Standing Committee on Access to Information – May 25, 2010

In Committee from the House of Commons

Standing Committee on Access to Information – May 25, 2010

The committee had expected to hear from Dimitri Soudas, the Prime Minister’s director of communications, as it continued its investigation on allegations of political interference in access to information requests. Soudas was originally set to appear on May 11, but his testimony was postponed until after the House returned from its week-long break on May 25.

Government House leader Jay Hill announced in the House, less than an hour before Soudas’ scheduled appearance, that ministerial staffers would no longer be allowed to testify at parliamentary committees. The government said that ministers would now be held accountable for the actions of their staff and that testifying at committees is a ministerial responsibility.

Transport Minister John Baird appeared in Soudas’ place to answer questions. NDP MP Bill Siksay said that he did not accept the government’s new policy and indicated that he would be tabling a motion summoning Soudas to testify at the committee.