Honourable senators, I sincerely apologize to Senator Patterson for the words I used in a tweet on social media. I deleted the tweet as soon as possible. Senator Patterson, please accept my sincere apology for this ill-advised tweet.
As you know, I did not name any senators in this tweet, although that is no excuse. I did not name names.
This came after a tough week, but Senator Patterson was not the issue. The issue was more generally the opposition strategy, which led me to believe that we had concluded an agreement based on transparency and trust in the days preceding the clause-by-clause review of the bill.
Let me explain. The committee chair came to see me to say that we would be sharing our amendments. He said, “Put your amendments on the table and we will do the same. Then we will have a good, open, and cordial discussion on the amendments to understand them properly and see whether any amendments overlap.”
In short, we showed transparency and trust on this issue. We had that meeting; we discussed amendments, and we even had other meetings to discuss very specific terms.
At that point, the Conservatives were to move six amendments and we, on our side, were to move three. Everything was on the table. I had no indication that the Conservatives were going to change their strategy. At least I was never informed of it.
At the start of the clause-by-clause study, all of the Conservatives’ amendments were withdrawn. In the case of two of my amendments that had the same intent, the Conservatives chose — as is their right — not to vote on any amendment and to reject the entire bill.
They did act within the rules of the Senate. However, what upset me was that I had trusted in the process, and I felt that my trust had been betrayed, which led to my ill-advised statement.
Therefore, I sincerely apologize to Senator Patterson, whom I hold in high regard. We have had some very pointed and interesting discussions about the type of amendments we could move.
Thank you very much.