…Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to bring to your attention a grave and disturbing matter that occurred yesterday while riding the House of Commons bus.
I stand with a very heavy heart for this point of order because it was exactly for that reason I went into politics, to be a voice for the most vulnerable and fight for the rights of women, especially immigrant women, and bring their voice to Ottawa to fight against racism, agism, and sexism.
Now I will state the facts.
I was sitting on an outside seat when the member for Spadina—Fort York entered the bus. The member stopped and hovered over me. He began to wave his hand in my face, chastised and intimidated me for something I said in the House earlier in the day.
Yesterday, during question period, the Prime Minister was giving one of his non-answers to a question about the government transferring up to half a billion dollars into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while at the same time the PBO reported the government was behind on infrastructure spending within Canada. With great emotion and pride, I said “Canada is our home”. For some reason, the member took issue with my statement and began to intimidate me for raising it, making suggestions to alternative statements I could have made.
I did not have time to give you the proper notice of a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, but I reserve the right to do so. I do so for the following reasons.
Responding to threats was among the first matters of parliamentary privilege dealt with in Canada. Page 198 of the second edition of Joseph Maginot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada tells us of an incident in 1758 where the Nova Scotia House of Assembly proceeded against someone who made threats against a member.
In a ruling on September 19, 1973, Mr. Speaker Lamoureux, at page 6709 of the Debates, stated that he had:
no hesitation in reaffirming the principle that parliamentary privilege includes the right of a member to discharge his responsibilities as a member of the House free from threats and attempts at intimidation.
Mr. Speaker Bosley, on May 16, 1986, at page 13362 of Debates, ruled that the threat or attempt to intimidate could not be hypothetical, but that it must be real or have occurred. I have a whole bus of passengers who witnessed this whole incident.
On March 24, 1994, at page 2705 of Debates, Mr. Speaker Parent said:
Threats of blackmail or intimidation of a member of Parliament should never be taken lightly. When such occurs, the very essence of free speech is undermined. Without the guarantee of freedom of speech, no member of Parliament can do his duty as expected.
This attempt to intimidate me was directly linked to what I said in the House earlier in the day, and that, Mr. Speaker, should be grounds enough to warrant a favourable ruling for a question of privilege.
Hiding behind a prime minister who claims to be a feminist does not give the member the right to intimidate another member of the same House of another party. Female members of all three parties were on the bus. They witnessed everything he did and how he intimidated me. Therefore, I reserve the right for a question of privilege with proper notice.