Inquiries on CPAC - The Air India Inquiry – November 8, 2006 (Part 1 of 2)
Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182
Witness: Robert Desjardin
Robert Desjardin (Director General of Consular Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)) responds to questions from Mark J. Freiman, Commission Lead Counsel, about the nature of his position, the work of his bureau, and changes in the bureau’s operations after 1985. Mr. Desjardin responds to questions from Raj Anand (Counsel for Lata Pada and other victims’ families) about DFAIT’s policies concerning its response to disasters abroad. Norman Boxall, Counsel for the Air India Victims’ Families Association, remarks on the need for a more explicit Government of Canada policy on responding to human-made disasters such as acts of terrorism and Mr. Desjardin agrees with the suggestion. Mr. Desjardin responds to questions from Soma Ray-Ellis (Counsel for Air India) about the extent to which the staff members of DFAIT reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada’s population as a whole. Commissioner John C. Major, interjecting during Ms. Ray-Ellis’s examination, challenges the relevance of her questions given her mandate as a legal representative for Air India. Ms. Ray-Ellis withdraws her questions. Mr. Desjardin responds to questions from Barney Brucker (Counsel for the Attorney General of Canada) about consular contingency planning.