Liberal MP wants Cooper dumped from Tory caucus for rebuking Muslim witness, quoting Christchurch manifesto

A Liberal MP wants Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to strip MP Michael Cooper of his role as deputy justice critic and toss him from the party caucus for berating a Muslim witness at a parliamentary committee last week.

A second Liberal MP said they want part of Cooper’s comments, made while MPs were discussing the dangers of online hate, stricken from the parliamentary record.

Scheer recently dropped Cooper from the justice committee for telling Alberta anti-racism activist Faisal Khan Suri he should “be ashamed” after Suri drew a link between “conservative commentators” and the online history of mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette.

“The evidence from Bissonette’s computer showed he repeatedly sought content about anti-immigrant, alt-right and conservative commentators, mass murderers, U.S. President Donald Trump, and about Muslims, immigrants living in Quebec,” Suri told the committee last week.

In an attempt to discredit Suri’s testimony, Cooper, the MP for St. Albert-Edmonton, also quoted from the manifesto drafted by the man accused of the mass killings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Liberal Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault said Cooper’s decision to quote directly from the manifesto, which has been banned in New Zealand, was “beyond the pale” and that it’s time for the Conservative leader to take action.

“Mr. Scheer’s response, by simply giving Mr. Cooper a pass from the justice committee, with three weeks here left in this place, is wholly inadequate,” Boissonnault said Monday.

“I’m calling on Mr. Scheer to strip Mr. Cooper of his deputy critic role and to eject Mr. Cooper from the Conservative caucus.”

Boissonnault’s call comes after Suri himself said that he felt Cooper’s removal from the committee was little more than a “slap on the wrist.”

“Such a member [as Cooper] should never be part of caucus and should never retain his position,” Suri said.

Following the Reform Act 

A spokesman for Scheer said the Conservative Party follows a process for ejecting MPs from caucus laid out in the Reform Act.

Under the act, a caucus member can only be thrown out if the caucus chair has received written notice signed by at least one fifth of caucus members asking for a review of the individual’s caucus membership.

The member can then be removed on a majority vote of caucus members by secret ballot.

Mississauga-Erin Mills Liberal MP Iqra Khalid said she wants the justice committee to strike from the parliamentary record the part of Cooper’s comments that quoted directly from the banned manifesto of the Christchurch mosque killer.

In order for that to happen, the justice committee would have to adopt a motion that indicates which part of the record it wants to expunge.

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