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Canada Liberals continue filibuster over WE affair at Commons finance committee

12:06  29 october  2020
12:06  29 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

NDP to seek compromise on request for WE Charity docs after Liberal filibuster

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OTTAWA - The House of Commons finance committee - which Liberal members of the committee have resumed their filibuster of a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair

OTTAWA—Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair . The finance committee spent 11 hours debating amendments to a Conservative motion denouncing

OTTAWA — The House of Commons finance committee — which could be holding consultations on an upcoming federal budget that is expected to contain historic deficits and unprecedented spending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic — continues to be stuck on the WE Charity affair.

  Liberals continue filibuster over WE affair at Commons finance committee © Provided by The Canadian Press

Liberal members of the committee have resumed their filibuster of a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair amount to a breach of the committee's privileges.

The committee had ordered that the documents be released, without any redactions, to the parliamentary law clerk, who would then decide what information needed to be blacked out to protect personal privacy or cabinet confidences.

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Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday, with no end in sight, as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair .

Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday, with no end in sight, as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair .

Instead, senior public servants blacked out some information before releasing the documents to the committee.

The country's top public servant, Privy Council clerk Ian Shugart, wrote to the committee Tuesday, offering to testify about why the redactions were made.

Liberal MPs are arguing — at great length — that Shugart and other public servants should be allowed to explain themselves before being condemned by the committee.

They have proposed an amendment to suspend the Conservative motion until the committee hears from the public servants and has a chance to compare the documents released by the government and those released by the law clerk after he made additional redactions.

Law clerk Philippe Dufresne, who has said the government redactions did not comply with the committee's order, would also be asked to testify under the Liberal amendment.

O'Toole says creating committee to scrutinize Liberal spending, ethics is not grounds for election

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Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair . The finance committee spent 11 hours debating amendments to a Conservative motion denouncing

The House of Commons ethics committee has punted a decision on whether it should launch its own probe of the WE Charity scandal to next week after Liberal MPs filibustered Youth Minister Bardish Chagger said yesterday at Commons finance committee that WE stood to receive .5 million if it

But New Democrat MP Peter Julian argued Wednesday that the amendment is a "sneaky" way to effectively kill the Conservative motion because the Speaker will only rule on matters of privilege that are presented to him promptly.

In letters accompanying the documents, Shugart and deputy ministers of various departments said they blacked out things like the cellphone numbers and email addresses of WE Charity officials, other than co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, references to family members in some emails, and irrelevant portions of cabinet memoranda that dealt with other issues.

Shugart said he agreed to release information that could be an invasion of privacy under the Privacy Act and which would normally be considered cabinet confidences.

By refusing to hear from Shugart, Liberal MP Annie Koutrakis said opposition members seem to be saying "he's not to be trusted."

This brawl in the Commons may end in a draw — but there will be others

  This brawl in the Commons may end in a draw — but there will be others That sound you hear emanating from Ottawa — a dull rumble of umbrage and purported principles — is the sound of your democracy at work. Maybe it's not the sound of your democracy working beautifully — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh used the word "farce" — but your democracy is still basically working. Minority parliaments such as the one we have now — where no one party has a majority of seats in the House of Commons — always seem very good in theory. In a minority situation (in theory), the government of the day can't run roughshod over the opposition, parties have to work together to find compromises and Parliament is in a much stronger position to hold t

OTTAWA — Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair . The finance committee spent 11 hours debating amendments to a Conservative motion denouncing

OTTAWA — Two House of Commons committee meetings dragged on for hours Thursday as Liberal MPs continued to filibuster opposition efforts to reopen their investigations into the WE Charity affair . The finance committee spent 11 hours debating amendments to a Conservative motion denouncing

Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos at one point suggested Wednesday's meeting could drag on well into the night and Thursday morning. And he declared that he was prepared to "absolutely go to the hilt" in defence of the integrity of public servants.

Liberal member Julie Dzerowicz argued that the objective of the amendment is to break the impasse that has paralyzed the committee and allow it to get on with pre-budget consultations.

"We are wasting a lot of time," she said. "And I think that in the end it really is Canadians who end up suffering."

Julian countered that the Liberals should let the Conservative motion come to a vote if they really want to move on.

The controversy revolves around the government's decision in June to pay WE Charity $43.5 million to administer a student services grant program, despite the organization's close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family.

WE backed out of the arrangement within days and the program was subsequently cancelled.

Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau, who also has close ties to WE, have apologized for not recusing themselves from the decision to involve the charity. Both are under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Liberals continue filibuster over WE affair at Commons finance committee .
OTTAWA — The House of Commons finance committee — which could be holding consultations on an upcoming federal budget that is expected to contain historic deficits and unprecedented spending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic — continues to be stuck on the WE Charity affair. Liberal members of the committee have resumed their filibuster of a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair amount to a breach of the committee's privileges.

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This is interesting!