Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the privilege I feel was lost by the report being leaked in the manner that it has.
Yesterday in this place we saw the House rise to a special occasion. With the apologies to the first nations, we saw the very best that this place can be. At the same time, when I came to the House knowing that the report had been leaked, it troubled me deeply as I stood here. As I listened to the wonderful speeches, I was still troubled.
Canadians want the House to be what it was yesterday.
We can be so much more. We can do so much more. The leader of the NDP, the member for Toronto—Danforth, worked with the Prime Minister for over a year on that residential schools apology. That is what we can do when we are at our best. Canadians expect more than the 30 second clip that somebody might get by leaking this report.
I have very troubled emotions. In our committee, I was the person who moved the motion to study Khadr and I was proud of the work the committee did. We worked hard together.
As for that leaked report, I would suggest that perhaps all members of that committee had the opportunity, because I myself was asked by various media folks if I would give them a tidbit. I chose not to do that. I chose to stick to the principles, the rules and the order of the House.
It is not appropriate, as we have heard, for anybody to speak on an in camera report before it is tabled in the House.
There is more to this, with the future of this young man, Omar Khadr, hanging perhaps to a great extent on the outcome of that report. A former child combatant is facing the wrath of the Pentagon and probably George Bush himself, for all we know.
It is tempting for anybody on the committee to try to do whatever they can to raise the issue, but violating the rules of this place and giving over to the urge to do that is incorrect.
Now we have on the public record the recommendations of the subcommittee, the recommendations on how to deal with Omar Khadr's future and the recommendations to end this affront to Canadians' very fundamental sense of what is just.
However, equally as important as the success within the committee is the failure in the process that has happened here, the disgrace that has happened here.
Our committee heard over a dozen witnesses, including David Crane, a prosecutor in Sierra Leone, who said to bring Omar Khadr home. Senator Roméo Dallaire, who was outraged by Guantanamo, said to bring Omar Khadr home. Craig Forcese, a professor of Canadian law, said we could deal with Omar Khadr within the Canadian system.
All of this material is on the public record from our committee. Witness after witness said to bring Omar Khadr home.
I always look to the good in people. When we work within our committees, I do that, and most often I find it. However, I do believe that whoever leaked the report did so to keep this story in the media. I believe the person did so probably to bring Omar Khadr home, and as much as I would like to see Omar Khadr home and I call for it every day that I can in this place, it is still wrong to violate the committees and the rules of this place.
Ultimately, the success of the in camera meetings depends upon their privacy. Their confidentiality must be respected by all involved. Without that respect, the work of all committees would be seriously imperilled, to the detriment of the House and all members.
This breach appears to be a contempt against the dignity of Parliament. I feel that it must be brought forward and investigated in a just and timely manner.