Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Whatever happened to the NDP's 10-day ultimatum?

Yes, bear with me, it's back to the O’Connor/Hillier detainee document classification scandal. Remember that? If you don't the government’s strategy of silence and stonewalling has worked. Such is how it goes when the HoC isn’t in session and the media have short attention-spans.

Anyway, you may remember that back a few weeks ago, after the Liberals had been pushing this issue for a week, NDP defence critic Dawn Black made a media splash by issuing a news release that promised unless O’Connor explained himself within 10 days…

…Black will make a formal request under Standing Order 106 (4) for the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence to convene and discuss this matter on 48 hours notice and to call such witnesses as it wishes including O'Connor, the Deputy Minister, the Chief of Defence Staff and all relevant officials involved in this decision.
That release was issued July 17th. That’s 20 calendar days ago. Or 14 working days with the civic holiday factored in. Still, not a peep from O’Connor, let alone a formal letter of explanation. Their strategy is clear: keep quiet and hope it goes away.

And also not a peep from the NDP about the passing of the deadline, or Black making a formal request to call back the defence committee. I trust that will soon be forthcoming, and that the ultimatum wasn’t just intended to garner some quick and easy media headlines? Or maybe they just forgot to issue a release.

I’m disappointed this issue seems to have fallen off the Liberals’ radar too. It’s unfortunate, given that Denis Coderre was out in front of this a week before the NDP caught-on. If the NDP isn’t going to follow through on its threat perhaps the Liberals should. Because we can’t let this one go unchallenged.

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A Eliz. said...

oops BEAR, not BARE

Jeff said...

What once does while reading blogs is their own business...but yeah, typo. :)

bza said...

If my memory of parliamentary procedures are correct, standing orders can only be responded to while the House is in session.

So perhaps the Defence Minister doesn't actually have to respond until the house resumes?