Question Period Live

QP Live: Who makes a good privacy watchdog?

Your daily dose of political theatre

Adrian Wyld/CP

Adrian Wyld/CP

Your average New Democrat salivates reflexively whenever a Liberal and a Tory agree about anything. Nothing’s better for the orange team than an opportunity to oppose the blue team and the red team in a single breath. Today, Daniel Therrien provides such an opportunity.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper nominated Therrien, the Department of Justice’s deputy attorney general for public safety, defence and immigration, as Canada’s next privacy commissioner. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was displeased, and outlined his concerns in a letter to the Prime Minister. CBC’s Rosemary Barton revealed some of the missive’s details.

“I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Therrien has neither the neutrality nor the necessary detachment to hold this position,” Mulcair wrote.

The leader of the Official Opposition points to Therrien’s involvement in crafting some of the very pieces of legislation he would have to evaluate as privacy commissioner.

For instance, Therrien was involved in negotiating the privacy rules around sharing information for the Canada-U.S. security perimeter deal.

Mulcair goes on to tell Harper, “It would be imprudent to place a former civil servant in charge of warning the public about policies he helped design and implement.”

Barton soon tweeted that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau considered Therrien an “excellent candidate” for the job. Karl Belanger, Mulcair’s principal secretary, replied, rather sarcastically, that Trudeau’s opinion was “incredible.” The opposition only gets what it wants when its two principal parties join forces. Not going to happen as Therrien’s appointment goes through the motions.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We livestream and liveblog all the action.