Police and Senate Security Investigating Threats Linked to Carbon Pricing Bill Debate

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Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain looks into the Main Hall at the Senate of Canada Building, formerly the Government Conference Centre, is shown in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

In a recent development at the Canadian Senate, two members of the Independent Senators Group have reported being subjected to intimidation and threats, leading to a police and Senate security investigation. This situation arises amidst heightened tensions over a proposed carbon pricing bill aimed at farmers.

Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain, addressing the Senate on a point of privilege, revealed that she and her colleague Sen. Bernadette Clement faced bullying and intimidation from fellow senators. This confrontation occurred after Sen. Clement motioned to adjourn the debate on the contentious bill on November 9th.

The situation escalated following a social media post by a Conservative MP, who shared a controversial “wanted” poster. This post included photos and contact details of Sen. Clement and Sen. Chantal Petitclerc, urging the public to question their decision to halt the bill’s debate. Sen. Clement described the aftermath as a “barrage of disturbing calls” directed at her and her staff.

Sen. Bernadette Clement

One particularly alarming incident involved a man who vehemently threatened to visit Sen. Clement at her home in Cornwall, Ontario. This threat prompted Sen. Clement to vacate her residence after consulting with the Parliamentary Protective Service and local police.

The bill in question, introduced by a Conservative MP, seeks to exempt propane and natural gas used in grain drying and heating farm buildings from carbon pricing. The Conservatives have been vigorously advocating for its passage in the Senate.

In response to the controversy, a Conservative spokesperson challenged Sen. Clement’s impartiality, labeling her a former Liberal candidate and disputing the characterization of the social media post as a “wanted” poster.