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Ninth Tory backbencher complains about freedom of speech

Conservative MP Russ Hiebert rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2011.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Images

Another Conservative caucus meeting is expected to be dominated by the divisive subject of an MP's freedom of speech in Parliament.

There is every sign that a number of Conservative MPs refuse to allow the issue to subside three weeks after MPs vented in front of Prime Minister Stephen Harper about their right to speak their minds in the Commons.

On Tuesday, B.C. MP Russ Hiebert became the ninth Tory MP to stand in the Commons and defend the right of MPs to speak their minds without prior consent of their party leadership.

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That debate was sparked by colleague Mark Warawa, the British Columbia MP who has complained that he was blocked from delivering a statement in the Commons by the government whip.

Warawa says he will outline his next step Wednesday to fellow Conservatives during their weekly closed-door caucus meeting.

Earlier this month, Warawa's bid to have a vote condemning sex-selective abortions was shot down by a Commons committee dominated by Conservatives who were heeding the prime minister's determination to keep the abortion issue off the government's agenda.

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