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Our vibrant democracy

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On Tuesday afternoon, the NDP’s Kennedy Stewart rose during statements by members with the following.

Mr. Speaker, since returning from the summer session, Conservative MPs have been sullying this House with fabricated policies and outright untruths. The member for Lethbridge is the perfect example. Instead of representing his constituents in this House, he knowingly aids his Ottawa bosses in propagating these falsehoods. Canadians have become adept at recognizing when their tax dollars are being misused. When they see a member standing in this House to repeat statements they know are untrue, Canadians see right through it. The message is simple: the member thinks it is more important to stand and attack the NDP on behalf of his Ottawa bosses than represent his constituents. This misguided regurgitation of falsehoods by the Conservatives is nothing short of an embarrassment. I encourage the next speaker to find the courage to stand up and speak for her riding, do what is right for her constituents, what is right for this House and what is right for them.

After Question Period that day, Government House leader Peter Van Loan stood on a point of order to complain.

Mr. Speaker, I regrettably rise to raise some questions about unparliamentary language, which was utilized by the member for Burnaby—Douglas under the rubric of member statements under Standing Order 31. As members know, it is not appropriate to accuse other members of lying in the House. That is considered unparliamentary language. I know when the NDP became the official opposition, its members made a great deal of their commitment to a new decorum and to improving the level of debate in the House. That appears sadly to have slipped away in the member’s statement today. In referring to the member for Lethbridge, the member for Burnaby—Douglas accused him of “outright untruths”, “propagating…falsehoods”, “statements [known to be] untrue” and “regurgitation of falsehoods”. These all fall into the category of unparliamentary language. What is more and what is worse is that these are all in reference to statements about the NDP carbon tax, and the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas actually ran under a platform that had on its fourth page a commitment to a $21.5 billion carbon tax. These statements not only are incorrect but they are unparliamentary and he should—

Mr. Stewart then stood to respond.

Mr. Speaker, I retract any unparliamentary language, although in his statement the House leader had his own untruth so I think the game continues.

Mr. Van Loan then stood to remind the House that he had previously tabled a copy of the NDP’s 2011 election platform.

On Wednesday, NDP House leader Nathan Cullen stood during statements by members with a rebuttal.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons stood in this House and had the audacity to complain about mistruths in members’ statements. He was not even trying to be ironic. The fact is clear to anyone watching that the Conservatives have been propagating outright mistruths in their statements. Propagating falsehoods is nothing new for them. They conveniently ignore their own record when it comes to putting a price on carbon. The Prime Minister himself promised a $65 a ton price. The Conservatives’ election platform committed to a cap and trade system and yet the government House leader is content to watch his MPs stand day after day in the House and repeat statements known to be untrue. The New Democrats miss hearing about the great events happening in Conservative ridings, so I will make a pledge today. If the Conservatives commit to throwing away their PMO talking points and the daily regurgitation of falsehoods, we will commit to stop doing their jobs for them by talking about the wonderful people and events in their ridings.

On Thursday, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer stood to respond to Mr. Cullen.

Mr. Speaker, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley made a surprising declaration about our government’s statements yesterday. It sounds like the member needs to have his memory refreshed. I would like to refer him to page 4 of his party’s costing document, which shows plans to generate $20 billion in government revenue through a carbon tax. I would also like to refer him to page 2 of his leader’s policy leadership document, which would impose a carbon tax that “would build on” the proposal New Democrats campaigned on during the last election. I would like to refer him to the NDP-backed Broadbent Institute, which issued a report stating, “…a carbon tax and higher taxes on natural resources — need to be considered…”. That was stated by the Broadbent Institute on October 9, 2012. Before the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley accuses us of being untrue, he should ask himself why he supports a job-killing carbon tax that would increase the price of everything, including gasoline, groceries and electricity.

And after more of the usual back-and-forth during QP this morning, Mr. Cullen stood on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, in just a moment, I will be seeking to table, in both official languages, a document that refers to the comments made by my friend across the way a moment ago. I know the members opposite would never wish to lie in this place but the things they said just are not true. I want to help them out with the facts because they may have them wrong. Equating a cap and trade system with a carbon tax is like apples and oranges: apples, a carbon tax down the way; oranges, cap and trade. To review, carbon taxes were proposed by them, cap and trade was proposed by us. The interesting thing is that the Prime Minister actually presented a similar cap and trade. Therefore, the document I wish to offer up, in both official languages, is the Prime Minister’s own speech from London in which he proposed a $46 billion cap and trade program for Canada.

Mr. Cullen did not receive the unanimous consent of the House and thus was unable to table a copy of the Prime Minister’s speech.