Public Safety

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I lament on the parliamentary secretary’s behalf because I have great empathy for people who have to read talking points that I have just pointed out were not really answering the question I had last time.


I do not know if she will be able to answer this, but I really think Canadians want to know.

First, is Dr. Porter still a Privy Council officer? I know it is fairly theoretical because he is not in Ottawa, where would he get access to our secrets, but it is certainly not appropriate for him to remain a Privy Council officer.

My second question is this. Why was it that these very clear concerns put forward by Gilles Duceppe were ignored in the process that occurred in appointing Dr. Porter first as a member of SIRC and then as a chairperson of it? I think Canadians want to know.

I am glad to see that Chuck Strahl has taken the reins. I do not think there is anyone I respect more than Chuck Strahl. However, how on earth did Dr. Porter, who professes his allegiance to Sierra Leone, ever end up in that sensitive position?

Candice Bergen: Mr. Speaker, armchair quarterbacks are usually not the best quarterbacks, but it is easy after the fact to make these observations.

I want to assure the hon. member that whatever the allegations against Mr. Porter, they do not relate to his work as a member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Nevertheless, the government has taken steps to strengthen the screening process. That is an important part of the work the government has done and continues to do. The measures we have taken and put in place are further safeguards to ensure the continued protection of confidential government information.

I appreciate the hon. member’s comments with regard to Chuck Strahl. I agree with her. He is and will continue to be a great leader of that organization.

I appreciate the hon. member’s contributions in so many ways. As a government, we need to look at what we have done and will continue to do to build on our strengths and ensure that anything we have missed continues to be accounted for.