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Politics NDP MP Charlie Angus urges review of Trudeau fundraising video filmed in Centre Block office

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, on Dec. 11, 2018.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus is urging the House of Commons’ board of internal economy to review and possibly penalize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for using his parliamentary office as the backdrop of a fundraising video for the Liberal Party of Canada.

In the December video posted to his Facebook page, Mr. Trudeau is shown in his Centre Block office telling viewers to join the tens of thousands of Canadians who already donated this month, “by chipping in before our Dec. 31st deadline, so we can start 2019 strong.”

The post includes a “Donate Now” button and a link to the Liberal party’s website.

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Mr. Angus wrote a letter this week to Speaker Geoff Regan, in his role as chair of the board that oversees the House of Commons, complaining that Mr. Trudeau violated clear rules that indicate members of Parliament are prohibited from using parliamentary resources to raise money.

“The rules governing the use of parliamentary facilities are quite clear. Members are not to use the premises to fundraise or to engage in partisan electioneering,” Mr. Angus wrote in the Jan. 7 letter.

The board of internal economy members-bylaw says that House of Commons resources, including its premises, can only be used for a member’s parliamentary functions and cannot be used for partisan activities.

Mr. Angus wrote that the Prime Minister’s abuse of parliamentary resources is a “clear breach of these rules.”

“I urge the Board of Internal Economy to review this situation and to make appropriate recommendations or seek appropriate penalties,” Mr. Angus wrote.

Matt Pascuzzo, a spokesman for Mr. Trudeau, said the Prime Minister’s Office is working with the board of internal economy to “remedy the situation.”

“We’re committed to ensuring the rules are followed and all parties including the NDP and Conservatives should do the same,” said Mr. Pascuzzo.

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Mr. Angus wrote that he is concerned that if Mr. Trudeau is not held accountable for his misuse of his office, it would set a bad precedent for other parliamentarians.

But according to Mr. Pascuzzo, the Prime Minister is not alone in his abuse of the rules.

“The NDP still hasn’t fully repaid the $2.7-million of taxpayer money it used to set up partisan offices, and the Conservative Party has recently posted their own partisan videos that were recorded in parliamentary offices,” he said.

Brock Harrison, spokesman for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, said “Mr. Scheer will continue to shoot and post videos that highlight the serious objections Conservatives have to Liberal policies, which is his job as the Leader of the Opposition.”

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