Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill made reference to a member who does not sit in this House and who cannot protect herself.
I draw the attention of the Speaker to pages 76, 77 and 78 of Marleau and Montpetit under “Misuse of Freedom of Speech”, which states:
Speaker Fraser urged Members to take the greatest care in framing questions concerning conflict of interest guidelines.
With regard to the privilege of immunity in this House, he goes on to state:
Such a privilege confers grave responsibilities on those who are protected by it. By that I mean specifically the Hon. Members of this place. The consequences of its abuse can be terrible. Innocent people could be slandered with no redress available to them. Reputations could be destroyed on the basis of false rumour. All Hon. Members are conscious of the care they must exercise in availing themselves of their absolute privilege of freedom of speech.
He went on to say that Speakers in the past have ruled that when a member's reputation is at stake but that member does not sit in this House, we should be very careful in referring to that member by name.
He also went on to say:
Specifically referring to individuals outside the Chamber, he agreed with a suggestion that the House consider constraining itself “...in making comments about someone outside this Chamber which would in fact be defamatory under the laws of our country if made outside the Chamber....”
I would ask the hon. members of Her Majesty's official opposition, including the Bloc, but I am referring specifically to the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill, to refrain from making accusations and impugning motives and allegations on people who cannot defend themselves in the House.