They want a Liberal lapdog in that position.
When the new Access to Information Act is introduced in the House, the members opposite want someone appointed to that position who has no prior knowledge or experience so they can lead the new information commissioner by the nose, with a ring in the nose, and tell that person what to do and what not to do. They do not want somebody who is impartial. They do not want somebody who knows what cabinet confidentiality is all about.
How can we allow this to happen? How can any Canadian allow this to happen?
In the last year we have seen information come out of the Gomery commission that pertains to the largest political scandal in Canadian history. All I have heard from members opposite are these comments: this was a rogue group of politicians; it did not reflect on the Liberals; we want to get to the bottom of this; we are mad as hell and we will not stop until we get all of the answers. How can they say that?
How can Liberals stand in the House with any credibility and state to the Canadian public that they actually want to get to the bottom of this incident when exactly the type of legislation Mr. Reid is proposing that we introduce would prevent this from happening? They should be endorsing Mr. Reid's appointment or reappointment and yet they are not.
I see members opposite chuckling, because they know that once again they are pulling a fast one on the Canadian public. They think this is humorous. They think this is funny. This is serious business. I am absolutely offended by members who think they can get away with another one.
Eventually the Canadian public will understand what those members opposite are all about. They are about trying to suppress information rather than letting Canadians access information. This is something that all Canadians and parliamentarians in the House should absolutely reject with every fibre and ounce of strength they have.
Eventually this motion will come to the floor of the House; at least I am hoping that it will. I am convinced that all members on this side of the House and members of the New Democratic Party will endorse Mr. Reid's reappointment for one year. I can say right now without fear of retribution that we will see members opposite rejecting or attempting to reject the appointment of Mr. Reid. This is a government that has lost all credibility and should have lost all confidence of the Canadian public when it comes time to talk about things like transparency and accountability.
Let me conclude by saying that while the members have talked the talk, again they have not walked the walk. If members opposite are serious about transparency, accountability and openness in government, I invite them to stand in their places today and join with me in asking for the immediate extension for John Reid as Information Commissioner of this Parliament.