The negotiations (III)


The Prime Minister’s Office has sent out its version of events.

It was a productive first meeting. We hope to meet again as early as possible next week. Ministers Hill and Nicholson went to the first meeting with a spirit of openness in order to reach a compromise while respecting the government’s legal obligations.

Apparently government whip Gordon O’Connor was also present. Reference to the “government’s legal obligations” is perhaps relevant to this discussion.


The negotiations (III)

  1. "Ministers Hill and Nicholson went to the first meeting with a spirit of openness in order to reach a compromise while respecting the government's legal obligations."

    Ok. Can someone please explain to me what "legal obligations" these clowns keep referring to?

    Where does it say in Canadian Law that the Prime Minister can refuse to comply with Parliament on the grounds that it would infringe on natioal security?

  2. They're just grasping to hold on to that "show no weakness" ideal.

  3. For the Hundredth time! The use of the word "Compromise" is Just CON Spin. Milliken expects Co-operation, not Compromise. The Cons are using this term over and over in Hopes that Canadians will believe it was Milliken's. It was not. He is Demanding Compliance. He is Demanding the Documents, un-redacted and delivered promptly to members of parliament from all parties. There is no room for compromise, the Opposition is not about to be held in Contempt. The Governement is!____Co-operate now Mr. Harper, or face very serious charges of Contempt. ____Do not let these Cons dictate the terms of engagement here, they are being dressed down, they are being held accountable.

  4. Miliken: "As has been noted earlier, the procedural authorities are categorical in repeatedly asserting the powers of the House in ordering the production of documents. No exceptions are made for any category of Government documents, even those related to national security."

  5. The government has exactly one legal obligation: comply with the order.

  6. Then why are the opposition parties meeting with the government to discuss the issue? Perhaps because they recognize, as does the government, that there are important issues of security that must be addressed?

  7. Correct, as far as the Speaker's ruling goes on purely theoretical constitutional terms. Is it correct politically or in terms of responsible government to take information involving national security (to say nothing of the safety of individuals) and place it on the public record? No. And fortunately it does appear at least some of the opposition parties recognize their obligations in this respect.

  8. That's how i'm reading it. They are only "negotiating" methods if no method can be found the opposition will be free to and very likely will table and pass a "Request" that the PM and his caucus be held in Contempt. These are very serious charges. The Cons are already screaming Adscam, at every possible moment, to threaten an election. Creepy lot, that they are!

  9. I'm going to copy and paste in this comment each and every time I hear the CON spin on this.

  10. Who is the "creepy lot"? The Opposition? That is a bit harsh, although one suspects all their interest in Afghan detainees will wane substantially if they can't use the information in the unredacted documents publicly. After all, their goal has been to embarass the government, not provide redress for Taliban prisoners for how they were treated a year or two ago.

  11. "Ministers Hill and Nicholson went to the first meeting with a spirit of openness in order to reach a compromise while respecting the government's legal obligations."

    This is why I was angered by Milliken's decision to do nothing the other day and give the initiative back to Harper. PM has been cocking a snook at Parliament for the past few months by not handing over documents and Speaker does not nothing about it. Now we are getting this rubbish about " .. meeting with a spirit of openness …".

    I have this sense that neither Libs or Cons want election over this but Parliament is meant to be supreme so Libs have to appear to be doing something. I think parties will come to half-assed agreement that will satisfy no one but will give appearance that Parliament's honour has been restored while 'respecting' right of exec to protect national security.

  12. The opposition are not obliged to enter these negotiations. They are doing so in good faith to work out reasonable procedures for reviewing the documents without necessarily releasing them publicly. This might be the right thing to do, ethically, but there is no legal requirement for them to do so. It is entirely at the discretion of Parliament whether and which documents are reviewed and whether they are released publicly.

  13. One thing you can be sure of Hill and Nicholson don't have a clue what Harper intends to do, and he's already made up his mind.
    Then there was the summer committee, was it on employment insurance? can't remember, set up the sole intention of not accomplishing anything.
    Then on Geurgis, Nicholson admitted that although he is Justice Minister, he had no idea what the serious allegations were that led to her being booted from caucus.

  14. Well, that is a matter of some uncertainty. Certainly the government has the obligation to provide the information. On the other hand, various statutes also require the government to take care of certain types of information in particular ways. Hopefully this won't be an issue much longer in any practical sense.

  15. I think every party recognizes that they have a duty to exercise care in terms of what information they release publicly. But they have no legal obligation.

  16. Now that Natynczyk has said that he has no problem with releasing the documents, does anyone seriously believe that the Harper party will agree with any compromise to release all the documents unredacted to anyone? This exercise has the same characteristics of their 'we don't want to re-open the abortion debate' spin – they simply do the opposite of what they say they're doing and expect us to congratulate them for it.

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