Stephen Harper is standing by Bev Oda once again today, while in Toronto, vacating himself from the uncomfortable House of Commons. He's predictably sticking to the nonsensical line that Oda's direction to add a "not" to a completed, signed document was an acceptable way for one of his ministers to act. High times in Canadian politics when a Prime Minister stands behind such conduct.
This seems to be the quote of the day, however, from back in Ottawa where the wheels of a contempt motion keep turning. From Liberal MP John McKay's statement as he submitted a motion in the House of Commons this afternoon:
Mr. Speaker, I am rising today under the provisions of Standing Order 48 on a point of privilege alleging contempt of the House by the Minister of International Cooperation, further to the written notice that was submitted to the Clerk this morning.
Privilege as you well know exists for good reason. In this instance as all others it is to compel truthfulness – even when embarrassing – even when it doesn't suit the government's agenda. Privilege exists so that M.P.s can make decisions based on fact, not on fiction. Privilege exists as a core value of democracy because M.P.s and their constituents, the People of Canada, have every right to expect that public discourse in this Chamber is without artifice. You Mr. Speaker, are the guardian of that core value – the value of truthfulness between and among Members, Ministers, and the Prime Minister. Any ruling other than a prima facie case of breach of privilege in this case will inevitably lead to another even more egregious abuse. Mr. Speaker, I and my colleagues are calling upon you to put a stop to tampered documents, to blaming others, to casual regard for facts before a Committee of the House. We call on you to uphold the highest standards of discourse by Ministers in their communication to the House.The contempt motion will be voted upon on the Monday after this coming week's break. Meaning, the issue will continue to hang over this government despite the efforts to change the channel.