House Of Commons Speaker Andrew Sheer Appears To Be In Conflict Of Interest Over His Ruling In The Cotler Controversy
Scheer ruled on Tuesday that Conservatives’ calls to Irwin Cotler’s constituents saying he might resign were “reprehensible” but, based on technicalities, he did not find a breach of Cotler’s privileges as an MP. Not mentioned by Scheer was that the market research firm hired to make the calls — Ontario-based Campaign Research Inc. — had also done work on Scheer’s election campaign in Saskatchewan in the spring.
Elections Canada records show that Scheer’s campaign paid the company a total of $8,199, listed as two line items under the heading “surveys.”
As a result, the official opposition NDP wants Scheer to reconsider his ruling over the dirty-tricks allegations in Cotler’s riding. NDP justice critic Joe Comartin said Wednesday that a court judge in the same situation would certainly have recused himself from making a ruling.
“There is the obvious appearance of a conflict,” Comartin said. “I’d like to hear from him whether he was aware of the conflict, if he knew it was the same company. If he didn’t, there’s no problem.”
Scheer could allow the deputy Speaker, NDP MP Denise Savoie, to rule on Cotler’s breach of privilege complaint. But Comartin, a former criminal defence lawyer, allowed that he knew of no precedent for that in such a high-profile decision, either in Canada or Britain."
-Conservative Party's 'dirty tricks' squad worked for House Speaker Sheer!