The House of Commons Ethics Committee is meeting over the summer – the only happening on Parliament Hill. It’s about the in and out election financing, what Stephen Harper is calling the ‘kangaroo court.’ How ethical. Anything to avoid the issue. That aside, Doug Finley put on quite the show, showing up and flouncing out to slow things down and scare people. The must read is Kady O’Malley.
Pat Martin and his sandals believe that itâ€™s unfair to allow Doug Finley to cut in front of the other witnesses. â€œHe doesnâ€™t get to dictate when heâ€™ll be heard just by showing up.â€ He also brings up the potential intimidation factor, since heâ€™s â€œa bigwig in the party.â€
Mike Wallace proposes that the committee adjourn for a half hour, and extend the meeting until 12:30 so that they can hear from Finley. The motion fails, which is exactly what the Tories were hoping: Now Finley will stomp out, and reporters will scrum him outside, where he will say how sorry he was that he couldnâ€™t testify.
*Or* he could sit there, refusing to move, like heâ€™s doing right now. Itâ€™s a one-man sit-in!
Szabo is trying, very politely, to eject Doug Finley from the table, at which he continues to sit like a wax figurine. His lawyer – who is also at the table – is now arguing with Szabo. Is someone going to have to call security?
Adjourned – for the moment. I donâ€™t think anyone has the slightest idea whatâ€™s going
on, or what happens next.
Everyone is just â€” still. Doug Finley appears to have taken root at the foot of the table; MPs are huddling, and the chair is trying to look like this is just another day in the mundane life of a parliamentary committee.
There goes Pat Martin. And his sandals. I miss Scott Reid. I donâ€™t know why that just reminded me.
Security guards are assembling at the front door. Now theyâ€™re – yes, theyâ€™re going to remove Doug Finley from the committee room. Oh, if only I could get this on film. With a dramatic flourish, his lawyer gets up and shoves his chair across the room. He then thanks the clerk, and the two flounce out. Exeunt, pursued by House guards.
some background – Toronto Star