Sent: Sat, April 16, 2011 5:50:42 PM
Subject: New Democrats push for early release of Auditor General G8-G20 report
Thank you for your message outlining your desire to have the Auditor
General report on the G8/G20 meetings made public before Election Day.
I fully agree that Canadians have a right to know what is in the report
before May 2. We have already seen at least two leaks to the media of
details from draft versions. Therefore, we think that it is in the best
interests of all parties involved to clear the air, and only making the
full and final report public would accomplish this.
On April 12, I wrote to Auditor General Sheila Fraser and all Party
leaders proposing a solution to the current impasse. Regretfully, Ms.
Fraser remains entrenched in her position that the final report should
not be released until after the election, as per her April 13 reply to
me. For your interest, I have attached copies of these two letters.
Again, thank you for informing me of your interest to know the truth
about this serious matter.
All the best,
Leader of Canada's New Democrats
Jack Layton: Just who are you trying to fool?
Failed motion to release AG report during election not 'respectful': NDP MP
By Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News April 13, 2011
A New Democrat is defending his decision not to support a motion that may have permitted the immediate and full release of the auditor general's report into G8 and G20 spending now at the centre of a brewing political controversy.
After a draft of the report — critical of the Harper government — was leaked on Monday, all parties began calling on Auditor General Sheila Fraser to release the final version.
Fraser rebuffed those requests, saying she could only do that after the May 2 election, when Parliament was sitting.
But it also came to light this week that members of a parliamentary committee anticipated this problem two days before the writ was dropped and sought to pass a motion that would allow the report to be released mid-election.
The Liberal motion, supported by the Bloc Quebecois, ultimately failed after the Conservatives — who now want it released because they say the final version isn't nearly as scathing as the draft — voted against it.
But so, too, did NDP MP David Christopherson.
Christopherson, who held the Ontario riding of Hamilton Centre, defended his position Monday just hours before the televised English-language debate, which will most certainly address the latest controversy.
"Shortly before this election, some MPs on the public accounts committee sought to suddenly change the rules so the auditor general would be obligated to release her next report in the middle of an election campaign. There was no notice given or time to study the implications," Christopherson said.
"Of course I realized there was some partisan advantage for me, and other MPs, if I allowed this to happen. But it was not in keeping with the democratic traditions of Parliament nor was it respectful of the Office of the Auditor," he added. "The hypocrisy of the move was too much."
While some have suggested the current controversy over the report may have been a non-issue had the motion passed — the report would then have been posted by the Speaker on the parliamentary website — NDP officials said it's not that easy.
Because the motion didn't have unanimous approval, it would have required a vote in the House of Commons. Since the government fell the next day on a non-confidence motion, they say that wouldn't have happened anyway.
Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Failed+motion+release+report+during+election+respectful/4601992/story.html#ixzz1JkPWxDtE
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted by Brent Fullard at 11:34 PM