Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Privilege

Mr. Speaker, it is a question of privilege and I note that we have been addressing the privileges of specific members but also of members, generally, under the rubric of a particular party. I am one of those members who is most affected by the allegations, suggestions and insinuations, not of fact but of a fabrication of conclusions that are sheer slander. They are seen that way by anybody who is a reasonable individual.
 
No amount of separated fact from context is going to make the government’s position any more legitimate. The fact of the matter is that there have been two perpetrations of injustice with this publicly funded piece of propaganda: first, against all adherence to the Liberal Party, which stands by the achievements of that party in government in order to move along a Canadian agenda; and second, against a community, a valued and valuable member of the Canadian community, by separating it off with a wedge issue from the rest of our Canadian society.
 
Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament who came here when you came here 21 years ago, there has not been a moment that I have not been a defender of the interests of that constituency and, in fact, all other constituencies. For the House leader and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister to stand here before the House and winnow out a couple of sentences à la Cardinal Richelieu, who said, "Give me five written words of a man, and I shall find matter in them to have him hanged", and take it completely out of context, and to pass that as fact is to do great damage to the relationship that the political system in Canada has built with the Jewish community and the international relationship with the Middle East and Israel, in particular.
 
I could go on and talk about some of the individuals, such as the member for Thornhill, for example, and what he said at a rally. However, I am not going to stoop that low. I think that this is an egregious example of partisan, petty politics that have been funded by the public purse. The Prime Minister should be embarrassed. He should apologize.
 
Mr. Speaker, I think you should note that any of those statements that have been attributed to our current leader and our former leader were all immediately addressed by those leaders and publicly put in their appropriate context. I think you need to rule on this question of privilege because the Conservatives cannot be allowed to continue to abuse the public privilege and defame Canadians and members of Parliament the way that they have been doing.
 
The Speaker:
 
I think the Chair has heard enough on this. Unfortunately, the bulk of the arguments seem to be about the facts. That is of some import in this. But on a question of privilege, it is normally not the Speaker who finds out the facts. It is the committee that investigates the matter following the decision of the Speaker, if there is a breach of privilege, because the matter normally goes to a committee.
 
However, that is a decision for the House. I will come back to the House in due course on this matter and I thank the hon. members, who have made submissions, for their interventions.
 
[Translation]
 
I will come back to the House with a ruling, as well as for the hon. member for Mount Royal.
 
[English]