… with Michael Barrett and Pierre Poilievre when they propose to create a new parliamentary committee to investigate the WE Charity scandal. I agree that the scandal needs a thorough investigation. I would prefer a public, judicial inquiry, but that will not happen until we have a Conservative majority government. Any new committee will just be stonewalled and frustrated by Liberal
drones backbenchers as are other committees today.
What is needed is to split up the existing Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, (ETHI). The structure (and opposition member traditionally chairs it) should remain the same but the Access to Information and Privacy wrk should be reassigned to other committees. Consideration should be given to making it a joint Senate/House of Commons committee, like the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) with a similarly broad mandate to review the conduct of all parliamentarians, including sitting prime ministers. The specialized Ethics Committee should have a legal staff and the power to demand most documents ~ how to handle cabinet confidences is a tricky issue. As with NSICOP, special security clearances and oaths of office may be required.
This may not be a popular idea because such a committee will be able to investigate, within self-imposed, reason, almost anyone, including e.g. a Conservative prime minister, for any reasonably founded suspicion of unethical conduct.
But, the good thing about what Messers Barrett and Poilievre are doing is that, despite the best efforts of our ethically challenged prime minister to change the channel, they are keeping the issue alive and in the media. Sooner or later the documents that Justin Trudeau’s staff blacked out will be uncovered; the truth will come out, step-by-step; some people will be embarrassed; perhaps some worse consequences will befall some other people. Cover-ups don’t work for ever.