Curses end meeting dealing with Mulroney affair
A parliamentary committee turned raucous over the Mulroney-Schreiber affair Tuesday.
Tempers ran short when ethics committee chair Paul Szabo ended the meeting before dealing with a proposal to have former prime minister Brian Mulroney and German-Canadian businessman Karl Heinz Schreiber testify before the committee.
The abrupt finish to the meeting appeared to be too much for the NDP's Pat Martin, who had earlier said that there appeared to be a "delay and stall strategy" regarding dealing with the matter.
When Szabo concluded the meeting, Martin yelled out, "You son of a bitch."
Not yet finished, he said it again.
"(The issue) raises a lot of questions about why the Liberals themselves seem reluctant to have this come forward," said New Democrat MP Libby Davies on CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live.
"Motions were ready to be dealt with and the Chair, who's a Liberal, clearly was not allowing that to happen.
Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale told Mike Duffy Live that the Liberals are interested in proceeding with the issue. But he said that there were several other things on the meeting agenda on Tuesday and time did not permit all business to be completed.
"The Bloc and the Liberals think that the study by the Committee on Ethics should begin with an examination of the behaviour of the Harper government because that's one piece in this sorry saga that seems to be left out," said Goodale.
"Mr. Martin is arguing for a broader overall mandate but doesn't quite say where it should all begin."
Goodale also noted that the chair must take some time to consider various legal and procedural matters.
The committee will again deal with the subject at its next meeting, which is slated for Thursday. If Mulroney and Schreiber are called as witnesses, Schreiber's extradition to Germany (which is scheduled for early December) could be delayed. He's facing fraud and tax evasion charges in that country.
Here in Canada, he has brewed up a political storm by claiming that he gave Mulroney three envelopes filled with $100,000 cash at meetings at hotel rooms in Canada and the U.S. He has also alleged he held meetings to finalize the deal with the former prime minister before he left office. Mulroney has denied any wrongdoing. None of the allegations have been proven in court.