No, I actually think it's important, because when we're in public...so yeah, the speeches are being made in the hopes that they'll be picked up and looked at afterwards.
The Chair: Go for it.
Mr. Scott Reid: If memory serves, what happened was that Mr. Abbott misunderstood the situation and stated something that was not correct, not true. He unintentionally said something that was not true. He did not intentionally mislead the House. I think we all accept that. He unintentionally misled the House by asserting--more aggressively than the minister ever asserted anything of this sort, because she never did this--that the CIDA officials were in agreement and...the point being not CIDA, which includes the minister, but the CIDA officials, in the same way that Parliament includes three bodies; it's that kind of distinction.
That is the technical distinction that made it appropriate and indeed necessary for him to offer an apology, which he did. But no such apology was necessary from the minister, because she didn't make such a statement.
Turning now to paragraphs 33 and 38, apologies; I am just trying to get my head around it. I've been trying to find Mr. Walsh's comments where he makes a distinction....
I get the distinction made in paragraph 33 between “departmental criteria” and “political criteria”. I actually just think it's unnecessary, because it seems to me to be kind of obvious. Like, this is what you do. You sit down and ask if something's outside the criteria, i.e., is this something we can't fund because it's not dealing with Foreign Affairs?
So they go through that process, and that's departmental criteria.
She then applies the political criteria, i.e., is this in line with the government's policy objectives?
I don't get the point of introducing administrative criteria in paragraph 38. That's why I'm trying to find Mr. Walsh's commentary, to determine what it was he was doing.
I'm not sure if administrative is actually....
If in saying that he meant “departmental”, or if he has some other point he was trying to make...there are actually three criteria here. Presumably this leads back to some kind of assertion that political criteria are in some respect illegitimate. That's why opposition members were raising it, I assume.
I don't think that's the case, but if it is the case, then that changes everything.
I'm throwing that question out to our analysts so we can get an answer on that.