Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 39th Parliament,
Volume 143, Issue 74

Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Prime Minister

Air India Inquiry—Media Comments Regarding Father-in-law of Member for Mississauga—Brampton South—Request for Apology

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: I have a supplementary question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Has the government leader had an opportunity to investigate the question I asked of her yesterday as to why names of potential witnesses are being leaked to the media? As I understand, these investigative hearings are held before a judge, who not only protects the name of the person being investigated but also protects the names of the third parties and of the families. How did these names get leaked?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Secretary of State (Seniors)): I thank the honourable senator for the question. After Question Period yesterday, I turned to page21 of Quorum and read the full article from the Vancouver Sun. The article was lengthy and contained some rather startling statements. Knowing newspapers as I do, I am quite certain that the legal authorities responsible for the content of the Vancouver Sun would have been very careful to have information that was sourced before printing such a story.

How this information was obtained by the Vancouver Sun, I have no idea. I am quite certain that the Vancouver Sun, like all newspaper organizations and reporters, will protect its sources. I cannot even begin to guess how they came by the information. It is probably a question better addressed to them.


Senator Jaffer: Honourable senators, I believe that we come as parliamentarians to serve our country, and, of all people, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, has served our country for a long time.

The name of a young parliamentarian, who was only nine years of age when this allegation was supposed to have taken place, has been drawn through the dirt. Across the entire country this man’s name and that of his family has been dragged in the mud. I urge the Leader of the Government in the Senate to ask the Prime Minister to apologize to this young parliamentarian.

Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator for her question. As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, his intent was to point out to Parliament that the Liberal Party and the Liberal opposition members, for some unknown reason, changed their position on their own legislation. Many people are asking questions about that.

Senator Munson: Civil liberties. Charter of Rights.

Senator LeBreton: The Prime Minister barely spoke the first few sentences of his answer before everyone started to yell. I do not know whether the record even shows whether the Prime Minister said anything, other than reading about an article that appeared in the public venue.