Wednesday, June 27, 2012

House of Commons staff refuse to provide footage of Liberals' Nazi Salute

Almost two weeks ago, Liberal MP's Wayne Easter and Hedy Fry were accused of throwing Nazi salutes in the direction of Prime Minister Harper during the 24-hour Opposition filibuster.  As I promised, I have contacted the House of Commons Broadcasting Services to request a copy of the Commons footage during that time.

They first directed me to ParlVu, which hosts the video of the House online.

The video in question is here.  Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver makes the accusation against the Liberal MP's following motion 706, which begins at 7:13:30 and ends around 7:16:37.

However, there's a problem here: Broadcasting policies dictate that the camera angle being shown to the viewer must only be on the person being recognized by the Speaker of the House.  So when the Conservatives are beginning to stand to vote on motion 706, the camera angle online is focused on Conservatives, even though there are several other cameras filming the rest of the House.

So I went back to Broadcasting Services, requesting the footage of the motion 706 vote focused on the Liberals.

They refused, saying the only available camera angle is the one already online.

Canadians deserve to know whether two Liberal MP's did in fact make this disgusting disgraceful gesture to our Right Honourable Prime Minister.  In fact, it would seem to actually benefit the Liberals to find and release this footage, if there was not in fact any such salute made.

What's going on here?

UPDATE - June 28: after another inquiry with Broadcasting Services, they responded they would "look into" why they can't release the footage of the other camera angles and get back to me.  Progress?

UPDATE - July 5: the response to my inquiry is that, although the House of Commons has dozens of cameras on MP's from all angles, the only camera doing any recording is the camera focused on the Speaker, or the MP being recognized by the Speaker.  But then, what footage was the Speaker of the House reviewing in the first place? What are we witnessing here?