Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this situation.
I have too much respect for the House of Commons and the Speaker to leak any document. I find the comments of the member for Sherbrooke, who claims that over three years these kinds of documents have been leaked, a bit exaggerated since he has only been in the House less than eight months, I believe.
To get directly to the point, I did give an interview to the Toronto Star . From the outset it was clear to the reporter that it was my personal opinion. If members take the opportunity to read the headline of that article, they will see that it says “MP Report”. It does not comment at all on what I reported in the House of Commons and in the subcommittee per se.
I was also approached by another newspaper reporter as early as last Friday who told me that they had in their possession the said draft report, and I refused comment again.
I draw the attention of the House to a quote in that article of the Conservative member for Fundy—Royal who proposed a $700 refundable tax credit per child. In the subcommittee last Wednesday the member for Fundy—Royal admitted to talking to the same reporter that I talked about.
In my opinion all I did was reflect my personal opinion. I made that clear with the reporter when I spoke to him. I might have erred in judgment, but in no way did I ever disclose the contents of the report which will probably be tabled in the House tomorrow.