IN THE HOUSE ~ Question to the Government Motion No. 14 (RCMP leading operational security on the Hill)

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    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the former Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers, would never have stood for this. This does not come from the Speaker. According to The Globe and Mail, sources said that this decision is being driven by the Prime Minister. This is a major override on legislative principles of separation of power that have existed since the beginning of Confederation.

    We have had a statement as well from the president of the association that represents our brave security guards. The message stated that a possibility of this move done by the government would be, “...in the view of the association, an indefensible and dangerous interference of government into the independent legislative function, as well as a solid breach into one of the foundational pillars of our democratic system, the principle of separation of powersâ€�.

     This came from our brave security guards themselves, who laid their lives on the line on October 22. The current government is giving them a slap in the face and is moving to demote them, after they showed such bravery and courage on October 22.

    I would like the government whip to confirm that this comes from the Prime Minister's Office. Will he confirm it? Also, will he admit that this is a major interference in the separation of powers under which this Confederation has existed since 1867?

Context : Questions and Comments

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Hull—Aylmer for a very eloquent speech. What she has brought forward is the amendment the government actually should have brought forward in the first place if it was not trying, as many observers have noted who understand the security situation on Parliament Hill, to interfere and wreck that division of powers that have existed in Confederation since 1867. The government would have brought forward the following motion.

... call on the Speaker, in coordination with his counterpart in the Senate, to prepare and execute, without delay, plans to fully integrate the work of all partners providing operational security throughout the parliamentary precinct and the grounds of Parliament Hill while respecting the privileges, immunities and powers of the respective Houses, including the ultimate authorities of the speakers of the Senate and House of Commons over access and security of Parliament and ensuring the continued employment of our existing and respected parliamentary security staff.

    That would have been the motion brought forward if the government had real intentions to work with the opposition, not try to interfere, not try to have some kind of attempt to lessen the very clear divisions of power that have existed since the very beginning.

    Canadians will have some time in order to bring some pressure on Conservative MPs, who are being whipped right now to not vote for the NDP amendment.

    Does the member feel Canadians take the stand that we need to have this separation of powers and that the brave work of our men and women on the parliamentary security precinct should be applauded, not treated the way the government is treating them today?