Speaker says NDP mailouts broke rules

NDP calls the investigation by secretive committee a ‘kangaroo court’


 OTTAWA — The NDP is trying to duck responsibility for a series of political mailings that broke the rules on the use of parliamentary resources, says a Conservative member of the secretive, all-party committee that oversees Commons spending.

The committee, known as the board of internal economy, found that the mailings were political and designed to advance NDP electoral prospects, Conservative MP John Duncan told a hastily assembled news conference.

What’s more, Duncan said, the board has asked to take a closer look at other NDP mailouts to determine whether they also were against the rules.

The New Democrats, who say they cleared the mailings with Commons administrators and Speaker Andrew Scheer, accused the Conservatives and Liberals late Monday of ganging up and turning the board into a kangaroo court.

The board, which meets secretly and keeps its deliberations close, needs to be more transparent, said New Democrat MP Paul Dewar.

“Open this up,” Dewar said.

“I mean this is a kangaroo court, what we’ve seen here with Liberals and Conservatives playing the judge and jury. Does anyone really believe that there’s not politics involved here?”

Not so, said Duncan, who described the board’s findings as “very fair.”

“They should be accepting responsibility instead of impugning everybody else, including the Speaker,” he said.

“I do believe at this point they should be apologizing to the Speaker, who they know darn well is in no position to defend himself. That would demean his office.”

The NDP could find its budgets cut if it refuses to pay for the mailings, Duncan added.

Scheer, who is chairman of the committee, said in a statement earlier Tuesday that Commons administrators have been asked to suggest appropriate remedies for the infraction.

The board has been looking at up to 1.8 million pieces of mail sent into dozens of ridings using House of Commons envelopes and the free postage services available to MPs.

There’s been no infraction, Dewar insisted. “We follow the rules.”

If the NDP has to pay for the mailings, it could run into the millions of dollars. Duncan refused to speculate on the final bill, but he said there are ways to recoup the money if the NDP were to balk at repayment.

“In any of the situations where they would be asked by the board for a remedy, if they didn’t respond to the request for remedy there would obviously be ways to enforce it,” he said.

“Members of Parliament receive budgets, the NDP as a party would receive a research budget, they receive salaries; there are obviously mechanisms to recover monies and they should be paying the monies back.”

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Speaker says NDP mailouts broke rules

  1. I can’t comment on the NDP mailings, as I haven’t seen them nor does the article specify whether they were mailed during the by-election periods, as previously alleged.

    However, I DO know that the mailings I get from Bal Gosal, my MP and member of the CPC, are 100% CPC propaganda (and I have complained to him about this several times now). If the Board of Internal Economy has a shred of credibility, they need to look closely at all the mailings going out from every single MP – and I strongly suggest they start with Mr. Gosal’s.

  2. What I find interesting here is, if the NDP cant get the rules strait with spending taxpayers money in the HOC, than how can they in return go after the senate about its rules on how taxpayers money is spent ? I don’t go for this, the other guy does it, so we should be able to as well, that’s not leadership. I think that’s a little lame. Why do you think the cons numbers are sitting at 30% for the last year or so, Hmm, it may have to do with the fact that taxpayers know that the cons are always skirting the rules to use taxpayers money the same way, except the cons do take it another level. We don’t need another government in 2015 like the one we have already. Justin Trudeau, Canadians know him and what to expect from him and are not surprised by him, Tom Mulcair, Canadians don’t know him and not sure if they want to, Steve Harper, Canadians new him, and now realize they no longer like or trust him.

  3. “…the mailings were political and designed to advance NDP electoral prospects, Conservative MP John Duncan told a hastily assembled news conference.”

    How utterly shameless. John Duncan has been flooding my mailbox for years with flyers whose entire purpose is to advance Conservative electoral prospects and provide data to Conservative databases. And it’s entirely financed by taxpayers.

    • If CPC MPs had any shame, they would be booted from caucus.

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