Inside Politics

Speaker rules Bezan/Glover case raises prima facie privilege questions

As reported by my intrepid CBC News colleague Laura Payton just moments ago, House Speaker Andrew Scheer has handed down his ruling on the point of privilege raised by Liberal MP Scott Andrews earlier this month, in which he argued that the Chamber, and not the speaker, should decide whether Conservative MPs Shelly Glover and James Bezan should be suspended from the Commons over their respective alleged failure to comply with the Canada Elections Act

The surprise twist? He sided with Andrews, and concluded that the way the situation had been handled had, in fact, resulted in a prima facie breach of privilege  -- one that, in his view, should be referred to the House procedure committee for further study, which, by serendipitous happenstance, is exactly what the standard motion in response to such a finding would propose. 

(Scheer also noted, in passing, that according to the latest dispatch from Elections Canada, Glover, at least, has filed the corrected campaign returns that had been at the centre of her dispute with the electoral agency, which could mean her case is on the verge of being officially closed.) 

After several opposition members had risen to take part in the ensuing debate over the motion to refer to committee -- which, as a privilege-related matter, takes precedence over all other House business except QP and routine proceedings -- Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski got up to thank the speaker for his "very wise" position on the need for further study, mused briefly on the benefits of spending a bit more time reflecting on the matter, and finally moved that debate be now adjourned, thus postponing further discussion until the House reconvenes tomorrow afternoon. 

(That is, unless the necessary unanimity is found to allow them to sneakily shut down for the summer when the clock strikes midnight.) 

All of which is to say that Wednesday's post-QP proceedings just got a lot more interesting. Stay tuned! 

Read the full ruling here:

Speaker's ruling (Bezan/Glover case) by kady23

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