2,500 pages of what?


The government sent up Tom Lukiwski this morning to table some 2,500 pages of apparently redacted documents apparently related to the issue of Afghan detainees. The opposition parties are unimpressed.

The documents tabled today were not reviewed beforehand by Frank Iacobucci, the former Supreme Court justice seemingly mandated by the government to do just that.


2,500 pages of what?

  1. Justice Iacobucci should walk away from this. Not because I think he should stand up to the government, but because on all sides this is only going to become more of a partisan gongshow, and on a former Supreme Court Justice is too good for.

  2. I personally think this is all part of a Conservative plan to shape the optics of the detainee issue.

    Step one was Iacobucci

    Step two: The large number of ads on both radio, television and the internet, all trumpeting the Economic Action Plan. I see this as a (not so?) subtle way to keep the channel on the economy and away from that pesky "will of parliament" thing.

    Step three: As a show of good faith, appear to be cooperating by releasing documents

    Step four: If the opposition insists on pushing this, force an election, dig into deep pockets and literally flood the airwaves with a message of the economy , why are they against the troops and the need for a majority so that they can put an end to all the gamesmanship and get the job done

    While Mr Ignatieff has proved adept at shooting himself in the foot, I have to think that the longer the wait for an election, the more cracks that will appear in the Conservative government. This next election is likely Stephen Harper's last kick at the can and striking before the Liberals are election ready is likely a good move for him

    • The question would be referred to the Supreme Court before any election is held.

      I think one reason that the Tories are so focused on the economy is (partly) because it's what people want to hear. Will I have a job? How's the housing market? Are my stocks/funds doing well?

      Keeping the channel on the economy could very well be because it's what most people would like to follow, as opposed to some underhanded, sneaky chess move. The constant discussions on the Afghan detainee issue, while very important, is simply not on most people's radar.

      • I'm sure you mean "talk about being focussed on the economy".

        Because issues like changing the national anthem, introducing an international mother and child health initiative, wanting to make that initiative a priority at the G8, making even more announcements about "tough on crime" bills they will be introducing (again), making even more announcements about senate reform initiatives, attacking the Liberal's Canada 150 conference, etc. don't, to my simple mind, seem to be too focused on the economy.

  3. Grandstanding it seems. I thought there were thousands and thousands of pages.

    Iacobucci should see this for what it is and walk away. Who needs this nonsense at his age.

    He's the lead director on the Board of Timmies – I'm sure that should be lucrative enough to live on

  4. This appears to be the PMO is trying to give Speaker Milliken a little more reason – i.e., in addition to the Iacobucci gambit – to defer or deny the Parliamentary privilege claims. Milliken appears to be moderately to very conflict adverse, so I'm expecting the combination of the two PMO document plays will work and the Speaker will rule that Iacobucci should be given some time.

    If the Cons were itching for an early election, I doubt they would have done taken this additional step. However, if it does come to a confidence motion following a negative privilege ruling (i.e., in favour of the opposition), then having even more docs out provides the government with some additional political cover.

    I guess we wait for the reviews of the new material, but I expect little or nothing of substance.

    While I'm distressed at the games they are playing over the potential torture issue and their refused to comply with a Parliamentary order, you gotta give the PMO credit for playing this well from a purely and particularly vicious political perspective.

    • I'm sadly inclined to agree for the large part, but I'd say the PMO's tactic has less to do with any cunning on their part than with the general ineffectiveness of Milliken…

      Lax is dead-on, he's conflict adverse, and in some ways, it's served him well. After so many years as Speaker, accusations of bias have been exceedingly rare, for good reason. But at some point, he has got to put his foot down, tell people who are out of line that they're out of line, and enforce the rules of parliament.

      Impartiality through ineptitude isn't enough anymore – even if Milliken surprises me and order the release of the documents to parliament, we need a new Speaker.

      • Yes, after all, to be accused of bias, one must actually *do* something other than sit on their arse and get paid.

        Milliken seems to have mastered the latter.

        Oh.. sorry.. he stands up once in a while too.. my mistake.

  5. When I first read your "2,500 page of what" title I thought you meant the Income Tax Act.

  6. The motion said unredacted. These are heavily redacted. It should be fixed post haste or there should be consequences.

  7. I suppose Lax's view is the more likely one. But is there any chance the Tories have got wind the speaker is leaning towards the opposition. It's stiil a kind of pressure tactic [ political blackmail even??] and pretty much a finger to parliament, but i suppose it's allowing them to say they're being consistent.

    Isn't Lukiwski the guy who claimed on the house[ cbc] that in 140 years parliament had never ruled against the release of secret material? He was followed by Lee, who pointed out it had in fact happened on a number of occassions, as recently as 1991 i believe, when a very different CP leader was in office. I believe Tom is actually in some position of responsibility oddly enough.

  8. Is Justice Iac. actually doing any work?

    • $600/hr no timeline for deliverables provided…

      ..would you?

  9. PM… Please pull the plug now and get your majority. This will give the LIBs/NDPs/GRNs 4+ years, enough time for them to pull their heads out of their butts, recalibrate as a new entity that will give Canadians a viable alternative to the CPC. As it stands now LIB and NDP MPs appear more concerned in preserving their pensions in opposition then taking bold steps to oust the CPC!

  10. It's a delay tactic, just like prorogation, just like when they pulled this exact same trick on the Budget Office when it had the audacity to ask for the details supporting Harper's stimulus claims, details Harper promised to give and then Page had to fight to get. He too got thousands of pages of printed data without an index or anything to make it useful even though the Conservatives had the electronic files. We saw it when he launched a libel claim against the Liberals over the "financial considerations" the Conservatives offered Cadman for his vote.

    This is standard fare tactic for Harper. If you can't control the issue and it is hurting you, get it off the front page and delayed until as much latter as you can so the issue dies down, you have time to prepare a counter-narrative and or Canadians forget the details of the issue (allowing them to say whatever they want).

  11. 2,500 pages and nothin' on
    I can see by your eyes friend you're just about gone
    2,500 pages and nothin' on…
    2,500 pages and nothin

  12. So ridiculous it's shameful. Democracy and Parliament are not empty games. And they only become so if we let them. So stop this nonsense: uncensored docs now! Parliamentary sovereignty now! Democracy now!

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