Francois Paradis washes his hands


(Quebec) Called to arbitrate the dress controversy of the Member of Parliament Catherine Dorion, Quebec Solidaire (QS), the Speaker of the National Assembly, Francois Paradis, is washing his hands.

Patrice Bergeron
The Canadian Press

He admits his helplessness on the definition of the dress code and claims not to have seen the QS elect when she sat with a cotton sweatshirt.

In a rare scrum Tuesday, Mr. Paradis said he can only refer to what he sees from the throne and relies on parties to define the rules.

For two weeks now, the presidency has been troubled by Catherine Dorion's controversies. Last week, elected officials threatened to appeal to the president in the middle of the sitting to call QS, who was wearing a kangaroo, to order. Mme Dorion then preferred to turn back rather than appear in the House.

Before going on to preside over the question period, Mr. Paradis reminded that decorum provides for a "dress code" in the places of debate, and therefore, t-shirt, sportswear and sweatshirts. are not eligible.

As to why Mme Dorion had been seen sitting with the same sweater, he claimed not to have noticed it then.

Mr. Paradis also stated that he can not unilaterally change the rules of the National Assembly. He pointed out that there are ongoing exchanges between the parties if there is a desire to modernize the rules.

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