OTTAWA – The secretive committee that polices House of Commons spending has decided it has “no choice” but to appeal a Federal Court decision in the NDP satellite office saga.
Last week, the New Democrats cheered the decision to allow an affidavit challenged by the attorney general, the Speaker of the House of Commons and the committee, known as the board of internal economy.
In the affidavit, University of Sherbrooke professor Maxime Saint-Hilaire says the controversy is not a matter of parliamentary privilege and suggests the courts may indeed have jurisdiction in the matter.
Heather Bradley, the director of communications for the Commons Speaker, says the board believes the court “erred in law and created a dangerous precedent” by allowing the affidavit to be admitted.
NDP national director Karl Belanger says the ruling was clear, and suggests the Liberals are wasting taxpayers’ money in a “petty, mean-spirited political vendetta.”
The New Democrats are using party funds to fight the board’s order that 68 MPs — many who were defeated in October — repay $2.7 million in parliamentary funds that went towards pooled offices in Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City.