Commons rule on MP arrests not followed, Trudeau says over charges against MP - InfoNews

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Commons rule on MP arrests not followed, Trudeau says over charges against MP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alongside Liberal MPs (from left) Marwan Tabbara and Bardish Chagger meet with Region of Waterloo mayors and delivers brief opening remarks in Kitchener, Ont., on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Trudeau is remaining tight-lipped about whether a former Liberal member of Parliament now facing criminal charges is or has ever been investigated by the Liberal party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
June 19, 2020 - 4:07 PM

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a rule in the House of Commons that the Speaker must be informed when a member of Parliament is arrested is not being followed and should be addressed.

This comes after MP Marwan Tabbara, who was re-elected as a Liberal for Kitchener South-Hespeler, was arrested April 10 in and charged with assault, break and enter and harassment.

News of the charges against him didn't come out until June 5, at which point Tabbara issued a statement saying he would be taking a "step back" from the Liberal caucus.

Police in Guelph, Ont., say they didn't inform the public about the charges against because they didn't believe he posed a significant risk to the public.

Trudeau has said his office wasn't informed of the charges until that day, and he said Friday he remains disappointed Tabbara did not tell the Liberal party or the House of Commons sooner.

He says the House of Commons rule that requires the Speaker be officially notified in the case of an MP arrest has not been followed or enforced much.

"I think there's perhaps a reflection that that is something that we can look into," Trudeau said during a Friday in Chelsea, Que., just north of Ottawa.

"It is certainly disappointing as a party leader that the individual in question never chose to inform the party of which he was a part of these charges and I'll let the police and the prosecutors in this case speak for themselves," he said.

Tabbara's case received a routine presumptive adjournment in a virtual court proceeding in Guelph, Ont. Friday with a new court date set for Aug. 28.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 19, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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