Evidence of meeting #30 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was consular.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm going to be splitting my time with Mr. McTeague.

I guess what we've seen happen to Ms. Mohamud could probably happen to any Canadian, and that really distresses me. I've just witnessed something very remarkable in this meeting, that a Conservative member is equally distressed about what happens to a Canadian citizen abroad who is at the mercy of the government. I find that remarkable, and I share that distress, because I'm a member of Parliament who attempted to do something for Ms. Mohamud, and it took a lawyer to force the government, in a court of law, to eventually get her back here. I think that speaks to the obduracy of government when it comes to effecting the civil rights of its own citizens.

But I'm even more distressed—and I'm going to ask Ms. Mohamud to consult with her lawyer in answering this question—because I thought I just heard Mr. Goldring address an issue, and implicit in his issue of asking Ms. Mohamud whether she would waive her privacy rights are two very important things.

I hope I'll get your indication from this.

First of all, Mr. Goldring implied in his question that, with regard to Mr. Obhrai's offer to make public the results of the investigation, in your case it will not be made public and that he's stepping away from it; and secondly, there is a veiled attempt to indicate to this committee that there might be something in the initial investigations, of which there were at least two done on you, that might make you feel very uncomfortable, or that you did something wrong and illegal and it will come out in public.

Are you aware of anything that might be contained in those investigations that would suggest that you did something wrong?

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Order.

Mr. Volpe, first of all, when we start trying to understand what may have been an implication.... I think that was the word you used, that Mr. Goldring may have been implying, or there may have been an implication, that--

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Can I respond, Mr. Chair?

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Go ahead, Mr. Goldring.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Well, it was implicit.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

In no uncertain terms was there an intention; as I explained to the gentleman afterwards, it was merely pointing out the fact that what is specifically coming through on the report will be under the Privacy Act, and that any information that is released from that will have to have the consent of Ms. Mohamud. There is nothing being implied in that. That's just strictly a matter of fact and a matter of process.

5:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Mr. Chair--

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

No, I've dealt with this. We'll go back to Ms. Mohamud's answer to Mr. Volpe's question.

It's Ms. Mohamud's answer; you can advise her--

5:35 p.m.

Falconer Charney LLP, As an Individual

Julian Falconer

Ms. Mohamud was encouraged to consult with her counsel. She's indicated to me that she doesn't need to consult with her counsel. She just has nothing to hide--end of story.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

All right. Thank you very much.

August 26th, 2009 / 5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Chair, can I--

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Is it on the point of order?

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

It's on the same point of order. It deals with the parliamentary privilege that, of course, Ms. Mohamud has in relation to these proceedings.

As the clerk--

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Actually, Mr. Jean, the answer has already been given. Mr. Volpe's question has been answered. So we aren't dealing with that point of order right now.

Mr. McTeague, you actually have one minute.

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Privacy rights are well known to people like Brenda Martin, whose privacy rights were of course violated. We're still trying to seek remedy for this.

But I want to assure you, Ms. Mohamud, that in the time in which the Liberals were in government, when Mr. Graham was minister, the article of the...and the use, the ruse, of sub judice, not appearing and not wanting to comment, was never something that entered our minister's ideas. He came before the committee and was fully accountable.

We fully expect that in the next few days the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself, Mr. Cannon, who made those incriminating statements about you, notwithstanding the evidence you put forward...were in fact going to be there.

We want to know who's in charge. We will pursue other cases with the minister: Amanda Lindhout, Mohamed Kohail, Pavel Kulisek, Huseyin Celil. In those cases, in terms of your testimony here, you can be assured that you've opened the path to helping others. We thank you for that.

We look forward to seeing you again.