POLITICS

Penashue attacks former MP over dormant website

06/20/2012 11:25 EDT | Updated 08/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Former Liberal MP Todd Russell says it's laughable that federal Tory cabinet minister Peter Penashue says he cannot do his job properly because Russell's old website is still online.

Penashue, who defeated Russell in the riding of Labrador in last spring's election, told the House of Commons Tuesday that Russell's still-active website is hindering his ability to do his job.

"Mr. Russell's misleading website, including contact information for his parliamentary office and three constituency offices, could cause confusion among the constituents of Labrador and, therefore, impede me in my ability to represent them," said Penashue, who filed a point of privilege and attacked Liberal Leader Bob Rae for allowing the website to linger.

Penashue told the House he had asked Russell to remove material on the website that identified him as MP, but he had failed to do so.

"I would ask for Mr. Russell to update his website immediately."

Russell's website — Toddrussell.ca — had not been updated since last spring, but it still identified him as the MP for Labrador. By Wednesday morning, the content of the site had been removed.

Russell told CBC News he cannot believe the issue is such a priority for Penashue, who is the minister of intergovernmental affairs.

"I would think that a minister of the Crown, [with] all the pressing issues of the day here in Labrador — provincially and nationally — would have far greater things to rise in the House and speak about," Russell said.

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau used Penashue's statement as the basis for a joke.

"In other news: My friend Todd Russell’s old MP website has been dormant and inactive since the 2011 election … just like Peter Penashue," Trudeau tweeted.