouldn’t last a day. Perfect!

  9. Didn’t Member’s Statements used to get used for things like recognizing excellence and accomplishment of private citizens from an MPs riding or reading in signed petitions?

    I am glad to know that so many MPs think partisan attacks are more important than recognizing the accomplishment of Canadians who make this country a better place.

    Maybe MPs are acknowledging they don’t think private citizens are worthy of recognition in the MPs House of Commons. More of a House Above (the tradegy of) the Commons.

    • HW, Canadians would have to actually care what the MP said in his or her statement for any achievement to be actually recognized. I am not so sure a master’s student in historical anthropology will care too much in 450 years that I set up an abused women-and-children shelter in my small community. Because 10 seconds after the member read the ode-to-me, no one, not even the MP, will be aware of that statement until that poor student comes along to read early 21st century Hansard of the lost country of Canada.
      Yes, lost. Because surely by then the entire country will have joined Atlantis because kody and Wayne and sf and I insisted on using the occasional internal combustion engine…

    • hey; who has time for that; let ‘em (us) eat cake!

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