Minister and Ms. Campbell, I want to thank you both for appearing before the committee today. It certainly means a lot to us.
Minister, if I may, I'd like to start with you just talking about the process. In your opening remarks, you referred to the recommendations this committee made in February of this year, and we appreciated receiving your response.
I want to talk to you about recommendation number 4 that we made, regarding expanding parliamentary privilege to make the interview with the nominee a duly constructed committee of Parliament. When we made the recommendation that parliamentary privilege be extended for the nominee, you responded, “It is the Government's view that holding this session in a public setting such as a university provided tangible means to connect the Supreme Court and its appointees to Canadians.”
Speaker Milliken, in 2003, made a ruling and said, “We have parliamentary privilege to ensure that the other branches of government, the executive and the judicial, respect the independence of the legislative branch of government, which is this House and the other place. This independence cannot be sustained if either of the other branches is able to define or reduce these privileges.”
I know that a lot of discussion went into making that recommendation. I was just wondering if you would care to elaborate a little further on why tomorrow's meeting is not going to be under parliamentary privilege.