I always thought Canada was a democracy and Parliament, the maker of laws, was supreme. Apparently the governing Liberal Party and the Prime Minister don’t think so.
They are suing the Speaker of the House of Commons, an MP from their own party, over the release of doocuments that Parliament has asked for and the government refuses to provide. Apparently the Prime Minister once again thinks he is above the law.
I won’t bore you with all the details – you can look them up online. The issue revolves around the firing of two scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory. It is a tale with possible national security implications, not to mention the sending of deadly viruses in the mail. And perhaps spying by a hostile foreign nation.
It sounds like the plot for the latest Hollywood thriller – except the part where the country’s leader doesn’t want the people to know the truth and is going to court to try and stop them or their representatives from finding out what has happened. In this movie the PM is one of the bad guys.
There is precedent for the release of sensative material to Parliament. The previous Conservative government didn’t want to release documents relating to the Afghanistan war. Faced with parliamentary opposition, a deal was reached and a commitee was formed – and security concerns were addressed. Turns out they had nothing much to hide.
An offer of a similar procedure this time around was rejected. You have to wonder: What is the government trying to hide?
You would think the government suing Parliament through the person of the Speaker would be a big deal. From a procedural perspective you are right. But it seems to have barely made a splash in the news media.
This Prime Minister promised the most transparent government in Candian history. After six years he seems to have the most secretive one.
That is not good for democracy. Nor for Canada.
I find it difficult to believe that the court will side with the government on this one. Even the Liberals know that parliament is supreme.
But the Prime Minister is gambling that he can drag out a court case until after the next election. If he wins big, as he hopes and expects, then the new parliament can resind its request for information; his apparent cover-up will never be exposed.
Sadly, it seems he stands a good chance of pulling it off. The man has nice hair after all, and sounds sincere. What more could you ask from a leader?
Honesty and integrity? No longer Canadian values.
Once again today’s pictures are random travel images, something for those who aren’t interested in current events.