23 May 2010

Parliamentarians Not Required to Testify at Committees

... unless required to do so by an Order of the House.

Parliamentarians cannot be compelled by committees alone, as can other witnesses. So says the esteemed Kady O'Malley in a recent Twitter conversation.

Therefore, with the Harper Government's latest salvo regarding the appearance of political staffers at parliamentary committees, Canadians face the same scenario as with the Afghan detainee documents issue:

- Committee X requires A
- HarperCo refuses A
- A member of the Opposition files a motion to compel A
- The House votes on the motion
- The motion passes
- HarperCo refuses A
- The opposition appeals to the Speaker of the House
- The Speaker takes time to consider
- The Speaker orders that HarperCo and members of the opposition negotiate a deal
- Time passes
- A deal is reached
- Committee X requires B....

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