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Contempt of Parliament Round 2?

You’d think the Conservatives would have gotten the idea that they are accountable to Parliament after the Afghan detainee document mini-crisis, but in less then a month, they’re going to try and avoid accountability yet again by trying to “ban” their political staffers from being subpoenaed in front of a Parliamentary Committee.

As multiple others have pointed out, they are not allowed to do that, as the laws of Parliament clearly state:

..the power of Parliament to “send for persons” is explained in chapter 20 of the second edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice. A committee of Parliament can issue a summons to any individual, ordering their attendance at a specific time and place. Only the Queen, the Governor-General, provincial lieutenant-governors, members of Parliament, members of provincial legislatures and individuals not residing in Canada are, in practice, granted immunity from such a summons.

When the Conservatives attempt this stunt today, this clearly calls for another opposition point of order to the Speaker, and as far as I’m concerned, shows yet more “contempt for Parliament” as an institution by the current Conservative government.  The opposition parties should act accordingly.

8 comments to Contempt of Parliament Round 2?

  • Northern PoV

    This is simply the latest tactic in the “long campaign” to totally discredit all those “squabbling politicians”.

    Unlike readers/commentors of blogs, the average citizen (the “swing-voter” at election time) sees these melodramas as further incentive not to vote. Low voter turnout means more Con MPs.

    whatever the battle:
    committees, detainees, nuclear safety, poisoned meat, ministerial accountability, FOI …

    the tactics are constant brinkmanship and obfuscation

    and it is working

  • slg

    Harper either has some very serious things to hide or is trying to force and election or both.

    I say let him sweat. Don’t give into an election – keep investigating.

  • Can we hope to see Soudas frog-marched away in handcuffs for failing to appear when legally summoned?

  • JMR

    I’m not so sure no one wants an election I am beginning to think that Stephen Harper having seen the recent poll numbers wants an election and this latest ploy is a way to get it. Truthfully I’m all for an election so we can throw these bums out.

  • Anon ABC

    Of course the opposition parties need to stand up to this, again.

    There will be fearmongering, again, that this will lead to a vote of confidence and an election that nobody wants (even though I suspect that any contempt issue, even if it arises, will be only against the absent individual in this case). Would the Harper govt make this into an issue of loss of confidence in his govt? Well, he certainly did not do so in the detainee case, despite the predictions of many bloggers/talking heads in the MSM that Harper would love an election based on supporting the troops that would just decimate the opposition.

    Will the opposition parties rise to the occasion or run away? Guess we will find out, again, eh?

  • Greg

    The Conservatives won the big battle last time (Parliament does not get the last say on the documents), so why won’t it push the envelope again? They know pigeons when they see them.

  • TV programs like CBC P&P and CTV PP should start refusing to invite/allow staffers to speak on air — only ministers. Soudas gets a free ride from Evan Solomon at least once a week. Tell him he’s not welcome as a spokesperson; we will only hear from the PM, himself.

    Staffers may not have enough time to appear before committees. After all, they’ve got to put in a lot of hours monitoring social media and “correcting misinformation”. In addition to making such tasks part of MP staffers’ duties, the government now has a policy of hiring outside contractors to refute unfavourable tweets, Facebook postings and blog comments.

    There’s a silver lining. Any pro-Harper, pro-CPC blog comments or tweets can now be dismissed as possibly bought-and-paid-for. Pro-government messages in social media have lost all credibility and the legitimate pro-Harper commenters only have their information-controlling PM to blame.

  • Patricia

    The Opposition parties will not act appropriately and hold the Conservatives in contempt. They are far too cowardly. Pity.

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