‘I find that to be close to offensive’


Less than a week after the government’s man pontificated on what was, or wasn’t, revealed in unredacted versions of detainee documents, the Military Police Complaints Commission is told it will be allowed to see whatever the government says it can see whenever the government decides the commission can see it. Glenn Stannard, the former Windsor police chief who now presides over the MPCC, isn’t impressed.

“The documents will be given to your counsel when they are good and ready,” Justice Department lawyer Alain Prefontaine told the complaint commission.

The tone of Mr. Prefontaine’s response prompted astonishment from Glenn Stannard, the acting chair of the commission. “I find that to be close to offensive, not only to this panel but also to the public,” Mr. Stannard said. “The government of Canada can’t tell us how long it’s going to take to get the documents?”

More from the Canadian Press, Star, Canwest and Sun.


‘I find that to be close to offensive’

  1. So is Mr. Prefontaine just channeling the attitude of the current government, or did he come by this arrogant disdain for accountability all by himself?

    • You know, you're right. I've been having these horrible nightmares that I can't stop parroting Conservative party talking points. Geez, maybe it was something I ate.

      That Michael Ignatieff is one handsome dude, eh?

      • He sure is. But I still think david Suzuki is way studlier!

        You know, I've been thinking about registering my name here on the macleans comment boards so that people can keep count of all the thumbs up I get. I'd hate to have someone steal my anonymous lack of identity. Wouldn't want anyone to think I was a neo-con or some party operative hack. who would agree with withholdiing documents from a parliamentary committee.

        • No no no.
          Peter MacKay is waaaay studlier.
          Oh! Oh! Lie to me Peter! Lie to me!!!

    • Well, it's hard to tell, but I think I'll put common man and wilson down as two votes for the "This is Stannard's arrogance on display, and not reflective of the attitude of the government" view of the situation.

      It is however possible from their comments that both feel that it's entirely appropriate for a justice department lawyer to tell the Chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission that his entirely legitimate inquiries will be answered when the government is "good and ready". I thought most conservatives had more respect for, well, simply that most conservatives had more respect than that, but I could be wrong.

      • "I thought most conservatives had more respect for, well, simply that most conservatives had more respect than that, but I could be wrong."

        Most people from Reform wing would be angered because we tend to think of public servants as our employees, not our bosses or part of priestly class that can do as it wishes. But lawyers always talk like this, as do bureaucrats.

        I think Prefontaine has been working for government too long and it does not matter if he is conservative/liberal/progressive because he has arrogance of bureaucrat who believes he knows best.

        • Our Reform wing Prime Minister seems pretty happy with this attitude.

  2. Stannard is astonished? Did he just move to Canada?

  3. Emergency PMO talking point: Mr Prefontaine simply made it clear that we will table documents when we have reviewed them and ascertained they are good documents, and ready for tabling.

  4. The Justice Department has been leading the coverup for three years. They're just getting testy now that their over-redactions are being exposed.

    I guess if the counsel won't answer the question, we need to hear from the client. Will Rob Nicholson be appearing to answer the question?

  5. A fool and his money are soon parted; and we pick up the tab for the clowns.

    Our money hard at work, obfuscating what they are doing with our money.

    We are all taken for fools.

  6. enforce the terms of the order passed in December, already!

  7. Glen Stannard should talk, he over-saw a corrupt police force in Windsor, Ontario and he himself avoided DUI's and spousal abuse claims !!!

    • Didnt take long for the PMO to issue this talking point.

      • Well at least they changed from the usual "Why do you hate the troops (insert name here)?"

        • And went with the usual "the messenger is evil".

    • Ah, there we go.

    • So then what you're saying is, "If *he* finds it offensive, it should probably be considered criminal." Is that it?

  8. It's both arrogant AND offensive. Breath-takingly so, in fact.

  9. So let me get this straight.

    A lawyer paid for by taxpayers is telling a commission, paid for by taxpayers, that his client, whose salary is paid by taxpayers, will turn over information regarding possible abuses committed by representatives and employees of taxpayers whenever it suits him?


  10. Government bureaucrats aren't exactly renowned for their efficiency, courtesy, and willingness to go out of their way to help customers (i.e. taxpayers). It's a monopoly after all – there is no repercussion if the customer goes away angry.

    • Well, technically, there IS a repercussion, eventually, but I'd say we're a pretty far way away from open revolution.

  11. We've always known that there are a lot of a***oles in this government. But the question, increasingly, has to be asked: are there anything but a***oles in this government?

    • And note how quickly Kory Tenekye got himself out of the PMO. Kudos for him.

  12. Prefontaine's responses seem to be not only arrogant and unprofessional, but like he's trying to instigate a showdown. Is he under instructions from Harper to play it this way?

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