Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oversight calls ignored

Not all Canadian senators have been seized with the prime minister's sudden desire to send for the tumbrels before the trial. Some have been paying attention to other news stories, and among that number are several who argued last week in favour of increased parliamentary oversight of CSE.

You can read the debate here: Debates of the Senate (Hansard), 24 October 2013.

Tl;dr: "Listen" was said a lot, but very little listening was done.

(H/T to Alex Pensato.)

[Update 3 November 2013: More non-answers on oversight and other issues here: Debates of the Senate (Hansard), 28 October 2013.]

In a similar vein, earlier today NDP defence critic Jack Harris sought, but failed to achieve, the unanimous consent of the House of Commons for the following motion:
That (a) a special committee on security and intelligence oversight be appointed to study and make recommendations with respect to the appropriate method of parliamentary oversight of Canadian government policies, regulations, and activities in the area of intelligence, including those of all departments, agencies, and review bodies, civilian and military, involved in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence for the purpose of Canada’s national security; (b) in the course of its work the committee should consider the methods of oversight adopted by other countries and their experiences and make recommendations appropriate to Canada's unique circumstances; (c) the Committee be composed of 12 members, 7 from the Conservative Party, 4 from the New Democratic Party, and 1 from the Liberal Party, to be named following the usual consultations with the Whips and filed with the Clerk of the House no later than November 8, 2013; (d) the Chair be a member of the Conservative Party and that there be one Vice-Chair from each of the opposition parties; (e) the first meeting be held before November 22, 2013; (f) membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2); (g) changes in the membership of the special committee be effective immediately after notification by the Whip has been filed with the Clerk of the Committee; (h)the special committee be granted all of the powers of a standing committee, as provided in the Standing Orders; and (i) the special committee report its findings and recommendations to the House no later than May 30, 2014.

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