Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Certainly, as noted, I'll be careful not to cross into matters that are legal in nature, namely any legal advice that might have been given on this matter.
The situation that we are in now, as in any workplace where a naked photograph had been taken without the consent of another employee and then sent out by email, is that there would be action taken. Let's consider what reasonable action would be taken.
First, mens rea would need to be established. What was the intent both in taking the photograph and in disseminating it? We know there were only about two hours between when Sébastien took this photograph and it appeared in social media by both Chris Nardie and Brian Lilley. There were about two hours between when he took that photograph and when it first appeared on social media.
The question is: How did it get there?
We know, and it's been well established, that Sébastien Lemire, as the Bloc has said, would have no relationship with these media outlets, so mens rea, intent, is extremely important. I would ask that he appear before the board in an in camera session to answer what his intention was when he sent this. What was his intention when he took the photograph? When he sent it, did he send it to a reporter? Did he send it to another MP? Did he send it somewhere where he should have known that it would wind up in the public domain?
It's entirely unacceptable for him to send it to a private individual, but if he sent it somewhere where he knew that the image of the member for Pontiac would be used and sent around to humiliate him, that is not an acceptable tactic.
I have had members from both sides of the House come to me and ask, “What does that mean for the lobby? If I've had a red-eye flight, and I come into the lobby, and a member of Parliament can come in and take an unflattering picture of me with my shirt dishevelled, perhaps my bra showing, or perhaps my underwear showing, is that now fair game?”
What we're saying is that as long as you say sorry, it's no problem.
Imagine if this were a female colleague. What would our discussion be? Would it be a month later? A month later, would we be saying that maybe we'd do something about this, maybe we wouldn't?
What is owed to the member of Pontiac? What is owed to his family? What lines do we have as an organization? At what point do we say that there are limits to partisan engagement? The naked body of a fellow colleague, I would say, is an absolute limit. Today we're establishing a precedent for how such a matter is dealt with. I think that precedent must be expunged. I think the idea that a member can take a naked photograph of another member and disseminate it around the world is wholly and entirely unacceptable.
We have to understand what Mr. Lemire's intent was in sending this message, to whom he sent it to, and to whom that recipient then sent it to and if they happen to be a member of our organization, so that their actions can appropriately be captured, because that all speaks to the damages that were done and, frankly, the consequences that should be faced. Right now, the consequence faced by Mr. Lemire for this terrible action is nothing—not a thing.
I would request, Mr. Speaker, that Mr. Lemire appear before this body in camera so that he could be appropriately questioned for the actions he took. I think it is a minimum action that any reasonable organization would take. We are the body that holds responsibility for that action.
With that, I'll make a request officially that Mr. Lemire appear before this committee in an in camera session to answer questions relating to his taking and disseminating of that photograph.