Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rights and Democracy: the case of the empty chairs

Yesterday Michael Ignatieff was on his feet in the House of Commons, asking about Rights and Democracy, and so was the NDP's foreign affairs critic, Paul Dewar.

According to Paul Wells, R&D Board chair Aurel Braun was "too busy" to show up to the Committee meeting today--his second no-show in as many weeks. As it turns out, however, he gave no reasons for his absence. Braun's colleague Jacques Gauthier, also invited, didn't show up either. Paul Dewar was talking subpoena.

Today's meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee was liveblogged by Kady O'Malley. It looks as though the Cons have thrown in the towel, and the suggested witnesses (including Beauregard's widow) will be heard after all. The Cons have a witness of their own, too, but they aren't saying who it is.

Paul Dewar was mocked by Con MP James Lunney for threatening a subpoena. Who does he think he is--Perry Mason? Lunney asked. But as O'Malley points out, Parliamentary committees indeed do have subpoena power. Will the elusive Braun and Gauthier force the issue? When they do come, willingly or not, they will be expected to bring documents that pertain to their recent rash of contract-letting.

Accountability? Let's see if they walk the talk.

The fired managers are scheduled to appear on March 31. And Braun is now offering to show up on April 1. If he doesn't, would that be considered un poisson d'avril?

Stay tuned.

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