Inside Politics

UPDATED: Tories to force closure on Brad Butt privilege debate

Earlier today, House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer handed down a finding of a prima facie breach of privilege in response to an NDP complaint over Conservative MP Brad Butt's retracted claim to have personally witnessed campaign staff collecting discarded voter information cards from apartment mail rooms.

While noting that, by tradition and according to precedent, he must take Butt at his word when he says he did not intend to mislead the House, Scheer nevertheless concluded that "the fact remains that the House continues to be seized of completely contradictory statements." 

This, he told his colleagues, "is a difficult position in which to leave Members who must be able to depend on the integrity of the information with which they are provided to perform their parliamentary duties." 

As a result, he has left it to the House to decide, which is why MPs are now debating a motion on whether to send the matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for further study. 

UPDATE: According to the statement just delivered in the House by Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, he's apparently heard enough on this matter, and is now officially giving notice that at some point tomorrow, his party will move to impose closure -- not time allocation, flat-out closure -- on the debate. 

Here's the full text of the ruling: 

Full text of House Speaker Andrew Scheer's ruling on Brad Butt 

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