The Air India Inquiry – February 19, 2007

Inquiries on CPAC

The Air India Inquiry – February 19, 2007

Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182

Commissioner John C. Major opens the session by stating that the federal government’s numerous claims of national security confidentiality pose a serious challenge to the work of the Commission. He warns that the government’s continued redaction of documents could make it impossible for the Commission to fulfill its mandate. Norman Boxall (Counsel for the Air India Victims’ Families Association) makes opening remarks expressing the disappointment of the victims’ families at the Canadian government’s apparent failure to fulfill its promises of a full public inquiry. Jacques Shore (Counsel for the Air India Victims’ Families Association) echoes Mr. Boxall’s comments. Richard P. Quance (Counsel for the family members of the crew member victims of Air India flight 182 and Indian nationals) informs the Commission of people’s extreme shock and disappointment at the government’s failure to provide the Commission with the needed documents. Barney Brucker (Counsel for the Attorney General of Canada) offers a defence of the government’s position and asserts the government’s commitment to helping the Commission to fulfill its mandate. Commission Lead Counsel Mark J. Freiman responds to Mr. Brucker’s submission. Mr. Brucker offers brief remarks on the Canadian government’s knowledge of the threat of Sikh terrorism prior to and after the bombing. Mr. Shore and Mr. Boxall make opening remarks about their hopes for the second phase of the inquiry. Mr. Shore subsequently discusses concerns about the working relationship between the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and deficiencies in Canada’s airport security regime. Alexander Sabharwal (Counsel for the World Sikh Organization (WSO)) makes opening remarks, asking the Commission to refrain from linking the Sikh religion directly with the actions of the Air India flight 182 bombers and taki