Monday, June 09, 2008

Witness lineup for Bernier hearings emerging

A possible witness lineup for the Public Safety Committee's hearings into the Bernier national security misadventures is being reported tonight. We like what we see:
Meanwhile, the committee has also discussed other possible witnesses - although it has not yet formally decided to invite them.

Among the people various members of the committee are interested in hearing testify are the chiefs of staff to Bernier and Day, the prime minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie, Privy Council Clerk Kevin Lynch, deputy ministers from Foreign Affairs and Public Safety, the inspector general of CSIS and security experts including Guy Ouellette, a former Surete du Quebec officer who is now a member of the Quebec provincial legislature.
Couillard has been invited to testify on June 18th.

As for Couillard's hairdresser being called...you can see the potential for a repeat of the unsuccessful and embarrassing appearance of the chef from 24 Sussex at the Mulroney-Schreiber hearings. They'd be well served to have some kind of pre-hearing interview to find out whether there's any merit at all in going down that road. There's a circus like quality that gets introduced if witnesses are a little too far astray the matters at hand. If there's some compelling information the hairdresser had, however, in terms of what he/she was told by Couillard, it would raise questions about what was told to others over the course of the Bernier-Couillard relationship.

We also like the prospect of Serge Menard having at the matter:
For Bloc Quebecois MP Serge Menard, one of Quebec's top criminal lawyers who has served as both justice minister and public security minister in Quebec, the key questions are whether police or security services did their homework and whether they advised the government of Couillard's past.

"If I were to learn that the RCMP never warned the prime minister, I would find that would be very serious," Menard said.

"The minister should also have been warned about what he risked getting into."

It would also be very serious if the government was warned but failed to heed the warning, he added.
Let the public scrutiny begin.