Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak to the same point of order that was raised by the member for Winnipeg South, who read a letter from Mr. George Radwanski.
I believe that it is a poor substitute for the actions that we as a standing committee chose to take, which was to point out our displeasure with Mr. Radwanski from the very start of this painful exercise.
The member for Elk Island made a good point. We should be concerned with what kind of precedent we are setting. If in fact we are the highest court in the land, we have a person who has made misrepresentations, possibly stolen public funds, lied to a standing committee, falsified documents and records, and ultimately will walk away with nothing more than a stern talking to.
It is not unusual for people, once they are found guilty, to do a few mea culpas and try to minimize the impact. I do not believe that Canadians would be satisfied that in one of the most obvious cases in recent history of abusing the system as a civil servant and violating the public trust, that it is satisfactory to simply accept a letter of apology from this person.
We have watched the standing committee move to a fairly firm consensus that we should be calling Mr. Radwanski to the Bar. The House of Commons should find him in contempt with consequences and sanctions up to and including time in prison. That was the starting point in our standing committee. We have seen that position watered down to the point now where we are going to accept a letter of apology from Mr. Radwanski.
Surely, we are not satisfied with this. We believe that this sets a terrible precedent for other courts and other situations. We have other cases where senior civil servants have been caught in the maladministration of funds that are yet to be dealt with by Parliament. I am talking about the Groupaction sponsorship scandals and the scandal around the Virginia Fontaine Treatment Centre with Health Canada in the Province of Manitoba.
We will have senior civil servants in the same situation and this sets a precedent where they, too, will simply write letters of apology. That is not satisfactory. I believe we should at the very least today find Mr. Radwanski to be in contempt of Parliament and nothing less will be satisfactory.