Canada MP ejected amid fierce debate over Morneau

04:51  01 december  2017
04:51  01 december  2017 Source:   MSN

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a man wearing a suit and tie© Provided by thecanadianpress.com OTTAWA - Finance Minister Bill Morneau found himself fending off fresh Opposition broadsides Thursday during another fiery question period — this one so heated that one Conservative MP was booted from the House of Commons.

Morneau has been at the centre of an ethics controversy for weeks, and the latest questions were focused on new revelations his father sold off about $1.5 million shares in their family-built company right before the minister made a major 2015 tax-change announcement.

Opposition MPs say they believe the tax news led to a dip in the stock market — including the value of Morneau Shepell shares.

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The unparliamentary Conservative heckling that punctuated the debate eventually became too much for Speaker Geoff Regan, who "named" Tory MP Blake Richards -- a rare show of authority that He has also faced conflict-of-interest allegations over proposed pension reform -- spearheaded by Morneau

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All week, the Conservatives and the New Democrats have been grilling the Liberals about Morneau's late-2015 sale of millions of dollars worth of his own shares in Morneau Shepell Inc. — a transaction that took place days before the Dec. 7 announcement. They insist the early sale resulted in a savings of half a million dollars.

Opponents allege Morneau's 2015 tax news, which included the government's plan to raise income taxes on the highest earners, had a wide-reaching impact because it encouraged wealthier shareholders to sell off some their stock before the changes came into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

On Thursday, the finance minister's political foes seized on new information about two large 2015 sales of Morneau Shepell stock — 100,000 shares each — made by Morneau's father, William Morneau Sr., on Nov. 23 and Dec. 3.

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  Finance Minister Bill Morneau silent on stock sell-off before tax changes Finance Minister Bill Morneau silent on stock sell-off before tax changesConservative MP Pierre Poilievre went after Morneau in question period on Monday, demanding to know whether the finance minister was behind the sale of $10.2-million worth of shares in Morneau Sheppell, the company he headed before he was elected a Toronto MP in 2015.

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Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said the value of the shares fell five per cent in the days that followed, but not before "someone" got out.

"Correction, it wasn't just someone — there was someone else," Poilievre said, referring to the sale made by Morneau's father, who founded the company.

Morneau later told the House he didn't know Poilievre "could sink any lower."

"I didn't know that was possible — he has actually taken efforts today to actually move from me to talk about my family," Morneau said in the House, where MPs enjoy the legal protections afforded by parliamentary privilege.

"If he wants to insinuate something about me, he should say it here, he should say it now and he should say what he means. And then he should move it out into the foyer, because truth matters."

The feisty debate prompted Speaker Geoff Regan to take the rare step of having Tory MP Blake Richards removed from the Commons by the sergeant-at-arms. Richards, who was thrown out for heckling Morneau during the debate, was not immediately available for comment.

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The unparliamentary Conservative heckling that punctuated the debate eventually became too much for Speaker Geoff Regan, who “named” Tory MP Blake He has also faced conflict-of-interest allegations over proposed pension reform — spearheaded by Morneau — that opponents say would bring him

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has called for Morneau's resignation because of the 2015 stock sale and other conflict-of-interest allegations that have dogged the finance minister for weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly defended his minister and has called the attacks "unfounded, baseless allegations" and "slander."

Earlier in the week, Poilievre went so far as to suggest that Morneau used his access as a minister to benefit himself financially, telling the Commons that "it is actually the responsibility of government to ensure that no minister ever uses inside knowledge to benefit from transactions on the stock market."

On Wednesday, NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice said: "Mysteriously, thousands of Morneau Shepell shares were sold a few days before a major tax announcement. When people say that they no longer believe politicians and that they think all of us in here are crooked, this is what we're talking about."

Trudeau and Morneau have dared opponents to repeat their suggestions outside the House, where they would be subject to libel and defamation laws.

"Which is why they're not saying any of these allegations outside of this House — because they don't want to get sued," Trudeau said Thursday during question period.

"I don't blame them — you get sued when you don't tell the truth."

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Opposition attacks on Bill Morneau veer into character assassination territory .
MONTREAL—Over the nine weeks of the fall sitting of Parliament, the Conservative official Opposition has devoted no less than 15 questions daily to matters pertaining to Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Monday’s question period unfolded on the same theme. That works out to more than 600 questions over the space of less than three months. That total does not include the NDP contributions to the same discussion.No recent federal finance minister has come under fire for such a prolonged period of time. Indeed, rarely has a minister — federal or provincial — lasted so long on the hot seat.

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