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Conservative MP Mark Warawa, left, is given a handshake from fellow MP Merv Tweed after delivering a members statement prior to question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Conservative MP Mark Warawa, left, is given a handshake from fellow MP Merv Tweed after delivering a members statement prior to question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Conservatives defeat Liberal motion on free speech in the Commons Add to ...

A Liberal motion aimed at enhancing freedom of speech in the House of Commons was defeated Thursday.

The motion failed by a vote of 150 to 96.

The NDP backed the Liberal bid to have statements made by MPs follow an alphabetical list, rather than be determined by the parties.

In the 15 minutes before the daily question period, backbench MPs are given a minute to make a statement on anything they want.

A month ago, Conservative MP Mark Warawa formally complained that his party whip had prevented him from delivering a statement.

Ten of his colleagues backed his arguments, and called on the Speaker of the House to bolster their guarantee of free speech.

Andrew Scheer responded by reminding MPs that they could stand and signal their desire to speak at any time, and that the Speaker alone had the power to recognize them.

During Thursday’s vote, none of the Tories who had lobbied for more liberty in the Commons backed the Liberal motion.

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