‘Why is the government refusing to have a public inquiry to lay to rest some of these allegations?’


Apropos of Abousfian Abdelrazik (remember him?) and the questions still unanswered, here is the text of questions posed by Stephen Harper for Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Nov. 5, 2003.

Maher Arar was imprisoned and tortured in a Syrian prison. Canadian officials may have been involved in his deportation. Yesterday in an all party committee of the House, members of all parties basically unanimously demanded that the government hold a public inquiry into this situation. Why is the government refusing to have a public inquiry to lay to rest some of these allegations?

Mr. Speaker, it is completely acceptable that we would get the facts from other countries but we should be getting the facts from our own government of its role in this case. Consular officials visited Mr. Arar in New York and Syria, yet somehow the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Solicitor General all refused to accept any responsibility. What is the government hiding? Why does the government refuse to disclose all of the facts of its role in this case?

Mr. Speaker, on this side we are prepared to have a public inquiry to get to the bottom of the truth. The government should be prepared to do exactly the same thing. Mr. Arar, members of the opposition and members of the government are asking for a public inquiry. The Prime Minister’s own whip says that no stone should be left unturned. I believe the Prime Minister’s successor will hold a public inquiry if he does not, so will the Prime Minister, for the benefit of all of us–


‘Why is the government refusing to have a public inquiry to lay to rest some of these allegations?’

  1. Aaron, do you feel that there should be a public inquiry regarding the Abdelrazik case? I haven't been following the story as closely as you. What are some of the questions that have been left unanswered?

  2. I'm not Aaron, but I think that you can make a pretty good case that there is even *more* of a need for an inquiry in the Abdelrazik case, since it allegedly involves far more direct intervention by CSIS.

    • Thanks! For the benefit of huckleberries like me, it would be helpful if Aaron would make that case, or link to someone who has already made it. As much as I enjoy reading Harper's 2003 Arar questions, I'm not sure that it sheds much light on the Abdelrazik story.

      • That's not what this post is about.

  3. A classic case of it being easy for the Opposition to criticize but once they're in government their righteous moral outrage and purported efficacy disappears.

  4. Hey, guys, it's less than a month before a month before a possible month-long election. Are y'all excited or what?

  5. This just in: opposition parties instinctively knee-jerk at the government and have for a depressingly long time?