NDP MP Don Davies speaks to the media after caucus at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Oct. 19, 2011. (ANDRE FORGET /QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)
OTTAWA - The House of Commons became the parliamentary playpen for squabbling MPs on Thursday with charges a New Democrat was being bullied by e-mails from a Conservative.
B.C. MP Don Davies called on the Speaker to adjudicate the dustup involving e-mails the New Democrat says were forwarded to deliberately jam and crash his personal account, and thus thwarting his ability to do his job.
The international trade critic for the official Opposition ratted out Ontario Conservative Bev Shipley as the thumb-slinger.
Davies said Shipley forwarded thousands of e-mails to his personal account from Canadians that were sent to a separate, public account linked to Commons committee studying foreign takeovers of Canadian companies.
"This member decided to take this civic engagement and proper use of resources of this Parliament and use the e-mail messages of these thousands of Canadians as a tool to deliberately and malevolently undermine the ability of one of his colleague to do his job as an MP," Davies said.
"What the member did, Mr. Speaker, was improper."
Shipley was unavailable to respond, but government House leader Peter Van Loan said MPs exchange e-mails from Canadians and constituents all the time.
"I'd had never ever considered that such forwarding of correspondence in the area of my responsibility to be a breach of my privileges," he said.
"I find it particularly ironic in a case like this where the member himself says he's trying to stimulate this kind of feedback except the feedback is apparently good when it goes to everybody except for him. I find that a little bit unusual."
The Speaker said he would rule at a later date.
Later in the House, Shipley rose and apologized, saying the e-mails were sent in error to Davies' personal account.