Letter: Seems OK to lie in House if MP apologizes after
To the editor:
Re: Albas ‘Reports’ On PMO’s ‘Talking Points’ (letter to the editor, March 18 Capital News).
Harri Henschler writes: “One of the most ardent Conservative supporters of this bill [MP Brad Butt re: Bill C-23 (Fair Elections Act)] has repeatedly lied to the House of Commons and the Speaker has found prima facie grounds of breach of parliamentary privilege.”
On Feb. 6, Butt said in the House: “I have actually witnessed other people picking up the voter cards, going to the campaign office of whatever candidate they support and handing out these voter cards to other individuals, who then walk into voting stations with friends who vouch for them with no ID.”
Eighteen days later (Feb. 24) Butt told the House that his Feb. 6 statement was “not accurate”.
On March, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair asked: “Does the Prime Minister think it is okay for his MPs to present fabricated evidence in Parliament as long as they admit it after they get caught?”
Harper’s reply: “Mr. Speaker, the member in question, as you know very well, voluntarily apologized. He, at his own initiative, brought this to light in the House of Commons and corrected the record, and he is to be commended for doing so.”
Michael Harris observes in his March 9 column for iPoltics.ca: “Stephen Harper is also a man who tells the truth in instalments. The Prime Minister even said Butt should be praised for correcting the record voluntarily. Evangelical caucus members take note. Harper has amended the Ten Commandments. Number nine now reads, ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour, without belated retractions when caught out.’”