Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Conservatives defeat Liberal motion on free speech in the Commons

Conservative MP Mark Warawa, left, is given a handshake from fellow MP Merv Tweed after delivering a members statement prior to question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A Liberal motion aimed at enhancing freedom of speech in the House of Commons was defeated Thursday.

The motion failed by a vote of 150 to 96.

The NDP backed the Liberal bid to have statements made by MPs follow an alphabetical list, rather than be determined by the parties.

Story continues below advertisement

In the 15 minutes before the daily question period, backbench MPs are given a minute to make a statement on anything they want.

A month ago, Conservative MP Mark Warawa formally complained that his party whip had prevented him from delivering a statement.

Ten of his colleagues backed his arguments, and called on the Speaker of the House to bolster their guarantee of free speech.

Andrew Scheer responded by reminding MPs that they could stand and signal their desire to speak at any time, and that the Speaker alone had the power to recognize them.

During Thursday's vote, none of the Tories who had lobbied for more liberty in the Commons backed the Liberal motion.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.