Should he turn down the polite invitation, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer will be ordered to appear before a parliamentary committee to testify about his lobbying activities.
It could be an unusually dramatic meeting of the Common's operations committee on Wednesday, as opposition MPs work to uncover whether the misuse of public funds is part of the controversy involving Mr. Jaffer and his wife Helena Guergis. Earlier this month, she resigned her cabinet post and the Prime Minister booted her from caucus after private investigator Derrick Snowdy reported his concerns over the couple's conduct to a lawyer for the Conservative party.
Committee member and New Democratic MP Pat Martin said he hopes the committee will feel like a safe place for Mr. Jaffer to tell his side of the story. Ms. Guergis has also been invited to testify, although she may not appear until a week Wednesday. Mr. Jaffer's business partner, Patrick Glemaud, has been invited, as well.
"Being a parliamentary committee has its benefits in that nothing you say there can be used against you subsequently in a court action," Mr. Martin said on CTV's Question Period Sunday.
"It is a safe format, a safe setting for people to share what really went on."
The committee has invited Mr. Jaffer to appear, but will issue a summons if he doesn't, said Liberal Martha Hall Findlay, also a member of the committee.
She said she is not interested in personal lives and salacious details, but wants to know if Mr. Jaffer, a former Conservative caucus chair who lost his seat in 2008, improperly used his influence with his former colleagues.
"It is to make sure the government is spending its money properly without undue influence."
The Prime Minister referred the case to the RCMP and the ethics commissioner, but Ms. Hall Findlay said that was a political tactic to get it off the table.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff also questioned the Prime Minister's competency in handling the matter.
"The key issue here is the Prime Minister's judgment. Seven months ago when Rahim Jaffer was stopped for cocaine possession and drunk driving and going over the speed limit, what I want to know is did he call in Helena Guergis?" he said during an interview on CTV's Question Period.
"Did he say, 'What is going on here? What is the nature of Mr. Jaffer's business relationships, how could he possibly have been accused of cocaine possession? Is there any connection to you in any way?' "
It was "impossible to believe," he said, that Mr. Jaffer did not lobby his former colleagues about his business interests.
Mr. Jaffer pleaded guilty this year to careless driving and paid a $500 fine, after the Crown dropped criminal charges of cocaine possession and having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. A speeding charge was also withdrawn.
Various ministers and MPs have defended the Prime Minister's actions after he received the information delivered by Mr. Snowdy earlier this month. They say he acted quickly, responsibly and with high ethical standards.