An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians


Madam Speaker, we all have pride in our security agencies but I am a little disappointed in the minister responsible for them today, first for not introducing debate on the bill, and second, for having the gall to reference my letter to him in debate, my letter which was the first of two written in collaboration with the NDP to talk about this. The minister refused all meetings. He also refused meetings with some of the leading experts he quoted in his speech to get this right. My letter said a Privy Council appointment and the oaths ascribed to that should be part of this committee if the committee was going to see real information.

The government has so many exceptions to Bill C-22 that this committee would just be window dressing. We want to see amendments, as does the NDP, so that we can make this work from a political basis and for our practical security needs.

I would remind the minister that when he was involved as House leader in the Milliken decision with respect to Afghan detainee documents, he demanded such disclosure of information to members of Parliament. Now he is denying that same disclosure. Which member is it? Is it the member for Regina—Wascana now or the member for Wascana in 2010 whose words in this place should ring true? I would like the member to square that circle.

I would also like the minister to say why he voted Motion No. 431 for the election of chairs and now refuses to allow a chair to be elected? Why does he now not seem to respect the privilege outlined in the Speaker Milliken decision? He is talking about earning trust, yet he denied the ability to work with the opposition to get this right.

We hope this debate is an opportunity for the minister to listen and make the amendments needed.



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