Inside Politics

UPDATED - PrivilegeWatch: Is today the day? It is!

For the government's response to the questions of privilege raised earlier this month over its refusal to comply with the order to produce uncensored copies of detainee-related documents requested by the Afghanistan committee last year, that is? 

That's the unofficial word on the Hill, it seems, where as yet unconfirmed reports are circulating that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson will rise in the House after routine proceedings to plead the government's case before Speaker Milliken. 

Given the Wednesday order of business -- shortened day, no morning session -- that would probably take place sometime after 3pm, thus setting up a potential conflict with the committee itself, which is scheduled to meet this afternoon to hear from two witnesses: Cory Anderson, past political director for the Provincial Reconstruction Taskforce in Kandahar, and Brigadier General Denis William Thompson. 

The potential time conflict is particularly awkward for two of the three MPs in whose names the privilege questions were raised: Bloc Quebecois MP Claude Bachand and NDP MP Jack Harris, who are also, of course, members of the committee, who may now be forced to choose between being present for the government's response, or attending today's meeting. 

I'll update this post when we know more, but at the moment, I'd set the PrivilegeWatch-o-Meter on medium-high. 

UPDATE: Thanks to the NDP, we can now confirm that yes, today does appear to be the day; they've been told to expect both Nicholson and Tom Lukiwski -- the parliamentary secretary to the government house leader, and no, I still don't know why he isn't simply the deputy house leader -- to speak to the issue. Not surprisingly, Jack Harris - who, as noted above, is one of the three members with a privilege question before the House -- will be delivering the NDP's reply to the government's response. I'm still waiting to hear back on the other two privilege claimants, Derek Lee and Claude Bachand. 


 
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