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OFF WITH HER HEAD: Alberta MP lambasted for insulting Gov General

Now the Green Party and Liberal MP are demanding Thomas apologize for insulting the monarchy, something she is refusing to do.

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A Lethbridge Conservative MP is in hot water after calling Governor General General Mary Simon’s Throne Speech delivery as horrendous, lackluster and monotone.

Blacklock’s Reporter says other MPs protested the critique as a breach of rules akin to insulting the Queen.

“The document was read in what I would call a monotone manner by the governor general,” said MP Rachael Thomas (Lethbridge, Alta.).

“Perhaps she simply read it in that tone in order to match the lackluster content.”

Simon read the speech November 23 to open the 44th Parliament. It was her first appearance in Parliament since her July 6 appointment.

GG Mary Simon, Courtesy CBC

Now the Green Party and Liberal MPs are demanding Thomas apologize for insulting the monarchy, something she is refusing to do.

“My words were not an attack on the sovereign,” said Thomas, who changed her last name from Harder after getting married.

“They were an attack on the tone the speech was delivered in.”

“I found the words offensive,” said Green MP Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.).

“I think it is particularly the case when we have our first indigenous governor general.”

“Offensive,” agreed Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Ont.).

“She needs to apologize for that.”

“Thousands of Canadians would disagree and be offended,” said Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North.).

“We ask her to withdraw those remarks without any qualifications whatsoever. Apologize.”

Under Standing Orders Of The House Of Commons, Rule 18 states: “No member shall speak disrespectfully of the sovereign nor of any of the royal family nor of the governor general or the person administering the Government of Canada, nor use offensive words against either House or against any member.”

The rule is frequently broken.

Then-Deputy Prime Minister John Manley in 2002 said it was “not necessary, I think, for Canada to continue with the monarchy,” but made the remark outside the Commons as the Queen opened a Canadian tour.

Then-New Democrat MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) in 2004 proposed a $200,000 cut in the governor general’s salary after calling the office “the vestiges of colonialism.”

The Commons last June 16 defeated Bill C-271 that proposed a cut in salary from $289,000 to a dollar a year.

The office was “ridiculous,” “absurd,” “outdated” and “wasteful,” said then-Bloc Québécois MP Simon Marcil (Mirabel, Que.), sponsor of the bill.

“It seems to me that one dollar per year to live in a castle, eat like a king, sit on a throne and travel at the taxpayers’ expense is enough to make ends meet when there are no other bills to pay. The ideal scenario would be to have no monarchy at all.”

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    December 5, 2021 at 5:14 am

    Good for her, it was deadpan delivery, put anyone to sleep and all she would of had to have said was, The governments going to spend a bunch of money they don’t have , and closed the book. Nothing in that speech was worth hearing and nothing that we didn’t know he was going to say

  2. Peter No

    December 4, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Canada should get rid of any remains of her colonial past and severe all the ties with stinking English monarchy.

  3. Proudly_Free

    December 4, 2021 at 9:58 am

    This is a classic story of “Rules for thee but not for me.” All of the examples listed of people in the past who “insulted the sovereign” were from the left and/or those in Quebec. But then a real Alberta conservative doesn’t insult the sovereign, but only critiques her fake representative’s speech, and these same leftists demand an apology.

    Can’t criticize this GG because she’s indigenous. I guess that makes her somehow infallible. Or not. Apparently, though, it automatically makes her a member of the Laurentian Exclusive Club.

    NEVER APOLOGIZE TO THE LEFT. NEVER.

  4. Spitfire66

    December 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Good for her!
    She’s my MP in Lethbridge here and has more balls than most of the so called men in politics these days.
    She calls em like she sees em, about time somebody did.
    This is purely about censorship and nothing more!
    May can crawl back in her bottle and the Lieberals can all take a flying leap…fuck em all, the truth hurts apparently!

  5. Deb

    December 3, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Now children try to get along one is entitled to have an opinion, even tough I find Elizabeth Mays opinions about stopping the use of gas and oil offensive she is entitled to express her thoughts because of our charter of rights, to free speech in the free country of Canada. So I guess that is what is really under attack here?

  6. Patricia Seddon

    December 3, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    So, she is not entitled to an opinion? This is where we are heading…. censorship of anyone deemed ‘not nice’

  7. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    December 3, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    The liberal cockwombles are quick to criticize and have forgotten people in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones.

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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