Friday, December 11, 2009

The Liberal Party's Double Standards on Disclosure

Blacked out documents for income trust investors: acceptable
Blacked out documents for Afghan detainees: wholly unacceptable

What gives with these Liberal Double Standards on the need for disclosure? Do the Liberals need sign-off from Power Corporation before they seek the truth about government policies and actions? Evidently so:

December 11, 2009

Liberals call for MacKay to bring unredacted documents to committee

OTTAWA – Liberals have just called for Defence Minister Peter MacKay and General Walter Natynczyk to appear before Parliament’s Afghanistan committee next week, and expect that the Minister will comply with the will of Parliament and bring the unedited documents surrounding the Afghan detainee controversy.

“We expect Mr. MacKay to obey the will of the Majority of MPs who voted in the House of Commons to have the government release all documentation – unredacted and unedited – so that we can properly determine exactly what the government knew about Afghan detainee transfers, and when,” said Liberal Defence Critic Ujjal Dosanjh.

Last night, the House of Commons passed a Liberal Opposition Day motion ordering the government to provide previously undisclosed and redacted documents to Parliamentarians for review, following the revelation by Chief of Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk that documentation conclusively proves it was known in 2006 that Canadian-transferred Afghan detainees were tortured.

“The Conservatives’ argument for refusing disclosure just doesn’t wash,” said Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert, Vice Chair of the Special Standing Committee on Afghanistan. “Parliament has the capacity to deal with sensitive information in a responsible manner, in a way that will not harm our national security or our soldiers on the ground. We are prepared to work out an arrangement that is mindful of national security.”

“The bottom line is that Stephen Harper can do this the respectful way and comply with a Parliamentary vote, or he can do it the hard way. Parliament has all of the tools it needs to enforce its orders and to obtain the information requested,” said Mr. Dosanjh.

Mr. Dosanjh said the secretive manner in which this government continues to operate – the cover-ups, hiding of evidence, contradictions, intimidation of witnesses and censoring of politically damaging documents – is why an independent public inquiry is needed.

“All you have to do is look at how other countries – the UK, the U.S., the Netherlands, New Zealand – have openly dealt with the issue of Afghan detainee transfers to see that this Conservative government stands alone in its refusal to be open and transparent,” he said.


Dr Mike said...

Blacked-out pages = hiding something.

They are like anonymous blog posters who hide their identity , it is hard to have respect for anyone who uses this tactic.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...


How can you compare these two situations? One is a matter of international law, war, and torture of human beings. The other is far from it. That isn't to say it is ok for the income trust docs to be withheld, but it quite a leap to compare it to potential torture.

Carrie Tait
National Post

CAITI said...


I make no such comparison and do not infer such a comparison is being made here. I do however make the comparison about a uniform standard on the need for disclosure. See the difference?

Meanwhile you are jumping to conclusions to say that “torture of human beings” actually took place, which is not to say it did not, and which is why the documents are so essential before we establish guilt or innocence without evidence, as occurred with the income trusts fraud of a policy. Due process still counts for something, does it not? Journalists of all people, should not jump to conclusions..;.or take things for granted as they did on the income trust issue.....BIG TIME.

Meanwhile, why is “International law” so all compelling concerning possible torture and need for disclosure to prove or disprove such allegations and yet domestic law is so weak concerning proof about the very reasons behind why major tax law was implemented? Is that because domestic law allows taxpayers to be lied to and ripped off, but international standard are far more strict and robust?

No other conclusion can be reached.

This is a clear case of double standards and the Liberals pursuing one matter with vigour and the other with total neglect.

Brent Fullard

CanadianSense said...

Agreed. Well said,