Kelly McParland: It's not about Covid. It's about health care, and Erin O'Toole should maybe take advantage
The federal Conservative party needs an issue it can use to differentiate itself from the Liberals, appeal to Canadians and confirm itself as a serious alternative government with sound ideas and attractive policies. Hmmmm, let’s see. Whatever could it turn to? What’s going on out there in winterland that might hold a strong appeal to a broad mass of voters? (Scratches head. Thinks real hard …) OK, here’s a hint: HEALTH CARE! (Was that subtle enough?) A memo must have circulated within the Ottawa pundit club, as suddenly there’s a rash of articles noticing that things aren’t as they should be in the venerated Canadian health-care system, which, until recently, we insistently a
OTTAWA — There are no Conservative MPs among the newly named slate of parliamentarians to oversee the security and intelligence community following the party's decision to boycott the body.
Liberal MPs Patricia Lattanzio and James Maloney are joining the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, known as NSICOP, while Liberals Brenda Shanahan and Peter Fragiskatos — as well as Conservatives Leona Alleslev and Rob Morrison — have left.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole pulled his party's MPs from the committee last spring to protest the Liberal government's refusal to hand over unredacted documents related to the firing of two scientists from Canada's highest-security laboratory.
Lebanon Hezbollah and Amal Groups end their government boycott
Lebanon-crisis / Government (photo): Lebanon - Hezbollah and Amal Groups end their boycott of government Beirut, January 15 (Reuters) - Powerful Lebanese Hezbollah and Amal groups announced on Saturday their intention to end their boycott of government sessions, paving the way for a resumption of ministers' meetings after three months of judgment during which the economic crisis has aggravated and the currency. currency depreciated more yet.
In a Dec. 17 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, O'Toole said the Conservative boycott of the all-party committee would continue in the new session of Parliament until the wraps are taken off those documents.
Opposition parties banded together last spring to order the Public Health Agency of Canada to hand over the documents to the now-defunct special committee on Canada-China relations.
The Liberal government gave them to NSICOP instead, arguing that it was the more appropriate body to review sensitive material that could jeopardize national security.
Video: Today in History for January 13th (The Canadian Press)
That committee, created in 2017 specifically to review sensitive matters, submits classified reports to the prime minister, which are later tabled in Parliament in edited form. Its members must have top security clearance and are bound to secrecy.
Tories urged to reconsider compromise on documents about fired scientists
OTTAWA — Government House leader Mark Holland is urging the Conservatives to reconsider their rejection of a compromise proposal that would allow MPs to finally see unredacted documents related to the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest-security laboratory. In a letter Tuesday to his Conservative counterpart, Gerard Deltell, Holland reiterates his proposal to allow a special all-party, security-cleared committee to review all the documents, aided by three former senior judges who would decide whether or how any disputed material could be released publicly without jeopardizing national security.
House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota ruled last year that NSICOP is not a committee of Parliament and, therefore, not an acceptable alternative to having a Commons committee examine the documents concerning the fired scientists.
In his December letter, O'Toole said NSICOP "has become a committee of the Prime Minister's Office" and has been used by Trudeau's government "to avoid accountability and that is diminishing its credibility."
He said changes are required to the legislation creating the committee to establish it as a standing Commons committee that reports to Parliament, not the prime minister.
The Prime Minister's Office said Thursday that all recognized party leaders in the House of Commons and all leaders and facilitators in the Senate were consulted ahead of the latest appointments to NSICOP. It added that O'Toole "chose not to recommend the participation of any Conservative members of Parliament."
The two newcomers to the committee join Liberal MP David McGuinty, who is the chairman, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, New Democrat MP Don Davies, Bloc Québécois MP Stéphane Bergeron, and senators Vern White, Frances Lankin and Dennis Dawson.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version may have left the impression there are now more Liberal MPs on the committee. In fact, the party is represented by the same number of members as previously.