From the Winnipeg Free Press.
OTTAWA -- MPs headed off for their Christmas break Friday discussing the unmerry possibilities of everything from a court battle to a confidence vote that could bring down the Conservative government over the Afghan detainee issue.
The House of Commons adjourned late Thursday leaving a political cliffhanger. The opposition parties voted to force the government to release all documents related to the detainees file -- uncensored -- to a parliamentary committee. The parliamentary law clerk backed up the move, underlining the primacy of the chamber over laws passed by the government.
But a string of cabinet ministers dismissed the parliamentary motion, saying laws governing the classification of certain documents will govern their release. "We follow the law and the law is very clear that if there are elements of security, elements that could affect the security of our soldiers or civilians, then information will be protected," Trade Minister Stockwell Day said Friday.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson added: "Officials have and will continue to provide all legally available information, and officials are following the laws that Parliament has passed."
It leaves the country potentially in the grips of another constitutional melee over which body should reign: Parliament or the government.
One NDP source said the Commons might be forced to rule the government in contempt of Parliament, which would eventually entail a confidence vote.
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Afghan torture scandal -- the plot thickens
Looks like another confidence vote could be in the works: