Some background: On April 27 last year, the speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken, ruled that the government had to comply with an Order from the parliamentary defense committee to allow said committee unfettered access to documents regarding potential Afghan detainee abuse. This Order was made on December 10, 2009, and eventually led the Conservative Party to prorogue parliament. Milliken’s April 27 ruling stated that the the government’s failure to comply with the Order constituted a breach of parliamentary privilege.
The Conservative government promptly approached the other parties, and asked that a compromise be considered, wherein selected members of the committee be allowed to vet documents prior to their release to the defense committee. At the time, I thought this was a compromise designed to waste time and that this sub-committee was simply a stalling tactic. I applauded the NDP’s decision not to participate in this sub-committee on the grounds that it was an unnecessary waste of time. The defense committee is comprised of individuals sworn to the privy council. They presumably can be trusted not to release secret information.
In December, Gilles Duceppe announced that the sub-committee was one month away from releasing documents to the committee. That statement was reported along with a Liberal statement on Macleans.ca here:
‘The process is a serious one’
Well, it’s been two months since that statement, deriding the federal NDP (and commenters such as myself) for our impatience with this process. Guess what? I’m still impatient. Given that today is Groundhog Day, I’m guessing that some spokesthingy is going to crawl out of their burrow, see their shadow, and declare six more
weeks months of darkness.