Opposition Motion – Communications Security Establishment Canada

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think we also have to remember the context in which this information comes to us. It is from Edward Snowden, who has been releasing information. I have seen reports from the German media of an interview he did today, which was completely blacked-out so that citizens in the United States and Canada could not see his interview, wherein he describes what he has seen as a security officer misrepresented by intelligence forces. This reminds me of what Count Münster said years ago in describing Czarist Russia as “Absolutism tempered by assassination”. I wonder if we are looking at “Big Brother tempered by leaks”.

Without citizen oversight, how do we assess the difference between legitimate inquiry and an extensive and anti-democratic invasion of our privacy?

Peter McKay: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for hitting the nail on the head.

On the conflict between the right of the citizen to be protected and the right to privacy, my answer to her is to support the motion by my colleague from Malpeque, because that would provide parliamentary oversight of all of us, governments, commissioners, and agencies alike.