When our parliamentarians shoot off their mouths in the House of Commons, the laws against libel and defamation do not apply.
Spout fiction? No harm, no foul.
They have immunity.
Step outside the Commons and repeat the same allegations, however, and the real world offers no such protection — all which explains why Winnipeg’s loose-lipped NDP MP Pat Martin is spending his summer vacation begging for defence fund donations.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer man.
RackNine Inc., the Edmonton-based telemarketing firm decided enough was enough of Martin calling them “RackNine rascals” and “goons,” and persistently linking them to alleged efforts by the Conservatives to mislead voters with fake robocalls during the 2011 federal election.
So they launched a $5 million lawsuit.
And why not? While Elections Canada had ordered RackNine to cough up documents in relation to its probe of robocall shenanigans, RackNine was not the subject of its investigation.
Pat Martin eventually apologized, but not for weeks after being advised of the real facts.
Will the NDP faithful come to his aid?
Here’s hoping not.