Published On: Thu, Jul 22nd, 2021
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Government Interfering With ‘Exclusive Jurisdiction’ of House, Speaker Tells Courton July 22, 2021 at 11:16 pm

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OTTAWA—A federal attempt to shield documents related to the firing of two scientists is a violation of parliamentary privilege and must be tossed out of court, House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota says. In a notice of motion filed Thursday in Federal Court, Rota says the House, by virtue of its parliamentary privileges, has the power to send for the “persons, papers and records” it deems necessary to its functions. “This constitutionally entrenched power is fundamental to our system of parliamentary democracy, and to Parliament’s critical role in acting as the ’grand inquest of the nation’ and in holding the executive branch of government to account,” Rota’s notice says. The executive and the judicial branches do not have the jurisdiction to question, overrule, modify, control or review the exercise of this privilege by the House, the filing adds. “Under our system of democratic government, the House has unfettered discretion and …

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