Irwin Cotler wins the point of privilege over the anti-Semitic hate literature distributed by the Reformers in his riding. I don't know how other Jewish-Canadians feel after being racially profiled and stereotyped, but I'm glad for this small gesture.
And further proof that Jason Kenney was dropped on his head a few too many times when he was a child; he claimed that the fog was so thick he couldn't hear. Poor Jason.
Speaker rules flyers may have damaged MP's reputation
By Mike De Souza
Canwest News Service
November 26, 2009
OTTAWA — The Conservatives may have damaged the reputation of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler by sending taxpayer-funded flyers into his Montreal-area riding which suggested the Opposition party was anti-Semitic, Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken ruled Thursday.
"In my view, the end result was a negative effect that spilled over to (Cotler) in a very direct and personal way," said Milliken in his ruling. "Therefore, I must conclude that the member for Mount Royal, on the face of it, has presented a convincing argument that the mailing constitutes interference with his ability to perform his parliamentary functions in that its content is damaging to his reputation and credibility."
Milliken said that any reasonable person who had read the Conservative pamphlet would be confused about Cotler's actual views, opening the door for federal politicians to investigate the matter in a parliamentary committee.
Cotler criticized the pamphlet for targeting regions across the country with significant Jewish populations. He also complained that it suggested that the Liberals had willingly participated in an anti-Semitic conference and were supporting funding for terrorist groups.
"To identify any political party, let alone a Jewish MP, with willingly participating in such an anti-Semitic event is a most loathsome and dangerous accusation that one could make against that party and that member," Cotler said.
"These accusations have already had damaging and prejudicial effects on my reputation and standing in my constituency . . . These were attacks on me as a person, as an MP and as a member of the Jewish community, and on the party to which I am a member."
But Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said the Conservatives had presented incontrovertible facts in its leaflets to send a message to voters just like any other federal party.
"Sometimes the fog of hypocrisy is so thick in here that people cannot even hear," said Kenney.
"I am simply saying that this is really quite ridiculous. Members opposite are trying to make a capital case out of a conventional political communication, using the same tactics and distribution that they use all the time, even on the same set of issues. Basically, incontrovertible facts are presented that are matters of conventional political debate."