Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his intervention.
Some members of the opposition have been calling for a while for an end to the hearings by the RCMP public complaints commission and the holding of a judicial commission of inquiry in its place. Such a demand indicates a lack of understanding of the mandate and powers of the commission. It is simply not up to the federal government to call a halt to the hearings by this independent administrative tribunal. I repeat: it is not up to the government.
Established by parliament, the RCMP public complaints commission is an impartial and independent mechanism to which Canadians may direct complaints about the behaviour of members of the RCMP. The commission decided to hold a hearing as the result of complaints about the behaviour of members of the RCMP at the APEC conference in Vancouver.
The commission determined the parameters of the hearing. In December 1998, the commission named Ted Hughes, an experienced and a highly respected jurist, to hear the testimony of the complainants. The PCC will prepare a report at the end of the hearings and will publish the conclusions and recommendations of the committee. It will send this report to all complainants, to the solicitor general and to the commissioner of the RCMP.
Let me return to the mandate of the commissioner of the public complaints commission looking into complaints against the conduct of RCMP officers during the demonstrations at the APEC conference.
In fact, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly pointed out here in the House, Mr. Hughes has been given a very broad mandate. This mandate was established by the public complaints commission, not the government. As the public complaints commission said in its December 21, 1998, press release, Mr. Hughes will examine the events that occurred during the demonstrations that took place at that time and will submit a report. Mr. Hughes has already made it clear how broad a mandate this is in the decisions he has handed down.
If the public complaints commission is ever allowed to do its job, I am sure that the Canadian public will be much enlightened.