BUT, in reality, there is still much to be determined, and given past government stalling tactics, nobody should see today's agreement as a conclusion- in fact, this is just the beginning of a long, contentious process.
Since the momentus "agreement" absolutely nothing has moved forward, and we have seen a new government tactic employed;
Ottawa — The Canadian Press
Published on Thursday, Jun. 03, 2010 7:57PM EDT
Last updated on Thursday, Jun. 03, 2010 8:01PM EDT
.The spectre of a possible election-triggering showdown over Afghan detainee documents is looming over Parliament once again.
Two of the three opposition parties are threatening to bring a contempt of Parliament motion against the Conservative government if it doesn't finalize an agreement on disclosure of the sensitive material by next week.
The government and opposition parties struck an agreement in principle several weeks ago and set May 31 as a deadline for putting the details down in writing.
That deadline has now passed without a written agreement and opposition parties are growing frustrated with the Tories' apparent lack of urgency.
Ministers on the government's negotiating team claimed they were too busy to meet Wednesday or Thursday and no meetings are scheduled for Friday.
Bloc Quebecois House Leader Pierre Paquette says the time has come for opposition parties to set a deadline and proceed with a contempt of Parliament motion if the government fails to meet it.
NDP justice critic Joe Comartin agrees, however Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale is urging all sides to take a deep breath and concentrate on finalizing the deal.
The document question has moved to the public back burner, and the Conservatives understand this well. With the summer break coming fast, it would seem they are no longer content with sand bagging the release process, but are now brazen enough to try and go home with no deal in place, leaving it for the fall. Nevermind, that even a completion of the deal means a couple of years until we have the full truth, the Conservatives don't even want any drips and leaks in the intermediary, hence the obstruction.
The way the Conservatives are again kicking dirt in opposition faces should leave no doubt that no spirit of co-operation exists, and any process will be riddled with further gamesmanship, with ONE motivation in mind- delay, roadblack, delay, roadblock, delay.
I find Goodale very disappointing here:
Mr. Goodale said he shares frustration over the lack of formal meetings but he said significant progress has been made “by keeping the lines of communication open” — apparently referring to informal discussions that have been taking place.
For a guy who's been around ten blocks, Goodale can't really believe that there is an OUNCE of genuine co-operation here. There aren't lines of co-operation, there is a Speaker's demand, and a government bent on skirting as much as possible. The Liberals should join with their inevitable coalition partner the NDP (just quietly imprinting for future payoff) and the Bloc, threatening a contempt motion, even if it's already a flawed process we defend here. At the very least, get the deal done now, so we all can get on with really learning, in very stark terms, that we won't know JACK SQUAT until after the next election, if that. Move this sham forward....