Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to rise on this point, but the nature of the response from the opposition House leader is so below what we expect for the conduct of members of Parliament in dealing with each other in the House that I must respond.
I understand the members could have made an error by relying on a media report. However, now the facts have been laid on the table by the member, before the House, that have make it clear that he was not, in the words of the opposition House leader, “required to repay”, but rather he took the initiative to repay, not at the request of House administration but on his own initiative, to ensure the rules were scrupulously followed.
That having been put in front of us now, and our being aware of the facts, and as hon. members of course accepting what we say, the appropriate response is not to continue. This is not a matter of debate on political rhetoric. This is a question of the member's conduct in the use of resources of the House.
The response of the opposition House leader is shocking to me. I am getting a little emotional because it is upsetting.
The appropriate response at this point is in fact to apologize, to accept what has been laid on the table by the member for Kitchener Centre rather than persist, having been acquainted with the facts and ignoring them.
For that reason, I would ask that it go beyond a simple request for an apology, and rather that we have the appropriate motion placed, after a prima facie finding of contempt, that the member's privileges have indeed been impugned inappropriately.