Mr. Speaker, this is a terrible precedent. If we are going to adjudicate claims or rumours of harassment in this forum, where there is parliamentary privilege and where the individuals in question cannot defend themselves, it is an abhorrent precedent. We have the Board of Internal Economy. We have a process for this.
I stand not only because of this situation, but for any person who would ever wish to serve the House and who could imagine themselves in a situation where their accuser was given the opportunity to fully display the arguments of the accusation, but the person who was being accused was afforded no opportunity of defence or to produce their evidence. There is a process for that, called in camera. It is called the ability to examine these facts.
I remind members that we are talking about the Clerk of the House of Commons, a servant of 40 years whose integrity is being questioned at this moment. On the allegations, a third-party independent report was done that stated the attacks on his integrity and honesty were “baseless”.
To litigate these matters in the House without the opportunity for the individual in question to stand and defend himself or to produce evidence to the contrary is an abhorrent violation of what any employee should expect in terms of protection so these matters can be looked at. There is a precedent being established in this chamber right now. There is a line being crossed.
I ask the Speaker to please, for the sake of this place and the people who would serve it, to stop this absolute farce from continuing.