On May 14, you published an article titled “Grits held more secret committee meetings than Harper's Tories.”
Please note that, the Canadian Press has published an unequivocal retraction stating that “the analysis that led to that conclusion was faulty” and that “the story's claim that Commons committees during (Paul) Martin's majority of February to May 2004 spent the most time meeting in camera is thus erroneous, as are other rankings in the story.”
I thank the Canadian Press for their correction, but the emphasis that was placed on the time committees spend behind closed doors raises another issue of concern. While closed-door committee meetings have always been held routinely and by consensus to allow Parliamentarians to consider draft reports, briefings, or to deal with matters of national security, the Harper Conservatives have developed a disturbing and systematic practice of using their majority to force committees behind closed doors to stifle dissent and hide committee business from the public.
Though moving a committee “in camera” is sometimes necessary, it should not go unnoticed that under this Conservative government, Canadians have less access to the business of Parliament than ever before in our history.
Liberal House Leader