Hon. Joan Cook:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Does the leader condone and associate herself with the remark made by her colleague Senator Duffy in his maiden speech yesterday regarding Premiers Williams and Ghiz?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): It is a pleasure to take a question from Senator Cook. I have not studied Senator Duffy's maiden speech in the Senate. Senator Duffy is free, as are all senators, to speak his mind and to speak freely in this place. It is not a matter for the Leader of the Government in the Senate to judge the contents of any senator's speech.
Senator Cook: With the indulgence of honourable senators, I wish to read part of Senator Duffy's speech from yesterday. On page 73 of the Debates of the Senate, Senator Duffy states:
Honourable senators, I was disappointed to see that our dynamic young Premier in Prince Edward Island, Robert Ghiz, has climbed into bed with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and honourable senators know what a grotesque scene that is. Do honourable senators know what happens when two politicians climb into bed together? One of them comes out on top and I am afraid that when one is in bed with Danny Williams he will come out on top and I would hate to see where that will leave P.E.I. in the end. However, I will leave all that for another day.
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I heard the honourable Leader of the Government in the Senate say that it was not up to us to look at what senators were saying and that we had freedom of speech. Would the minister not say that within this chamber there is an appropriate standard of speech which we must uphold and that we should set a high standard? Does she agree with that?
Senator Stratton: I will remember that.
Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator for the supplementary question. I do not think it is within my area of responsibility to adjudicate or judge the speeches of individual senators. That is a role for the Speaker, not for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Senator Duffy's full speech: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/402/Debates/005db_2009-02-03-e.htm#49