Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of privilege.
On Tuesday, November 20, 2007, my office received a call from a researcher at the Library of Parliament who asked “whether Mr. Boshcoff is travelling this week?”.
The researcher would not provide additional information regarding his request which led my assistant to call the Library of Parliament inquiries department.
An assistant at the inquiries desk explained to my assistant that the researcher was performing his duties in response to a request by a parliamentarian for the following information: one, is there a registry of member of Parliament activities such as committee travel or parliamentarian travel; and two, specifically, is Mr. Boshcoff travelling this week?”.
Mr. Speaker, I must protest this deliberate misuse of parliamentary privileges by the parliamentarian in this issue.
The Library of Parliament's resources should not be misused by any parliamentarian in such a way as to cloak such blatant partisan spying under the cover of parliamentary business.
Please know for the record, I am not faulting the staff of the Library of Parliament. I am very concerned about the effect of this request on my ability to perform my duties as a member of Parliament.
I interpret this action as a form of intimidation; a tactic that takes away my freedom to act in the best interests of my constituents; and a tactic that makes me believe I am under some form of surveillance. Clearly, any member of Parliament would find it very difficult to perform his or her duties under such duress.
In our parliamentary system there are publicly accountable reporting procedures and I completely agree and support these, but this is clearly something that no MP should have to face.
I therefore ask, Mr. Speaker, that this subject matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to determine which parliamentarian is so blatantly abusing the resources of Parliament in an attempt to intimidate me and to ensure that suitable action is taken to address this grievous action.
Should you rule, Mr. Speaker, that this is a prima facie case of privilege, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion.