Banff-Airdrie, Member of Parliament, Blake Richards says his expulsion from the House of Commons is not exactly what it seems.
Richards was the first MP in 15 years to be turfed out of the House after Speaker Geoff Reagan demanded his removal by the Sergeant-At-Arms. "There is a lot of inaccurate reports in the national media," shares Richards, stating it is less about what did happen and more what didn't.
It has been reported that Richards was repeatedly heckling during question period in the House of Commons on Thursday, which Richards says is not the case.
MP Richards says the story begins a couple of days before question period when both the Prime Minister and Finance Minister refused to answer some basic questions they could have obtained or should have had answers to. While not uncommon in the House of Commons, Richards shares the attack on members of the opposition was getting out of hand and something he protested against. "They were engaging in really, really nasty personal types of attacks on opposition members that were asking them these questions, very partisan, questioning people's intelligence without good reason and quite dishonest attacks which is probably the worst part of it all, so I protested that, and that is what led the Speaker to do what he did."
It is not the first time members of the opposition have questioned if it is fair game in the House and Richards raised the point why he was held accountable when the other inappropriate conduct was dismissed.
"All I was trying to do was make sure people were being held to some kind of standards or some kind of account in the House of Commons which I think is a reasonable thing to expect."
While Richards heard that some people in the House felt the Speaker's decision was unwarranted, he isn't one to judge. "I am not about to harbour any sort of hard feelings over this or anything like that. I have spoken to the Speaker already and I expressed I did have some thoughts on what I felt could be done better in the House of Commons and I want to sit down and talk to him and he has agreed to do that."
MP Richards still stands behind his protest and doing what he feels was right. "This was me standing up and making sure that my voice was heard and I tried to stand up for what I believed was right and hopefully I can continue to do that in the next steps I am going to take here and hopefully that will lead something positive. At the end of the day, I know constituents are behind me for that. I have had a lot of positive feedback over the past few days; all of it has been good for you for standing up for what you believe in, constituents seem pretty proud knowing that they have a representative who will do just that."
In the end, Richards is hopeful that changes or improvements will be made leading to more healthy debate and less inappropriate behaviour.