Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Senators claim to have been intimidated

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This situation part of the debates in the Senate regarding Bill C-234.

The Canadian Press

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Two members of the Independent Senators Group say local police and the Senate security team have opened an investigation into threats that forced one of them to spend last weekend in a secure location.

This situation is part of the debates in the Senate concerning Bill C-234, which aims to exempt certain fuels used by farmers from federal carbon pricing.

On Tuesday, Quebec Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain raised a question of privilege to report that she and her Ontario colleague Bernadette Clement had been physically and verbally intimidated in the House by other senators on November 9 .

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Independent senator Raymonde Saint-Germain

According to Ms. Saint-Germain, certain senators n& #x27;would not have liked Ms. Clement to adjourn the debate on Bill C-234, instead of adopting it quickly.

After violently throwing his earpiece, the Leader of the Opposition [Senator Don Plett] stood in front of Senator Clement and I, who were sitting in our seats, shouting and blaming us for “having proposed this routine motion which would have allowed the debate to resume the following week, upon our return,” said Ms. Saint-Germain during her question of privilege.

Such an aggressive attitude towards a common practice aimed at prolonging debate – and commonly used by the opposition, by the way – illustrated the intense pressure to adopt this bill that day and infringed on the right of senators to properly do their jobs, in his opinion.

In addition to the incident in the House, the situation would have been transferred to social networks, when conservative senators would have relayed an image having the appearance of a wanted poster to ask people to ;calling and harassing Ms. Clement and Chantal Petitclerc, another senator, to ask them why they wanted to limit debate on the bill.

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Manitoba Conservative Senator Don Plett

According to Ms. Saint-Germain, this situation is deplorable. I believe this is a wake-up call for our democracy, she said Wednesday during an interview with The Canadian Press.

Ms. Clement, for her part, revealed that a very angry man called her to her office and threatened to come to her home in Cornwall, Ontario.

After discussions with the Parliamentary Protective Service and Cornwall Police, the senator chose not to stay at home and go spend the weekend in a secure place.

In general, I feel safe at home. But there, they told me that I was not, explained the senator, adding that the two police forces had reminded her of the importance of following protocol.

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Senator Bernadette Clement

So she went to her downtown Ottawa apartment, which she uses during Senate sessions, where she has her own security system. The police also suggested that he keep his panic button, provided by Parliament, nearby.

Chad Maxwell, who is a field operations inspector with the Cornwall Police Service, confirmed Wednesday that an investigation had been launched into This folder.

The Cornwall Police Service is aware of the situation regarding Senator Bernadette Clement and is in communication with the Parliamentary Protective Service, Maxwell said.

These online threats and harassment are unacceptable and are taken very seriously by the police.

A quote from Chad Maxwell, Inspector at the Cornwall Police Service

The private member's bill proposed by a Conservative MP calls for removing natural gas and propane that farmers use to heat their buildings or run their grain dryers from carbon pricing.

Since its adoption in the House of Commons last year, conservative senators have been putting a lot of pressure on it to receive it. #x27;rapid approval from the Upper House.

There remains one stage of debate before a final vote in the Senate can pass it.

The bill received little attention in its early days, but it received some scrutiny more in-depth in recent weeks, particularly since the Liberals decided to exempt home heating oil from carbon pricing for three years.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre therefore launched a large-scale effort to pass Bill C-234 as part of his campaign to completely eliminate the carbon tax.

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The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre

He accused the Liberals of trying to prevent the bill from being approved in the Senate.

Before the question of privilege was raised on Tuesday, Senator Plett, who leads the Conservative caucus in the Senate, returned to his role in this heated debate.

No one is happy about what happened this Thursday- there, and everyone has their reasons.

A quote from Don Plett, conservative senator

I don't like that' I am called a bully. I don't like acting like a bully either, but I am a passionate person. I am determined to defend the causes I care about. I will never apologize for that. I will fight fiercely to defend these causes and my party, but I want to do it with respect, dear colleagues, and if I did not do it during our last meeting, it was not acceptable.

Several senators spoke in favor of Senators Saint-Germain and Clement, recognizing that the behavior they had witnessed was unacceptable.

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