By Kalinowski, Tim on February 20, 2020.
Lethbridge Member of Parliament Rachael Harder has been appointed chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in Ottawa.
The committee’s mandate is to review the effectiveness, management and operations relating to four Officers of Parliament: the Information Commissioner; the Privacy Commissioner; the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner; and the Commissioner of Lobbying.
“I feel incredibly honoured to serve as the chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics and I take this position with great seriousness,” said Harder in a statement released to the media on Wednesday. “It is my belief that public office holders need to be held accountable and that the protection of privacy is of utmost importance to Canadians.”
Harder said she intends to use her new position to work for full disclosure of the facts surrounding Prime Minister Trudeau’s attempts in late 2018 to coerce then Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould into offering a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC Lavelin after the federal director of prosecutions had previously declined to offer such an agreement.
Trudeau was later found to be in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act for these attempts by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion.
“This Committee has a real opportunity to bring light to a situation that still has many question marks hovering over it,” Harder’s statement reads. “As chair, I intend to work collaboratively with all members of the committee in an effort to seek out the truth, bring in the necessary witnesses, and examine all of the facts so that Canadians are finally privy to the whole truth.”