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.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Commons rule on MP arrests not followed, Trudeau says over charges against MP
Published 12:50 PDT, Fri June 19, 2020
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.
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 and suggested this is something Parliament might want to look into.
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.
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