House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer was a client of the firm linked to calls in Irwin Cotler's riding that falsely claimed he was about to step down, Elections Canada records show.

Cotler asked Scheer to rule on whether the calls breached his parliamentary privilege, interfering in his ability to do his work as an MP. Cotler said his office was forced to deal with calls and emails from people in his Montreal riding wondering whether it was true. He also argued it made Parliament as a whole look bad, breaching privilege for all parliamentarians.

Scheer ruled Tuesday that he didn't have the authority as Speaker to deal with calls made without using parliamentary resources, and ruled that there was no case on the face of Cotler's arguments for a breach of privilege.

Conservative MPs defended the calls as protected under free speech and a legitimate means to identify potential voters for the next election in 2015.

He said the calls were "reprehensible" and a "questionable" way to try to identify potential supporters.

Cotler says the calls were traced to Campaign Research, a firm with links to the Conservative Party.

Records submitted to Elections Canada by Scheer's campaign show he wrote cheques worth $8198.79 to Campaign Research.

Scheer didn't mention in the ruling that he had used the firm's services.