House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was allegations.

Topics

Question No. 55
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

With respect to French-language training, for each of the fiscal years from 2005-2006 through 2008-2009: (a) how much was spent by the government on language training for new immigrants in each province and territory; and (b) what are the names of the third parties who received money for language training for new immigrants in each province and territory, and how much did each one receive?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 56
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

With respect to English-language training, for each of the fiscal years from 2005-2006 through 2008-2009: (a) how much was spent by the government on language training for new immigrants in each province and territory; and (b) what are the names of the third parties who received money for language training for new immigrants in each province and territory, and how much did each one receive?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 67
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

With respect to humanitarian issues and crisis and Canada’s involvement: (a) how does Canada increase awareness around the world that abuse of children, minorities, women, etc. will be punished; (b) how often is humanitarian evidence examined in Canada, and by whom; (c) what accountability measures are in place to demonstrate Canada’s commitments with respect to human rights internationally; (d) what processes are in place to give Canadian family members information, and to give information on how to help; (e) what processes are in place or can be put in place to allow Canadians to sponsor family members more quickly if required; (f) what, if any, audit process follows Canada’s direct or indirect involvement during a humanitarian crisis; (g) what, if any, process follows the resolution of a humanitarian crisis, and how Canada performed with respect to it; (h) what opportunity, if any, is there for Canadians to have their input in such an audit process; and (i) with respect to Canada’s involvement during last year's crisis in Sri Lanka, (i) what, if any, audit will follow Canada’s involvement, (ii) what, if any, evidence is Canada receiving that might suggest violations against children, minorities, and women, (iii) what steps, if applicable, is Canada taking to address such evidence?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 71
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

With respect to deaths related to actions by members of the RCMP: (a) for each of the last 20 years, how many deaths were in relation to (i) individuals being held in RCMP custody, (ii) inadvertent actions against bystanders, (iii) individuals being arrested by the RCMP, (iv) individuals fleeing RCMP custody; (b) in relation to these deaths, broken down by year and within each category, how many resulted in charges being laid against RCMP officers or officials; and (c) of these charges laid, broken down by year and within each category, how many charges (i) were dropped before prosecution, (ii) were prosecuted but did not result in a conviction, (iii) were prosecuted and did result in a conviction?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 75
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

With regard to the provision of consular affairs, for the fiscal years 2005-2006 to 2008-2009: (a) what are all foreign missions operated by the government; and (b) what is the number of staff members tasked with the provision of consular services in each mission?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House has been notified that the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord wishes to raise a question of privilege. I will now hear his intervention.

Usurpation of the Title of Member of Parliament
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

April 15th, 2010 / 10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last general election held on October 14, 2008, the Conservatives lost a seat in Alberta. In the riding of Edmonton—Strathcona, Rahim Jaffer was defeated by the NDP candidate. Consequently, since that election, Mr. Jaffer cannot claim to be an MP because to be an MP, he would have had to have been elected, which is not the case.

However, in the April 13 edition of Le Devoir in an article written by Hélène Buzzetti, we learned that:

Rahim Jaffer was defeated in the 2008 election but even recently he was handing out his MP business cards. He had the Conservative Party logo on his Internet site and was using a parliamentary BlackBerry provided by his spouse, which gave him a government address.

By allowing people to believe that he was still an MP, Rahim Jaffer committed a flagrant act of obstruction and interference. In fact, O'Brien-Bosc states, on page 111:

It is impossible to codify all incidents which might be interpreted as matters of obstruction, interference, molestation or intimidation and as such constitute prima facie cases of privilege. However, some matters found to be prima facie include the damaging of a Member’s reputation, the usurpation of the title of Member of Parliament, the intimidation of Members and their staff and of witnesses before committees, and the provision of misleading information.

More specifically, with regard to the matter of usurpation of the title of member of Parliament, I refer you to page 113 of O'Brien-Bosc:

The misrepresentation of someone who is not a sitting Member as a Member of Parliament has been found to constitute a prima facie case of privilege on two occasions. On May 6, 1985, Speaker Bosley ruled that there was a prima facie question of privilege in a case where a newspaper advertisement identified another person as a Member of Parliament rather than the sitting Member. He [Speaker Bosley] stated:

It should go without saying that a Member of Parliament needs to perform his functions effectively and that anything tending to cause confusion as to a Member’s identity creates the possibility of an impediment to the fulfilment of that Member’s functions. Any action which impedes or tends to impede a Member in the discharge of his duties is a breach of privilege.

Page 113 also refers to a ruling that concerns you personally, Mr. Speaker. I remember that you ruled on the question of usurpation of the title of member of Parliament in 2004. I quote:

...a similar question of privilege was raised concerning a booklet published in connection with a fundraising event and which contained an advertisement identifying a former Member of Parliament as the sitting Member for the riding.

You ruled that there was a prima facie case of breach of privilege, and you referred the matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

On the surface, since Rahim Jaffer acted in a manner that implied that he was still a member of Parliament, one might think he breached the privileges of only the member for Edmonton—Strathcona, the riding he formerly represented.

But by handing out his former business cards, the member gave the impression that the position of member of Parliament could be used for financial gain. We know that serious allegations of influence peddling have been circulating about Rahim Jaffer for several days now. He has tarnished the reputation of all politicians. We feel strongly that this is a serious impediment to the performance of our parliamentary duties. He has breached the privileges of all 308 members, including you, Mr. Speaker, who were legitimately elected on October 14, 2008. In so doing, Rahim Jaffer has damaged the reputation and credibility of the House of Commons as an institution.

Objectively, this conduct is unacceptable, but the fact that it involves someone who sat as a member of this House for nearly 12 years is totally repugnant. I am raising this question of privilege to protect my privileges and those of the other Bloc Québécois members and all members.

The use and the reputation of the title of member of Parliament must be protected, and I call on you as the guardian of our privileges, Mr. Speaker. The 308 members of the House of Commons elected you democratically to occupy the Speaker's chair because they had confidence in you as the guardian of members' privileges. That is your role, and the best proof of this is that even though you belong to a political party, you no longer attend caucus meetings because you are above partisanship. My colleagues and I need you to maintain and preserve our parliamentary privileges, which is why I am raising this question of privilege.

What Rahim Jaffer did is not a harmless act committed by mistake or in good faith. Clearly, he must have known that he had been defeated in the most recent election. He therefore acted deliberately, with highly questionable intentions.

Consequently, Mr. Speaker, I am raising this question of privilege on behalf of all the members of this House, from all parties, over whom you preside. In the event you should find my question to be in order, I have prepared an appropriate motion that I can move.