Mr. Speaker, I would like to add a couple of points.
I did speak to the hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar on Friday. It was said by the deputy House leader earlier that the hon. member has taken every action she could take upon being made aware of this. She did take some action. She fired the individual. She did contact all hon. members of the committee. What she did not do was contact the lobbyists themselves. I believe that having this material out there for over four days before the lobbyists were ultimately contacted and asked not to distribute the information, not to do anything with the information, was a mistake.
I understand that the whip of the Conservative Party was notified at the time of the incident, which was last Thursday, and in fact there was no action taken to contact those lobbyists. I think that is regrettable.
The three lobbyists include Clarke Cross, a senior consultant at TACTIX. His CV indicates that he previously worked as a Conservative staffer to the member for Vegreville—Wainwright and the member for Nanaimo—Alberni. Lynne Hamilton, according to her biography, worked with Conservative governments federally, provincially and municipally. In fact she used to work in the premier's office for Mike Harris. Timothy Egan is the president and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association. According to Elections Canada's website, Timothy M. Egan has donated over $1,500 to the Conservatives since the summer of 2008, including a donation of over $300 to the finance minister's 2008 election campaign.
The government knew of this leak last Thursday and it allowed this report to circulate within Conservative cyberspace for over four days, until yesterday when action was taken. There ought to have been action taken on Thursday immediately to contact these lobbyists and to ask them not to use the information, not to distribute the information.
It is regrettable that that action was not taken. I do think that this issue merits investigation at the procedure and House affairs committee.