Bilingualism in Canada’s Legislative Process

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I will tread carefully here. I happen to count the member for Mississauga—Streetsville as a friend, and I know him to be a good person. However, I see these statements as being at incomprehensible odds. I commend the official opposition for raising this, and I thank the Speaker for allowing us to dig into it.

As I probably will not be allowed to say anything in committee, I would like to propose an alternative explanation and hope that my friends and colleagues will look in that direction, and that is in the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office that writes all the speeches for Conservative members.

I do not happen to believe that Bev Oda lied, by the way, at least she did not lie when she initially said she did not put the word “not” in there. I can use her name as she is no longer in this place. It is clear to me from the chronology of events on the signing of those documents that she signed the document to approve funding to KAIROS, and that subsequently the Prime Minister’s Office told her she was not allowed to do that because “we do not like those people”. That office put in the “not”, and she covered for it. That, to me, is the chronology that makes the most sense.

As a somewhat objective observer, the chronology that makes sense in this instance is that an over-torqued speech was handed to a member who then read it and realized that he could not live with having said something he never saw.

I hope that when this goes to committee we will seek out the truth, and not just seek to destroy one member’s reputation. As I said, I know the member to be a good person.