The Conservative government came under fire yesterday for its decision to censor passages of the Arar commission report that many believe were merely embarrassing to the U.S. and Canadian security officials, and not vital to national security...
ministers" approved the words to be censored.
The government refused to say yesterday which ministers made the decision, although it is likely that Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, in charge of CSIS and the RCMP, was one.
Vic Toews, who was justice minister and attorney-general when the commission's report was drafted, was legally responsible for the decision, but it is unclear if his successor, Rob Nicholson, had a role as the case was argued in court after he entered the post in January.
"The Prime Minister was not involved," Sandra Buckler, Mr. Harper's communications director, said in an e-mail.
Mr. Cavalluzzo said that he did not know precisely who in government ordered the passages censored, but he was told it was approved at the highest levels. "I don't know if the cabinet would be, but the Prime Minister and the relevant ministers would be involved.
The fact that Buckler finds it necessary to immediately distance the Prime Minister from the emerging controversy speaks volumes. Me thinks thou dost protest too much Sandra. If Harper didn't know what was happening, on the censorship front, to my mind it will represent the first occasion during his tenure where he was out of the loop on anything. I am willing to take wagers, with generous odds.