NDP fire back at Liberals over partisan use of parliamentary resources

In a case of political tit for tat, the NDP is seeking an investigation into Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s alleged improper use of parliamentary premises for partisan purposes.

OTTAWA — In a case of political tit for tat, the NDP is seeking an investigation into Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s alleged improper use of parliamentary premises for partisan purposes.

The NDP’s complaint comes one day after the Liberals sought an investigation into New Democrat MPs’ allegedly inappropriate use of their taxpayer-funded constituency offices to campaign for re-election.

Both complaints have been sent to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, who chairs the secretive, multi-party board of internal economy, which polices how Commons resources are spent.

In a letter Thursday to Scheer, Windsor NDP MP Brian Masse raises “serious concerns” about a Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill last June, at which Trudeau showcased recently nominated candidates.

Masse says the event violated the rules, which forbid premises provided to an MP by the Commons to be used for partisan purposes.

However, deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale says that prohibition applies to individual MPs’ offices; it does not apply to caucus meetings, which are inherently political and to which all parties, including the NDP, have routinely invited partisan operatives.

He noted that the NDP’s national campaign director — who holds “probably the most intensely partisan position that any political party has” — regularly attends NDP caucus meetings.

In his letter Thursday to Scheer, Masse argues that the Liberal caucus meeting last June “does not appear to relate to the ’proceedings and work of the House of Commons’ or the member for Papineau’s (Trudeau’s) constituents.

“Quite the opposite, the room was booked as a venue to showcase recently nominated candidates for the Liberal Party of Canada.”

Within minutes of learning of Masse’s complaint, Liberals were countering with photos tweeted from NDP caucus meetings. They showed, among other things, star Toronto candidate Linda McQuaig addressing New Democrat MPs and the caucus room decked out like a political rally for a televised speech by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair

Goodale dismissed Masse’s complaint as an attempt by New Democrats to “sling as much mud as they can possibly sling to deflect attention from their own difficulties.”

The board of internal economy, which the NDP has derided as a kangaroo court, has ruled that New Democrat MPs improperly used their Commons office budgets to pay for mass partisan mailings and staff in satellite party offices. It has ordered them to repay almost $4 million.

On Wednesday, Liberal MP Marc Garneau asked the board to investigate at least 43 New Democrat MPs who’ve used their constituency offices to stage door-to-door canvassing blitzes.

New Democrats maintain they’re just doing their jobs, meeting with constituents. But the Liberals argue that the canvassing is purely partisan, aimed at identifying potential supportive voters in advance of this fall’s election.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read