The truth will set you into a frenzy – at least, that was the case recently with the easily agitated MP Don Boudria (Lib, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell), during a mid-June sitting of the Commons. The hyper-sensitive Boudria launched into a tirade against Dr. Charles McVety of the Defend Marriage Coalition for allegedly “cyber-squatting” a website domain name that Boudria had previously owned the rights to, but had let the subscription lapse. The site in question, www.donboudria.ca, now hosts a webpage detailing Boudria’s anti-marriage stand in support of Bill C-38, the bill redefining marriage. The site also clearly states, in bold letters, “This is NOT the official website of Don Boudria, MP.”
Boudria responded: “It instructs people on how to object to my voting in favour of Bill C- 38, regarding the definition of civil marriage. It makes disparaging remarks against me as a member of the House and so on.” Despite Boudria’s claims, the only commentary on the page asks the question, “Can you trust Don Boudria?”
While Boudria, a former Liberal House leader, claimed his privileges as an MP were being violated, deputy opposition House leader Jason Kenney wasn’t buying it. “I understand my honourable friend opposite is learned with respect to parliamentary procedure, but I must infer from his remarks that he is stupefiedly ignorant about the commercial practices on the Internet,” said Kenney.
Indeed, in the media brouhaha that followed, Boudria refused to back down and even accused the “far right” McVety of “identity theft.” McVety responded by suggesting that the Liberal MP should be dropped from the Commons committee studying Bill C-38, the government’s legislation redefining marriage. “Boudria, through his personal attacks and deep prejudice against people of faith, has revealed an innate hostility to pro-marriage committee witnesses and he should be removed immediately. He is not fit to be a committee member,” said McVety.
The speaker of the Commons issued a ruling on the matter days later and agreed with Kenney that although Boudria might not like it, the Defend Marriage coalition was perfectly within its rights to register any web address not already reserved by an MP.
Boudria is not the only MP that Defend Marriage has profiled on an appropriately named site – both www.josephvolpe.com and www.annemclellan.tv host actual video of those cabinet ministers promising to protect marriage before last year’s election. Both have since broken that promise. Other websites profile turncoat new Martin cabinet minister Belinda Stronach, Conservative Gerald Keddy and Liberal Mark Holland. Holland, a Liberal who represents Ajax-Pickering, may have originally provoked Boudria in his crusade against the Defend Marriage Coalition. Holland sent out a memo to all Liberal MPs a few days before the Boudria outburst, identifying the MP-related websites operated by Defend Marriage and including a warning designed to strike fear in liberal hearts that McVety “believes in removing the boundaries between church and state.”