The argument that we ought not be concerned with the confidentialities that are at stake here because the motion is not enforceable is really a sign of disrespect for the House. What does it say about us if we pass a motion, possibly knowing that it's not good for the country, on the grounds that it can't be enforced?
If it were enforceable, if someone might actually listen to it, then it would be bad, but because it's not enforceable, let's pass it. That's the logic I seem to be hearing, and that is a sign of disrespect to the House.
If the members in this committee honestly believed that the request in this motion would be good for Canada if it were to be implemented, then I'd respect their decision to vote for it; that I could understand. To vote for it because, while it's not good for the country or the taxpayer, it won't be implemented is a self-defeating exercise that shows disrespect for the House of Commons.
Second, there are confidentialities at stake here. I honestly don't believe members over there want to see confidentialities come out that would be detrimental to the Canadian taxpayer. I'm not seeing conspiracies around every corner here.
I would just suggest that the members who are pushing this motion simply amend it to list the precise information they would like to see. If they're not interested in seeing confidentialities, then just say we would like to see specific studies that have been done on the general nature of leasebacks, etc. Just list what it is you're looking for, and then I don't see any problem with the motion.
Perhaps it would be even simpler just to say “that doesn't violate confidentiality provisions in existing government contracts or contracts with suppliers”, or something of that sort, just to demonstrate that this is a good-faith motion designed to enlighten legislators in making a better decision, and not an attempt by a parliamentary committee to infringe upon the confidentiality interests of government and the private sector.
I'm offering a suggestion to those who are pushing this motion that they might limit its impact to areas that are not touched by confidentiality, and that they do so explicitly. Then the motion has a better chance of being followed.
The only other alternative is to put forward something that we know cannot be implemented. Perhaps many people who are voting for the motion don't even want it to be implemented; they're voting for it because they know that it won't be implemented. That is a self-defeating proposition.