OTTAWA—A Commons committee has passed a report recommending the Conservative government should be found in contempt of parliament.
The historic move by the Commons procedure and house affairs committee could lead to a non-confidence vote, which could bring down the government and launch a spring election.
This is the first time in history that a government has been found in contempt.
The report, just a dozen pages long, concludes the government is in contempt for refusing to disclose requested documents detailing the full cost estimates for its crime bills, corporate tax cuts and a plan to buy stealth combat jets.
The report produced by the opposition-dominated committee concludes the government has failed to produce the documents it was ordered to hand over and that it has not provided a “reasonable excuse” for failing to do so.
The documents the government did provide, the report concludes, were unsatisfactory.
“This failure impedes the House in the performance of its functions and … the government’s failure to produce documents constitutes a contempt of Parliament,” the opposition-dominated committee wrote in the report tabled to the Commons on Monday.
The Conservative MPs on the committee attached a minority report arguing the majority report did not take into account the documents the government did provide.
The opposition MPs “who voted to pass the conclusions of the committee report gave only a cursory review of the information provided,” the minority report concludes. “Had they treated it seriously, they would have found detailed information that answered fully and directly the request of the motion.”
The committee is also considering whether to find International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda in contempt for misleading MPs on her decision to deny funding to a charitable organization critical of Israeli policies.