Sunday, March 01, 2015

Does the world's most powerful trade union need protection from itself?

Preferred bat of the Teamsters

Good Day Readers:

Because of sweeping, unbridled powers given law societies they're like the Teamsters on steroids without the baseball bats - they've been called the world's most powerful trade union. For example, under provisions of Section 79 (1) and (2) of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba anyone reporting the name of an accused lawyer before a finding of misconduct is subject to a $2,000 find and or 6-months in jail. For a media outlet it can be up to $10,000..

The Case of Winnipeg Lawyer David Bradley

Profiled below, Mr. Bradley was first given a formal caution by the Law Society of Manitoba in 2008 for advising a client he'd filed a statement of claim when, in fact, he hadn't. Then in March of last year another complaint was filed alleging he had mislead clients into believing he'd undertaken certain legal procedures when he hadn't. He was subsequently suspended from the practice of law for one year beginning March 1, 2015.

Section 79 Provisions Cut Both Ways

Supposing, just supposing you were contemplating hiring David Bradley so checked with the LSM whether he had any previous contraventions. Is it obliged to advise you of his 2008 transgression? Perhaps even more importantly, had you contacted The Society during the period he was under active investigation until an eventual finding of guilt, would the LSM have been required to advise you of  such? 

Wouldn't Section 79 preclude it from doing so otherwise it could be fined and or shipped off to jail for up to 6-months. Humm ..... not a bad idea!

The Day CyberSmokeBlog Saved the Law Society of Manitoba From Itself: The Strange Case of Boston Blackie!

Long story short.. A few years ago a lawyer facing multiple counts under the MLPA asked CSB to attend what morphed into a series of pre-disciplinary hearings. To protect their identity they became "Boston Blackie" a reformed jewel thief and safecracker created by author Jack Boyle. It seems Blackie liked to party with women taking great delight thoroughly ....ing off the authorities by always being one step ahead.

You had to love someone with the motto, "An enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."

In the late 1940s and early 1950s BB was a popular radio series that eventually moved to television. How many of you can remember listening to, The Adventures of Boston BlackieCSB can. - barely.

"An enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."



If you believed everything in the Boston Blackie series he makes the city's modern day Whitey Bulger look like a piker.

The Citation

Blackie gave CyberSmokeBlog authorization to publish the Citation outlining the 3 or 4 alleged transgressions of the province's Legal Protection Act. Get this! The actual initials of all those identified were used including BB's. The two complainants, name of the organization they represented - everyone! Unbelievable! Anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure out those involved - all this before a finding of misconduct had been rendered. To save the Law Society of Manitoba from itself, CSB altered all the designations.

What do you figure the LSM would do if someone attended a hearing and identified the accused et al. by their actual initials? In retrospect CSB should have filed a complaint with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada - the boys and girls down at the Law Society of Manitoba aren't playing by their own rules.

Final Word - For Now

As a recent investigative report by CBC Television's Go Public (Clients feel scammed, as alleged lawyers misconduct kept quiet - http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/clients-feel-scammed-as-alleged-lawyer-misconduct-kept-quiet-1.2764948) eloquently demonstrated you're better off to go to the media than rely on law societies for updated information on lawyer misconduct. Ironically, one of those profiled is a Winnipeg lawyer.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Winnipeg lawyer David Bradley suspended by regulator

Law Society of Manitoba found Bradley 'fabricated' information to client

By Vera-Lynn Kubinec
Friday, February 27, 2014

The shrew to too shrill! ..... The Taming of the Shrew


Friday, February 27, 2015

The control freak!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Sleepy" Dan Lett whacks "Dr. Jaws Glover" and the Harper government!

Li case exposes ugly truth about Tories

Would rather punish the mentally ill than provide help and support

By Dan Lett
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The doctors of Vince Li have recommended he be given more freedom. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

The ugly truth has been revealed.

Like many observers, I have always assumed the Conservative government's efforts to more harshly punish citizens found not criminally responsible for their crimes because of mental illness was part of a cynical but deliberate strategy to pander for votes.

The theory is pretty sound. There are many votes to be had by demonizing NCRs (which is unjust), portraying them as a threat to public safety (which is empirically untrue) and prescribing new, tougher sentences to make society safer (which they don't).

It makes sense for the Tories to play this card now, with a federal election expected this year. Yes, it's a bunch of hooey, but it's hard to deny the political benefits.

However, recently an alternate theory has arisen. Specifically, the possibility the Tories actually believe the nonsense they are spouting.

Case in point: Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Manitoba's senior federal government representative, issued a statement Tuesday denouncing a decision by the Criminal Code Review Board to allow Vincent Li -- found NCR for the 2008 murder and dismemberment of Tim McLean -- to move to a secure mental-health hospital in Winnipeg and have unescorted passes.

Li's physicians stated he is a low risk to reoffend, is very good at taking his medication and has not suffered any further hallucinations. In other words, he poses no threat.

Glover was incensed by this. "It is unacceptable that dangerous and violent offenders are released into our communities," Glover said, echoing comments last year, in which she said giving Li greater freedoms was an "insult" to McLean's family.

It has always been disappointing that Glover puts so much effort into misrepresenting NCR protocols. As a former police officer, you would think Glover would have a either a healthy respect for the law, or at least a deep understanding of it.

That doesn't seem to be the case. Even with proof Li is not a threat, Glover and other federal Tories have made it their cause to oppose every stage of his treatment.

Listening to Glover and others rage against Li, I've now come to the conclusion this isn't a ploy. It is, in fact, exactly how and what they think.

Last year, when the Li story was top of mind for many Canadians, I had an opportunity to talk with Glover and other prominent Conservatives. I asked them if they wanted to honour the victims and give their families greater meaning in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, why not involve them in a new campaign to improve mental-health services?

Imagine the families of victims standing alongside federal ministers, announcing substantial new government funds to expand forensic mental-health services, improve access to psychiatric care and educate the public on the reality of mental illness. Would this not give grieving families a positive purpose and an opportunity to honour their loved ones with the knowledge more was being done to prevent similar tragedies?

In each case, the answer from Glover and other Tories was the same: NCRs are criminals and must be punished. Moreover, that punishment was really the only valid response.

It is only possible to come to this conclusion by ignoring or dismissing all of the relevant facts to the contrary.

Of course, in addition to ignoring all the facts, you have to come from a place where the satisfaction of punishing someone not responsible for their behaviour is the only public policy goal. Not making society safer. Not making this a more just society. Just punishment for the sake of punishment.

You can see this in the much-celebrated Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, a law written by the Tories in response to the Li case. The new act requires NCRs deemed high-risk to get court approval for release. Currently, those decisions are made by the Criminal Code Review Board.

Does this law make society safer? No, not really. Does it make it harder for NCRs to be released? Not exactly. It does, however, create the impression the government is getting tougher, which is probably enough for now.

Glover surely knows any decision on Li's release is being made on the basis of scientific and legal facts, and with full consideration of public safety. Ranting about the injustice of that system, while ignoring all the facts, is simply unacceptable, to use Glover's own words.

To be perfectly honest, it was easier to respect Glover and her Tory colleagues when it seemed as if their efforts to keep Li incarcerated were more political strategy than deeply held beliefs.

Unfortunately, the awful truth is now evident: Glover and the Conservatives believe what they are saying. And it's ugly.

dan.lett@freepress.mb.ca

How many people are there in Manitoba who have been found NCR for a criminal act?

There are 110 NCRs in Manitoba. About 75 live in the community, and the rest are in the psychiatric unit of Health Sciences Centre or the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

Did all NCRs commit violent, gruesome murders?

No. NCRs involve a wide range of crimes. Only a small portion committed violent crimes.

Do NCRs, once they are released, ever reoffend?

The recidivism rate for criminals released from the corrections system is very high -- estimates range from 40 to 50 per cent. For NCRs, the recidivism rate is between 10 to 15 per cent. However, for those NCRs hospitalized for the most violent crimes, the recidivism rate nationally is almost zero. In Manitoba, no NCR responsible for a killing committed another violent crime after being released. The majority of "crimes" committed by NCR upon release are violations of the conditions of release: failure to take medication, leaving the jurisdiction without permission, failing to abstain from drugs or alcohol.

Can NCRs be released into the community after a period of time or do they stay locked up in hospital?

The goal, following a finding of NCR, is to eventually reintegrate that person into society. However, to receive a release order, the Criminal Code Review Board must be satisfied there is no threat to the community, there is no ongoing threat to the person found NCR, and all of the supports needed by that person in the community are available.

Who decides if and when an NCR is ever released from hospital?

Authority for release of an NCR falls to the Criminal Code Review Board in each province. The boards hold annual hearings on anyone admitted to hospital under an NCR order and accept submissions from attending psychiatrists, mental-health workers, lawyers representing the accused person, the Crown and victim-impact statements.

Is the opinion of a psychiatrist the final word on release of an NCR?

No. Rather than relying on the discretion or opinion of any one psychiatrist, the mental-health system relies on two internationally recognized protocols for measuring the probability of violence in psychiatric patients. These protocols have been very accurate in assessing potential threat and are used in mental-health systems around the world.

Can a person found NCR for an act of violence be forced to take medication?

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms prevents the Crown from forcing anyone to take medication against their wishes. However, the board makes medication a condition in all release orders, with no exceptions. An accused person can refuse, but they will not be released.

Still, how can you ensure an NCR is taking medication once released?

Once found NCR, that person is under the supervision of the forensic mental-health system for, in most cases, the rest of their lives. Release conditions demand NCRs report regularly to mental-health workers, or get regular visits at home. In instances where there is any concern about a person's ability to manage medication, a release order will specify it is to be administered by injection. This ensures regular contact with a health-care professional. Failure to take medication almost always triggers readmission to hospital.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2015 A5

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"MeUndies Martin"

Good Day Readers:

Instead of soliciting public funds to pay his defamation lawsuit because he was too stupid to shoot off his Big, Fat mouth in the House of Commons where he enjoys immunity from prosecution, he should use his new found fame to market a new line of underwear. What about, Ouch My Ass is Too Big!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
L. S. comes calling after Pat Martin underwear video goes viral

By Laura Stone
Politics Feporter

Wednesday, February 25



OTTAWA – When Pat Martin stood up in the House of Commons last week to jokingly explain that he left a vote because his underwear was too small, he didn’t expect Los Angeles to come calling.

But fame is an unpredictable beast.

The NDP MP says L.A.-based underwear manufacturer, MeUndies, called his office immediately after a video of his vote in the Commons went viral, asking him to star in an advertisement on the company’s website.

“They wanted a 30-second testimonial that they’d put on their website… I’m wearing my undies, making the world safe for democracy,” says Martin.

“They thought it would be cute I guess, to have this politician saying don’t risk missing a vote because your underwear don’t fit, and making the connection that wearing this brand of underwear is somehow good for democracy,” he says.

“It’s actually quite clever.”

They’ve even sent him a couple of samples, naturally. Or what’s known in L.A. as a “swag bomb.”

“When something comes onto (Parliament) Hill, it’s got to go back to customs and be cleared by security. So it’s taken a few days to get here,” says Martin.

The company, which bills itself as “the world’s most comfortable underwear,” features a video of Martin on itsFacebook page. “What do you think? Should we send him a pair?” it asks.

But alas, Martin says he’s turned the offer down.

READ MORE: Lunch with NDP MP Pat Martin – back on the front bench, but not as angry (he hopes)

“They offered all kinds of inducements to do it, and I told them I can’t take money for that,” he says.

The company says it offered to donate underwear to homeless shelters in Martin’s Winnipeg riding.

“We never offered Pat, himself, money to be our spokesperson. From the genesis of this idea, we were asking him how we could appropriately donate to a cause/organization of his choice in exchange for the mentioned PSA-style video,” Robbie Wiedie, the content manager/SEO at MeUndies, wrote in an email to Global News.

But Martin says he eventually decided against it.

(He still wants companies to start donating underwear: “I would encourage this company or others to send some of their seconds if they like and we’ll distribute them to the needy.”)

“The guy was going to fly up from L.A. last night… to tape this thing. So it just got to be too much. I really don’t want that going viral either,” says Martin.

“I don’t want that to be my legacy, being associated with my underwear.”

The offer was further complicated by the company founder’s links to asbestos – an issue Martin has campaigned against for years.

Martin, who worked in an asbestos mine in the Yukon, once gave a press conference on the subject featuring a puppet named Toxic Timmy.

A Google search by the NDP revealed MeUndies co-founder Jonathan Shokrian pleaded guilty in 2013 to violating the U.S. Clean Air Act relating to an asbestos-removal project. A Linkedin account says he is still with the company. Follow-up questions about Shokrian’s asbestos conviction have not been returned.

“That’s a big issue for me, and I’m not going to be associated with anybody associated with that,” Martin says.

“That was one of the things that helped us make our decision not to bother.”

Wiedie, from MeUndies, says the company offered to make a donation to the cause in order to defend workers’ rights, but Martin’s team felt it was too risky.

“We’d still happily work with him. Our hope was to turn his silly moment into something actionable, proactive, & meaningful. We also invite him to model for us, should he like to do so,” Wiedie wrote.

And it wasn’t just L.A.: Martin’s colleagues also saw news pieces about the video on MSNBC, the BBC and as far away as China and Romania. Martin says he also got six calls from Japan to go on a slapstick-style show.

“The Japanese TV was relentless,” says Martin. “They wanted me to come on their crazy TV show.”

As for the free underwear samples – they’re already en route to Parliament Hill.

So, will Martin still try them on?

“Sure why not? I’ll run it by the ethics commissioner first I think.”

Update: an earlier version of this story said Martin asked the company to donate underwear to homeless shelters. In fact, the company offered.

Has "Martin-itis" spread to the Harper government?

Martin-itis: Buying cheap underwear on sale at The Bay that's too tight restricting blood flow to the brain causing you to say the damndest things.

Good Day Readers:

The greatest public concern should be that proper checks and balances are in place. Those responsible for monitoring Vince Li immediately become aware if he's not taking his meds so remedial action can be taken. In the meantime people like Shelly Glover needs to shut her face. Unfortunately, "Jaws" is CyberSmokeBlog's Member of Parliament. God she's an embarrassment!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Glover rails against release
'It's the polar opposite of enlightened thinking:' Martin

By Mia Rabson
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Joe Bryksa/Winnipeg Free Press

Ottawa - Manitoba's senior cabinet minister says the possibility the mentally ill man who beheaded Tim McLean may soon be released into the community is why her government passed a law to designate such people as dangerous and keep them locked up.
Glover released an emailed statement late Monday, saying she was
responding to a review panel hearing in which Vince Li's doctors at the
Selkirk Mental Health Centre recommended he be allowed to move first
to Winnipeg's Health Science Centre's locked mental-health ward, and be
given unescorted passes to go out into the city. They say he should
eventually move to a high-security group home in Winnipeg.

"Our government stands firmly by our legislative changes through the Not
Criminally Responsible Reform Act and points out that this is exactly when
we made them, Glover said.

"Our government has worked hard to ensure that those who break the law
are held accountable for their actions;that penalties match the severity of
crimes committed; and that the rights of victims come before the rights of
criminals. It is unacceptable that dangerous and violent offenders are
released into our communities, when they pose a threat to society. We made
changes to the Not Criminally Responsible Act to ensure that dangerous
offenders at risk of reoffending are kept behind bars where they belong."

The law introduced in 2013 and implemented last year, was brought about in
large part, because of the Li case. It allows someone found not criminally
responsible to be designated by a court as high-risk to reoffend. If this
designation is given, the person can't be released from custody until a review
board has a court revoke that designation. It can also deny unescorted passes
to the person

Victims of the person must also be informed when the NCR person is
released and told of their living arrangements.

Although the government intended the law to be used retroactively, Li's
lawyer said Tuesday it will not affect Li because he was not designated
as high-risk when he was found not criminally responsible for
McLean's death.

Li killed McLean in 2008 during a schizophrenic episode on a bus near
Portage La Prairie while travelling between Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Since 2010, he has been allowed various privileges, starting with escorted
walks on the grounds of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre followed by
escorted trips into Selkirk and for the last year, unescorted trips.

Neither the federal Liberals nor the federal NDP wanted to respond to
Glover's comments, however, Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin said they
do a 'terrible disservice" to decades of work trying to eliminate the
stigma of mental illness.

"We thought we had turned the corner on mental health awareness,"
he said.

We have a senior political minister setting the tone." It's the polar
opposite of enlightened thinking."

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Reproduced from the Winnipeg Free Press publication February
25, 2014

Monday, February 23, 2015

There's a new sheriff in town ..... old boys everybody stay calm!

Good Day Readers:

Law societies and the Canadian Judicial Council are under increasing pressure these days to fix their broken/flawed business models that define how complaints are managed due in large part to a lack of meaningful layperson (you know the great unwashed taxpaying masses who get stuck with the bills) involvement. They're still seen, and rightly so, as organizations of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers. In the case of the CJC it called for written submissions from anyone with a interest and is scheduled to release it's long awaited recommendations. More layperson involvement is expected to top the list. Ms Dangerfield would do well to follow suit.

CyberSmokeBlog's Recommendations for "The Sheriff"

1. Beware the creeping old boys network

She's been at the LSM long enough to know where the closets filled with skeletons reside and the land mines are buried. Students of law societies will tell you the real power is to be found in its various committees. Prior to her successor Allan Fineblit becoming CEO in 1998, veteran lawyers will tell you it was very much an old boy's network.


Mr. Fineblitt did much to dismantle it. "Sheriff's" biggest challenge could well be that it makes a comeback and hijacks her agenda. She'd do well to keep in mind the two guiding principles of Organizational Behaviour 101 - always watch your back and always have backup.

A slightly frazzled lookingKristin Dangerfield in 1998 before the makeover. She was largely the point person for the Manitoba Law Society that came under heavy criticism. Although the rumours were rampant and wide spread about the late Jack King posting nude photographs of his wife (Lori Douglas) the LSM did nothing because it had received no formal complaint. Here at CyberSmokeBlog we affectionately like to refer to her as "Blanche."

2. Re-educate yourself on self-reps

"Another major issue is the growing numbers of people who choose to represent themselves in court. Not only are they likely doing themselves a disservice from a representation point of view, they are also causing largely unnecessary delays down the line because they're unaware of how the legal system and various procedures work."

You need to familiarize yourself with the work of University of Windsor Law Professor Dr. Julie Macfarland. Her research and effort on behalf of self-reps over the past three years or so has been leading edge and ground breaking. CSB recommends if you and your staff haven't already subscribed to her regular newsletter (free) you do so (The National Self-Represented Litigants Project).

3. Begin a review of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba especially section 79 (1) and (2)

4. Section 79(1) and (2) need to be clarified

A couple weeks ago CyberSmokeBlog attended a disciplinary hearing at which the Chair of the three member panel went to great lengths to advise the public of 79. They also noted that any witnesses who were former clients of the accused also not be identified. Where is that covered in Section 79? The Law Society of Manitoba needs to spell out in much greater detail precisely what can be reported at its disciplinary hearings.

This section provides for up to a $2,000 fine and or 6-months in jail for any individual to identifies an accused lawyer prior to a finding of misconduct - $10,000 for a mainstream news outlet. That's totally unnecessary and draconian. The 6-month possible jail sentence moves it into the realm of a criminal offence.

5. Initiate a top down bottom up review of the Manitoba Law Society

Law Societies like the Canadian Judicial Council are widely viewed, and rightly so, as organizations of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers. As such they are monopolies. Where is the meaningful layperson involvement in the disciplinary process? There is none.

Good Luck Sherrff!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Law Society CEO set to tackle access-to-justice issues

By Geoff Kirbyson
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kris Dangerfield is the new CEO of the Law Society of Manitoba. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

There's a new sheriff at the helm of the Law Society of Manitoba, but she doesn't need to worry about learning a new route to work.

"I had to turn left when I walked in the door instead of right," said Kris Dangerfield, who has taken over as CEO of the legal profession's regulator in the province after years as its senior general counsel.

She has replaced longtime CEO Allan Fineblit, who resigned last fall to return to private practice at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.

Dangerfield, who worked in private practice for more than a decade before joining the Law Society in 1998, is well-versed in the issues that will be coming across her desk.

In her previous role, she was responsible for discipline, including prosecuting lawyers for professional misconduct or incompetence and providing legal advice to various committees or the CEO.

"I find the regulation of the legal profession to be incredibly interesting and there's a very broad range of issues to deal with. (The CEO role) gave me an opportunity after being here for 17 years to tackle some new issues that I hadn't been engaged in and to look at things from a different perspective from the other side of the office," she said.

The biggest challenges facing Dangerfield and regulators across the country are globalization, the constantly changing legal landscape and access to justice, she said.

For example, she said there are far too many people whose income levels are too high to qualify for legal aid, yet too low to be able to afford their own lawyer.

It's the Law Society's job to come up with solutions, which could include lawyers forming partnerships with other professionals, such as psychologists or accountants, so a broader range of services can be provided to the public at a reasonable cost.

Another major issue is the growing number of people who choose to represent themselves in court. Not only are they likely doing themselves a disservice from a representation point of view, they are also causing largely unnecessary delays down the line because they're unaware of how the legal system and various procedures work.

"Eighty-five per cent of (legal) duties that could be handled by a lawyer aren't," she said.

"Everything takes much longer. Something that ordinarily would take one or two days might take a week or two. That can be very challenging for the courts and the profession."

Regulation gets even trickier when dealing with online legal resources, such as Legal Zoom, which continue to grow in popularity and are based in other jurisdictions, she said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2015 A12

Friday, February 20, 2015

What you need to know about ISIS

Good Day Readers:

At times you really have to wonder whether western leaders and their policy makers have taken the time to study ISIS to understand what it's all about albeit twisted?

The following article by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine's Contributing Editor Graeme Wood is the most comprehensive CyberSmokeBlog has encountered by an investigative journalist.

 He is to be congratulated for such a fine, well-researched and written piece. Because it's quite long here's the link:

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here's what that means for its strategy - and how to stop it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Attention Winnipeg Centre constituents: Your Member of Parliament wears cheap, ill-fitting underwear!

Good Day Readers:

Watch Thomas Mulcair at the end of the video shaking his head as if to day, "I can't believe such an idiot is an NDPer."

CyberSmokeBlog asks voters of Winnipeg Centre do you really want to re-elect a politician who can't even buy the right size underwear? Perhaps he should show up not wearing any. Where is it written MP's have to attend parliament wearing underwear? Could underwear too tight be the reason for some of his beyond asinine comments recently in the House?

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Pat Martin says tight underwear led him to leave seat during vote

NDP MP from Winnipeg says he had to leave seat in House of Commons because he can't sit for long

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MP Pat Martin had a somewhat uncomfortable explanation for a brief absence from his seat in the House of Commons on Thursday morning.

The Winnipeg Centre representative voted on a procedural motion to adjourn debate, then left his seat for a moment. 

Storify: A brief Twitter rundown of Pat Martin's tight underwear issue

When Conservative MP Royal Galipeau asked deputy speaker Joe Comartin if a vote still counts if an MP leaves while it's being counted, Martin stood up to offer his explanation.

"I can blame it on a sale that was down at the Hudson's Bay [Company] – they had men's underwear on for half price. I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me and I find it difficult to sit for any length of time," he said.

"I apologize if it was necessary for me to leave my seat briefly, but I did not mean to forfeit my right to vote."

After a mix of cheers, applause and laughter from the benches, Comartin was forced to rule on whether Martin's vote would count.

"Let me try to deal with this with at least some seriousness, we all understand that we have to be in our seats at the time the motion is read ... the member for Winnipeg Centre was in his seat at that time. He did step out of his chair for a very short time and was directed by me to sit down again," Comartin said.

"I didn't understand the explanation at the time, that he subsequently gave … can't say I really understand it at this point."

Comartin then said that since Martin was in his seat when the vote was read and also when he voted that his vote was able to stand.

Later, on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Martin allowed that tight briefs were only part of the story.

"Some Conservative MP got his knickers in a knot, I think, about the fact that I stepped away from my chair for a couple of seconds, and so, you know, I believe that his point of order was tongue in cheek and it warranted a cheeky response," Martin told host Evan Solomon, while admitting that a sale of 50 per cent off is like "catnip to a Winnipegger."

"But ... that's not why I left my seat in the House of Commons, I left to go and have a chat with the Speaker and I think Mr. Galipeau overreacted heavily by saying I should forfeit my vote for having the temerity to ask the Speaker a question during a vote," Martin said.

"It was a cheeky answer to what I thought was a cheeky question," Marin said. "But it begs the question, I mean, a lot of the grumpiness in the House of Commons might be traced to the fact that MPs are buying one size too small in their knickers."

Martin said that in the end, at least his vote was allowed to stand.

"Let's face it, I was caught with my pants down for stepping away from my seat briefly," Martin said.