New year, new fight

Ten months after the Speaker’s ruling on documents related to the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, the House is presented with a new confrontation.

The Commons finance committee in November was denied the right to see government projections of corporate profits before taxes, and was refused a look at studies on the cost of Conservative changes to the criminal justice system. Both are being withheld on the grounds they are cabinet confidences.

“Mr. Speaker, withholding the requested information from the committee does not serve the public interest,” Liberal finance critic Scott Brison said Monday in the Commons on a motion of privilege. “In fact, withholding this information impedes Parliament’s ability to fulfil its duty to scrutinize the estimates and hold the government to account.”

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