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Speaker's ruling on Bev Oda's statements

Speaker's ruling on Bev Oda's statements

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Published by TheGlobeandMail

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Published by: TheGlobeandMail on Mar 09, 2011
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03/09/2011

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RULING ON THE QUESTION OF PRIVILEGERAISED ON FEBRUARY 17, 2011,BY THE MEMBER FOR SCARBOROUGH²GUILDWOOD(MR. MCKAY)CONCERNING ALLEGEDLY MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY THEMINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (MS. ODA) AND THESIXTH REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGNAFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
March 9, 2011
 
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I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised onFebruary 17, 2011, by the hon. Member for Scarborough²Guildwood (Mr.McKay), stemming from the presentation of the Sixth Report of theStanding Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development andthe allegedly misleading statements made by the Minister of InternationalCooperation (Ms. Oda).I would like to thank the Member for Scarborough²Guildwood, aswell as the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader (Mr. Lukiwski), and the Members for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Dewar), Joliette(Mr. Paquette), Scarborough²Rouge River (Mr. Lee), Vancouver East(Ms. Davies), Guelph (Mr. Valeriote), Eglinton ± Lawrence (Mr. Volpe),Beaches ± East York (Ms. Minna), Yukon (Mr. Bagnell) and Winnipeg ±North (Mr. Lamoureux) for their contributions on this important matter.As Members will know, this matter was first raised by the Member for Scarborough²Guildwood on December 13, 2010. In my ruling of February 10, 2011, I explained that I was unable to ³find evidence indocuments properly before the House to suggest that the Minister¶s
 
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statements to the House were deliberately misleading´. Accordingly, Ideclined to find that a
prima facie
question of privilege existed.On February 14, 2011, the Minister for International Cooperationmade a statement in the House to clarify matters related to the fundingapplication for KAIROS. While acknowledging that the way in which thiscase has been handled was unfortunate, she asserted that she had neither intentionally nor knowingly misled the House or the committee. She alsostated that ³If some were led to conclude that my language implied that thedepartment and I were of one mind on this application, then I apologize´.On February 17, 2011, the Sixth Report of the Standing Committeeon Foreign Affairs and International Development was presented to theHouse. It is a short report which focuses primarily on testimony by theMinister and her officials on December 9, 2010, in relation to the processthat led to the rejection of a funding application by KAIROS. In particular,much attention is given to determining how the word ³not´ made its way intothe assessment of the KAIROS funding application submitted to theMinister for approval. The last part of the report links this testimony with³other information before the House´ and draws ³attention to what appearsto be a possible breach of privilege´.

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