Liberals, NDP disagree on Daniel Therrien, PM's choice for privacy job
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says Therrien lacks 'neutrality,' but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau disagrees
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's pick for Canada's next privacy commissioner seems to be eliciting no shortage of opinions from the opposition.
While NDP Leader Tom Mulcair yesterday raised concerns about Daniel Therrien's nomination as the protector of Canadians' privacy rights, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau disagreed.
Yesterday, CBC obtained a letter from Mulcair to Harper saying Therrien's past jobs in the Department of Justice suggest he would have played a significant role in helping the government craft legislation and programs — some of which the NDP considers to part of the government's failure to protect its citizens' rights to privacy, according to the letter.
Mulcair concluded that "Mr. Therrien has neither the neutrality nor the necessary detachment to hold this position."
However, it would seem Trudeau is inclined to give Therrien the benefit of the doubt.
In a letter he sent to the prime minister on the same subject, Trudeau writes that after reviewing Therrien's biography and resume, "I have come to the conclusion that Daniel Therrien would be an excellent candidate for this position."
"His knowledge and experience, as well his distinguished record of public service," Trudeau continues, "will be of great benefit to Canadians."
A senior Trudeau adviser later clarified on Twitter that the party wants to hear out Therrien. Public servants shouldn't be disqualified because "of the policies of [government] they serve," Gerry Butts tweeted.
The government reached into the public service to nominate Therrien to be the watchdog for Canadians' privacy rights.
Therrien has served as a Department of Justice lawyer since 1981 and worked on public safety files.
Therrien will appear before a House of Commons committee to face questioning about his experience and views on the topic of privacy.
A Conservative majority on the committee, in the House of Commons and the Senate means Therrien is likely to be confirmed for the job quickly.