National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act
Mr. Speaker, there are certainly no members in the House of Commons who use their privilege to speak on occasions more than my friend from Winnipeg North. I would note that my colleague and friend from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is on his heels when it comes to speaking the most in the House, so he had better stand up more often to keep that title.
The member spoke about the charter, which we respect a great deal. He should also respect the privilege of parliamentarians. Since he speaks in the House more than anyone else, he should want to make sure that parliamentarians have unfettered access to holding the government to account. Speaker Milliken, the member’s former colleague, said that it was an undisputed right of parliamentarians. This bill would violate that undisputed right.
I could have stood on a point of privilege rather than on debate, but I want to work with the government. I have tried since March. I said that this issue is not just a Liberal or a Conservative issue. I mentioned my friend from Malpeque. Huge Segal, the Conservative senator, had a bill on this issue. Conservatives support the supremacy of Parliament perhaps far more than the Liberals do.
In my preparations for this debate, I talked to Ron Atkey and Chuck Strahl, both distinguished former Conservative parliamentarians who have eminent respect and knowledge about security. It is about time the government listened to them as well.