Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the question of privilege raised by the member for Mississauga South in the House of Commons on October 5.
The member for Mississauga South has claimed that he was threatened, that he felt intimidated and that his right of free speech was infringed upon.
Let us review the facts. During my October 4 address before the House of Commons, I pointed out that the Liberal Party was soft on crime. The member for Mississauga South, who is also soft on crime, rose on a point of order to interrupt my remarks. It was the 14th time that he had risen on a point of order in this Parliament.
In that interruption he began to refute my arguments and engage in debate. Your Chair, Mr. Speaker, correctly dismissed the member's intervention as a speech which was masquerading as a point of order.
This is nothing new for that particular member. He has a long history of abusing points of order. He has intervened to make 10 false points of order in the House of Commons. Those are 10 points of order that have been summarily dismissed or ruled out of order by your Chair. This occasion was no different at all.
Mr. Speaker, on the date in question, October 4, the member rose again on another false point of order which your Chair ultimately dismissed. After hearing this intervention from the member and after having been interrupted by another false point of order by the member, I strolled over to the other side of the House, as is my right and as is customary in this place as we can see members doing right now, and I told him that if he continued to interrupt me with false points of order that eventually I would need to raise a few of points of order on him.
However, he spun around in his chair very promptly and said that he felt threatened and intimidated. He then rose in the House of Commons the very next day on a question of privilege and announced that his right to freedom of expression had been robbed and that he was being intimidated into silence.
I find it difficult to imagine how he could have been intimidated into silence when he in fact was speaking in the House of Commons, but somehow he felt that was the case.
There is no basis for the member's question of privilege but in any of these the deciding factor is intent and it is clear that I had no intent of intimidating or threatening the member in any way. It is a logical impossibility that the member could have been silenced given that he has lavished us on two separate occasions with interventions in the House since that alleged threat occurred.
Beyond all of the back and forth, Mr. Speaker, the facts are these. I have done nothing to prevent the member from speaking freely. We know that because he continues to speak. There is no way that I could have obstructed him from carrying out any of his parliamentary duties because he continues to carry out those duties regularly.
Mr. Speaker, has the member given you one single solitary example of a parliamentary function that he has not been able to carry out as a result of my conversation with him on October 4? Has he been unable to call a constituent? Has he been unable to respond to a media question? Has he been unable to rise in the House of Commons and make an intervention? Has he been unable to attend a committee?
The answer to all of these questions is no. In other words, in no way, shape or form have I inhibited his ability to function around the House of Commons and, as such, he is rising again, as has become his custom, and is abusing points of order and questions of privilege for partisan gain.
I will say, in the interest of getting on with business around this place, that if my warnings of a future point of order in any way caused the member to become afraid or intimidated or made him feel as though he could not function around this place for fear that he might experience a point of order, then I apologize to him fully and entirely and I ask him to do the same and rise in his place and apologize for having raised 10 false points of order which have been summarily dismissed by your Chair as invalid.
Mr. Speaker, it is in this spirit of non-partisanship that I offer you my remarks and I thank you for your time.