Liberal MP Marc Garneau said his mail was stolen when a box of toy space shuttles that were part of a fundraiser for sick children was mistakenly delivered to NDP MP Jonathan Tremblay's office and the contents given away.
Garneau, a former astronaut, told the tale of the mistaken mail delivery in the Commons after question period Monday. He said that in February a package from the charity Hope Air that was clearly addressed to him was accidentally delivered to Tremblay, who now occupies Garneau's old office.
Garneau said he contacted Tremblay's office in search of the package and was told the box was opened and the toys given away.
"Though an offence against the dignity of the House regardless of the contents, the theft of these contents in my view is also an offence against common decency," Garneau said.
He read aloud the definition of mail theft under the Criminal Code and cited previous rulings from Speakers on the House of Commons about invasions of privacy, laying out his case for why the incident should be considered by Speaker Andrew Scheer to be in contempt of Parliament.
Garneau said it's unclear whether Tremblay himself or his staff opened his mail and gave it away, but either way, he said his parliamentary privileges have been breached and a "serious offence" has occurred.
He said what took place is "not only an invasion of my privacy, it is theft."
The Sergeant-at-arms, the parliamentary officer in charge of security, has been informed and asked to do an investigation and Garneau said he may complain to the police.
"It is, I believe, self-evident that the theft of a member's mail within the precincts of Parliament undoubteldly represents an offence against the authority and the dignity of the House, as does the cavalier response of the member's office once confronted and admitting the offence," he said.
NDP House leader Nathan Cullen responded to the bizarre account immediately after Garneau's statement and said what happened appeared to be an accident.
"I'm a bit confused for the amount of time we've already taken today and certainly the heated rhetoric over this notion of misplaced toys. We'll make it right in any way that we can," Cullen said.
Cullen said there was some discrepency as to whether the package had Garneau's name on it, but Garneau said the box was clearly addressed to him.
Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan seized the opportunity for the final word on the matter, for now, by noting that with the question of privilege Scheer was being "invited to go, boldy go, where no Speaker before has gone."
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