Matthew Green, the Democratic Party’s new ethics critic, has appeared before Parliament’s Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee to accuse Conservative House of Commons Leader Andrew Scheer of filming a partisan video in his Parliament Hill office. The House of Representatives is required to answer questions about why it violated the rules of the House.
The video in question relates to Mr. Scheer’s support of Conservative Party candidates in the Ontario by-election earlier this year.
“In relation to media reports that Parliamentary resources were inappropriately used in an attempt to influence the nomination process for the 2023 Oxford by-election, the Committee has ordered that Mr. Andrew Scheer… appear before the Committee for at least two hours. “We invite you to do so,” Greene’s notice reads. of movement.
It remains to be seen whether the committee will vote in favor of Greene’s motion. With Congress in session for Christmas recess on Friday and not expected to resume sitting until late January, it could take weeks for committees to address the issue.
In an interview with CBC News, Greene said Scheer was at the forefront of calls for House Speaker Greg Fergus, who filmed a partisan video in Hill’s office, to resign after doing the same. He said it was “the height of hypocrisy.”
“Former Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer himself committed the exact same offense, quietly and privately facing administrative fines without being shamed in public, while at the same time leading the charge to remove Greg Fergus from the speaker’s chair. ” Green said. He said.
“This just shows the lack of integrity of the Conservative leadership as a whole, and Andrew Scheer in particular.”
NDP critic says parliament needs tougher ethics fines
Green said Parliament should also consider tougher penalties for using House of Commons resources for partisan purposes, such as Britain’s practice of suspending MPs rather than fines.
“I don’t think $500 will exactly cover the cost of restoring the trust lost when something like this happens.”
Green’s comments come after Conservative House of Commons Leader Andrew Scheer was accused of filming a video cheering Arpan Khanna, who was seeking the Conservative nomination in southwestern Ontario, from Oxford University earlier this year. It comes after CBC News revealed that he was initially fined $500. Khanna went on to win nominations and by-elections. He currently serves as a member of Congress.
Scheer served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2014 and currently serves as Leader of the Opposition.
I am in the Oxford CPC nomination race. @ArpanKhanna I support
I know that Arpin will be an excellent parliamentarian and will work tirelessly to make our leader Pierre Poièvre the next Prime Minister of Canada.
I hope you will support him too 👇🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/Yejhoh4KMc
Khanna did not respond to questions from CBC News, but officials said his campaign paid a $500 penalty.
CBC News has learned that a reference to the incident appeared in the Oct. 26 minutes of the Internal Affairs and Economics Committee, a committee of MPs including Scheer that oversees parliamentary districts and parliamentary operations. In response, an investigation into the incident began in mid-November. resource.
Rules for Members of Parliament Regarding Partisan Activities
House rules prohibit members from using Congressional resources or grounds for partisan purposes, such as fundraising or endorsing candidates in partisan elections.
Although the member’s name is not listed in the minutes of the board meeting, the board issued a citation on July 19 for violations related to “a member’s use of House resources to support a candidate in a nomination contest.” It says it has decided to accept a $500 “reimbursement.”
Former Conservative MP Dave McKenzie complained to former speaker Anthony Rota after Mr Scheer tweeted a video he filmed in his parliamentary office supporting Mr Khanna in February. Khanna was running against MacKenzie’s daughter, Deb Tate, in the race to be the Conservative candidate for Oxford University, to succeed MacKenzie.
Mr. Scheer’s name also appears on Mr. Khanna’s financial documents filed with Elections Canada after the nomination contest. Khanna’s list of campaign expenses includes $500 spent on May 10 as a “Canadian Elections Pending Penalty” to Andrew Scheer.
Officials said the fine listed in the filing was actually a refund to the House.
Although the fine was incurred and paid earlier this year, it was revealed that Mr Scheer was recently fined for misusing House resources by videotaping him for forcing the resignation of current Speaker Greg Fergus. He was in the midst of leading the charge.
Mr Fergus was wearing the robe of the Speaker of the House of Commons as he filmed a video tribute to outgoing Ontario Liberal leader John Fraser. Fergus said he thought the video was from a private dinner, but it was shown at the Ontario Liberal Party convention.
On Thursday, the House of Commons Committee on Procedures recommended that Fergus be fined and apologized, but stopped short of recommending that he resign.
Asked about the video in support of Khanna, Scheer drew similarities to a 2019 incident in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau filmed a fundraising video in his Parliament Hill office.
“Mr. Trudeau has set a precedent for inappropriate use of the resources of the House of Commons,” Scheer told reporters.
The reaction at the Capitol was swift.
“The Conservative Party’s hypocrisy knows no bounds,” Liberal MP Ryan Turnbull of Whitby, Ontario, posted on social media. “Earlier this year, the House of Commons fined Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer $500 for breaking rules by filming a partisan video in his parliamentary office. This is exactly the same violation that they are using to demand the chairman’s resignation.”
Conservative hypocrisy knows no bounds.
“Earlier this year, the House of Representatives fined Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer $500 for breaking rules by filming a partisan video in his parliamentary office.”
This is exactly the same violation share…
Bloc Quebecois MP Claude Debellefeuille, who has served on the home affairs committee for the past four years, said this is the first time the board has been asked to investigate incidents in which MPs used House resources for things other than their duties. He said it was not the first time. Member of Parliament.
“The concept of financial sanctions does not exist. What has to be done is to identify the cost of reimbursing the use of resources with measurable indicators,” DeBellefeuille said. “I can honestly say there is no cost to poor judgment.”