Tortured math

by Aaron Wherry

When Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird turned up at the podium yesterday afternoon, he announced as follows.

Just now, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I tabled documents relating to Canadian-transferred Taliban prisoners reviewed as part of the Ad Hoc Committee process in the last Parliament.  This concludes that process which has cost Canadian taxpayers over $12 million.

As it turns out, the cost for the parliamentary review—in which documents were reviewed by an ad hoc committee of MPs and a panel of former judges—was something closer to $4.5 million.

Baird said the process cost $12 million, but a government official later admitted that amount includes the cost of producing and redacting documents for two proceedings at the Military Police Complaints Commission. The commission spent months conducting hearings on a complaint by Amnesty International. The cost to find and redact documents was $10 million, of which $7.5 million is due to the commission hearings, Baird spokesman Chris Day wrote in an email. ”The remaining $2 [million] relate to remuneration and disbursements associated with the work of the panel,” he wrote.




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