Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 11:31
Okay. Thank you very much.
Ms. Campbell, I want to ask about your process with respect to the advisory committee. I'll tell you that it's with the background of trying to understand how to deal with a leak. As you know, a leak occurred in the last process that you chaired.
When did you learn about the leak from the last process that you chaired?
Kim Campbell
View Kim Campbell Profile
Right Hon. Kim Campbell
2019-07-25 11:32
Let me say that the leak was not from our process. After we present our short list to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister, in partnership with the Minister of Justice and all the other interlocutors, including, I think, critics, has an ongoing series of conversations. One thing our advisory board is not mandated to do is to select candidates based on their philosophy. Now, if there were candidates who had views that might be considered more extreme in some way, or unconventional, we might certainly mention this, but it is up to the Prime Minister and his post-short list process to determine some compatibility or philosophical views. There is a process that goes on after our committee.
There has never been a leak from our committee, and nor, I think, would there be.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 11:33
That's very good to know.
Minister Lametti just indicated, though, in his opening remarks that he took strict measures in dealing with this unacceptable disclosure by talking about making changes to the advisory committee's mandate. If the advisory committee wasn't the source of the leak, why would Minister Lametti feel the need to talk to the advisory committee about the previous leak?
Kim Campbell
View Kim Campbell Profile
Right Hon. Kim Campbell
2019-07-25 11:33
I don't know. I think he addressed that, but we have a very strict commitment to confidentiality, including not identifying who any of the candidates are. There has never been any suggestion that any of the members of the three committees have ever breached that confidentiality, nor would they.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 11:36
Thank you very much.
Minister Lametti, you gave an interview to The Lawyer's Daily in April in which you indicated that you were very confident that the leak did not come from the Department of Justice or from officials in the Prime Minister's Office.
Ms. Campbell is now saying that it didn't come from her advisory committee. Where did the leak come from?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I don't know. The Privacy Commissioner has stated that he has opened an investigation into the matter, and I'm not going to comment on his ongoing investigation. I will say that federal departments will co-operate fully with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and that I took steps in this current process both in terms of limiting the number of people who had access to the process within my department, as well as segregating the server and doing everything securely that we needed to do to make sure that there was no breach of privacy from my department.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Dear colleagues, I am very happy to see you again today.
Former Prime Minister Campbell, may I extend my best regards. I would like to congratulate you on the quality of your French. The next time you leave Africa, I invite you to stop in Ottawa, which is on the way, rather than going to the other end of the country.
First of all, I would like to say that I am very honoured to participate in this meeting of the committee today. As stipulated in article 10 of the MOU, the minister must consult with the opposition parties. My colleague Lisa Raitt invited me to represent her during these consultations, an honour that I accepted with great humility. That is where my comments end on this subject, since we cannot say where, with whom or how things went. Indeed, all this must remain confidential.
Mr. Minister, in your opening statement earlier, you mentioned the importance of respecting confidentiality and ensuring that there are no leaks of any kind.
As you know, there was a leak involving an aspiring Supreme Court judge in the previous year. On April 11, this committee met on this subject. However, the parliamentary group of which you are a member refused to allow the committee to examine the matter and to hold an inquiry.
How do you think Canadians can be reassured if your parliamentary committee refuses to allow an investigation to be conducted on such a sensitive subject as a leak concerning the appointment of a judge to the Supreme Court?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
First of all, thank you for conducting this consultation during the process. It was very valuable. Your comments were very important.
Yes, it was important. We have acted accordingly, especially for this process. We made sure there would be no leaks. We have taken steps in this direction.
There is also an officer of Parliament, the Privacy Commissioner, who addresses these issues. We will collaborate with him during his investigations.
As a government, we took the leaks very seriously. We made sure it wouldn't happen again.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
So why did you refuse to allow an inquiry by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights? It is our job as parliamentarians to investigate such incidents.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
The Privacy Commissioner has the authority to conduct an investigation. We believe it is a good non-partisan process. There will be an investigation and I hope there will be suggestions.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 12:15
I appreciate that he recused himself and followed the rule of law on that.
Minister Lametti, let's be very precise here because you're a lawyer, I'm a lawyer and precision is important when it comes to this.
Ms. Campbell has indicated that there is no way the advisory committee was the source of the leak of the information regarding the former proposed candidate, Mr. Justice Joyal. You have indicated to the media that you're convinced that it did not come from the Prime Minister's Office or your office. The Privacy Commissioner is conducting an investigation that you said people are co-operating with, but is it not the truth, Minister, that the reality is that the Prime Minister, you and any member of your staff or his staff are exempt from the Privacy Commissioner's powers and will not be part of this investigation?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I have said from the outset that my department will co-operate, and as I said, I am confident that the leak did not come from the very few people in my ministry—
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 12:16
Minister, your department will co-operate because the Privacy Commissioner has the power to summon anybody in the department. However, the Privacy Commissioner does not have the power to summon you, the Prime Minister or anybody who works on the political side of your department or the Prime Minister's Office.
Are you telling me they are going to voluntarily speak to the Privacy Commissioner in order to make this a fulsome investigation?
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-07-25 12:17
He is working within his own mandate, but what I'm pointing out is that, contrary to what you're hoping to say here, that everything is being covered, the reality is that there are some significant witnesses to this who are not being investigated, and we are left relying upon your word and the word of the Prime Minister.
I think that's a fair statement.
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