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Another reason for prorogation; killing off the Afghanistan Committee?

There was some brief discussion about this in one of my comment threads yesterday, but it’s been reinforced today. An interesting bit of information in a CP release today which talks about the Conservative government relenting and paying off diplomat Richard Colvin’s legal bills – as he was entitled to receive. It’s to do with the Afghanistan Committee that Colvin testified at, and which is the precursor to all of this prorogation stuff. Check this part out about the Afghanistan Committee:

…It’s not clear, however, whether the committee charged with investigating Colvin’s claims will be resurrected once Parliament reconvenes in March given that the unanimous consent of all parties in the House of Commons would be needed to re-establish it.

So in otherwards, if the Conservatives refuse to give assent in the House, they can prevent the Committee from being re-formed to continue hearings – which is the real reason that they prorogued Parliament – because they didn’t like the accountability the opposition parties were trying to hold them to. After all the displeasure they’ve received over this prorogation stunt, I find it hard to believe even they would go this far; it would cement the anger people feel over this, and why the CAPP group got so big in the first place, and it would reinforce the notion to the public that the Conservatives are trying to avoid Parliamentary accountability – on this issue and in general.

UPDATE @ 2:48 pm: The Conservative Government has quickly reacted to these rumblings, and if we take their statement at face value and their word, appears not to want to go that route either.

H/T Penlan.

9 comments to Another reason for prorogation; killing off the Afghanistan Committee?

  • Good news, but I don;t need a ‘Seabreeze SF12ST Off the Wall ThermaFlo.’

    Good news that the committee will continue. *whew*

    Thee may be little there to be found, but then why all the noise and tactics from the Government? Regardless, an inquiry is really called for at this point.

    Hopefully, we will soon see.

  • Re: Mark’s point, the order would be effective in any event. Here’s the relevant text of the motion:

    That, given the undisputed privileges of Parliament under Canada’s constitution, including the absolute power to require the government to produce uncensored documents when requested, and given the reality that the government has violated the rights of Parliament by invoking the Canada Evidence Act to censor documents before producing them, the House urgently requires access to the following documents in their original and uncensored form:

    accordingly the House hereby orders that these documents be produced in their original and uncensored form forthwith.

  • From CanWest :
    “The government has opened the way for more formal hearings on the Afghan detainees affair, pledging Wednesday to reconvene the special Commons committee on Afghanistan when Parliament resumes in early March.

    “Afghanistan remains a public policy priority and the special committee on Afghanistan will be reconstituted once the new session begins,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.”

    You can read the article here:
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Afghan+hearings+restart+March/2492668/story.html

  • S

    Are you saying that the documents will be released to the committee, except the committee doesn’t exist, so Harper, having released the docs, will not be in contempt, but no one will see them?

    Yikes!

  • If I am not mistaken, the establishment and continued existence of the committee was a condition for the LPC supporting the extension to 2011.

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    Would that render the motion voted in parliament nul, i.e., was it requesting that the government hand documents to the committee?

  • They may try, if they think the benefits of refusing outweigh allowing the committee to continue.

    However, the Order of Parliament demanding the documents be released still stand… but are the documents explicitly to be released to Parliament or to the committee? Worth checking. If the committee doesn’t exist…

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