The House

'Clarity' the hope for meeting with national security adviser

Clarifying exactly what happened at an event during the prime minister's trip to India will be the goal of the national security adviser's appearance before a parliamentary committee, according to two MPs who will be in that briefing.

Daniel Jean to appear before parliamentary committee to discuss PM trip to India

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau was photographed with Jaspal Atwal at an Indian film industry event in Mumbai in February during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official visit to India. (Supplied by Jaspal Atwal)

Clarifying exactly what happened at an event during the prime minister's trip to India will be the goal of the national security adviser's appearance before a parliamentary committee on Monday.

Both government and opposition MPs told The House they will be looking for transparency.

Daniel Jean will appear before the Public Safety and National Security committee to explain what he knows about how Jaspal Atwal, a convicted attempted murderer, ended up at an official event during Justin Trudeau's controversial February trip to India.

While the trip was ongoing an unnamed security official, the Conservatives later identified as Jean, gave reporters a briefing suggesting elements within the Indian government had placed Atwal at the event in an effort to undermine diplomatic ties — even though Liberal MP Randeep Sarai took responsibility for the invitation.

In the two months since the visit, the Conservatives have been pushing for Jean to give them the same briefing the media received. The Liberals voted to block their initial motion.  

They've been asking for clarification and information for weeks, and now it seems some Liberals might have similar questions.

"I would think that some clarity would be helpful," John McKay, chair of the committee, told The House.

"All sides would prefer a redo on this, but there is no redo."

The truth has proved elusive, as several accounts of events have been floated since the trip. Jean is one of the few people in possession of multiple pieces of the puzzle — both classified and unclassified.

"Hopefully Mr. Jean will shine some light on which version is the truth," Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole told host Chris Hall.

"We think that Mr. Jean was forced out to the media by the Prime Minister's Office as a damage control measure. That should never be done to someone who's a national security adviser."

McKay said he anticipates some of the questions at the committee will stray into classified territory, but he expects members to be respectful of the procedures.

Chris Hall looks ahead to the unprecedented committee appearance of National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, Daniel Jean, to discuss Justin Trudeau's trip to India. 9:47

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