‘Mensonges, mensonges, mensonges’


After Question Period yesterday, Conservative Rick Dykstra rose to complain that Gilles Duceppe had referred to a government minister as a liar on “at least four occasions and more like six.” Mr. Duceppe explained that he had only shouted out the word “lies” in reference to something that was being said. This led once more to a fascinating discussion as to the difference between saying someone has lied and saying someone is a liar.


‘Mensonges, mensonges, mensonges’

  1. It is kind of preposterous that there's a difference in terms of the rules of the House.

    • Yes and no. It's possible for a member to honestly state something that is untrue. For example, one could relate a headline from a newspaper ("Mr. Speaker, the Globe and Mail has reported widespread alarm amongst Canadians…," which is an honest statement.) Another member could retort that the substance of that report is a lie, and would not be making a statement as to the original member's honour.

      Also, the word "lie" can be used in response to a claim ("Mr. Speaker, this government has managed the situation ably…"). It's not a particularly precise use of the word to challenge such a claim as a "lie', but it's certainly not an uncommon context for its use. Again, the intent is not to suggest the original statement was a deliberate fabrication.

      All of that said, it's probably best to avoid the word!

  2. It's the difference between saying "You've had a drink," and "You're a drunk."

    • Well put.

  3. Duceppe should learn the word misinform or mislead – we all know it means lying………..but it isn't actually calling someone a liar.

    • I recall, many a year ago, Ed Broadbent was expelled from the House for failing to apologize or withdraw his remarks that included the phrase: "… or is he misleading the House?"

      So I think even THAT qualifies as unparliamentary, unless rules have changed over time.

  4. What, no blog about the world wide vaccine shortage and trying to pin the blame on Harper? Come on Wherry, have you given up so soon?

      • I suspect the opposition is a little disappointed with the AG's report. They were likely expecting the federal version of eHealth to be a horrendously mismanaged financial mess, as was the Ontario version. They'll have to settle for the other criticisms by the AG instead.

        From CBC: "Canada Health Infoway, the national eHealth project, escaped the scathing attacks heaped on its cousins in Ontario and British Columbia."

  5. Question for a parliamentary scholar: Isn't shouting out "Lies!" actually unparliamentary?

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