Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On distinctions

I've already pointed out the NDP's opportunity to differentiate itself from the Libs as a truly progressive party. And the Libs' corporatist votes against democratic decision-making and basic civil liberties will certainly help that cause.

But if it's possible to draw a clear distinction between Mulcair and Trudeau on basic knowledge of current events, then so much the better:
Mulcair told reporters after question period that the ruling did affirm that Page “had the right to demand those documents” (ie. the information from departments) in the first place.

He was referring to paragraph five of the ruling, which stated that, “neither on the basis of parliamentary privilege nor on the principles of statutory interpretation has Parliament reserved the right for itself to answer Mr. Page’s questions. That task falls upon this court.”

Mulcair told reporters that this effectively destroyed the Senate’s attempt to argue that the PBO’s mandate clarification had breached parliamentary privilege.

“The so-called privilege that existed of Parliament that the government was trying to set up as a barricade for him getting that information was false. That whole argument fell flat and the judge didn’t accept it,” he said.

Mulcair then looked to the future.

“I think that this decision is so solid and so categorical that the Conservatives can’t play their game of continuing to try to shut down the Parliamentary Budget Officer, that any future (PBO) will be able to use that judgment to demand the documents and everything will be fine with that,” he said. “I don’t think that any further litigation is required. I think that the judgment is crystal clear in that regard.”
A few minutes after Mulcair left the microphone in the Foyer of the House of Commons, almost two hours after the Court delivered its ruling, Trudeau stepped forward. Asked for a comment on matter, Trudeau simply said, “I’m not aware of the court’s decision yet.”

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