June 21, 1984 (32nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Yes, he is one possibility. Or Trotters McCarthy. It could be Tommy Toe. It could be anyone brought in off the street, sworn into the Privy Council and appointed to the review committee. That is not my idea of assurance to the people of Canada that they are going to have an oversight committee with the courage, independence and resourcefulness to see that this really works.
Just compare us with the United States of America. Compare the miserable state this House of Commons is in, this legislative body, with the United States. It has been emasculated and Members are without power. The only people in this House who have any power at all are Members of the Cabinet. Today they do not have any power; they are all sitting around stewing and wondering if Pierre Elliott Turner is going to take them into his Cabinet or not. They have had their safe berth with the present Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) who is very lackadaisical about performance. He does not care whether they perform or do not perform.
But now there is a new Liberal Leader so even the present Cabinet Ministers do not have power at the moment, except for the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. MacEachen). He slithered across the convention floor on Saturday to make sure- now, I am addressing the Bill, Mr. Speaker, because I am talking about security. The Deputy Prime Minister wanted some security last Saturday and he saw his security blanket sitting in the Turner box and he slithered over, as I said the other day, just like a worried crab that spots a dead herring in the moonlight. He went right for the old rotten herring. Once again he illustrated the fact that he is the most security conscious Member of the Government.
The Minister of Justice (Mr. MacGuigan) was not far behind, of course. He could hardly wait for the first ballot to be counted before he made his break for security. He showed his intelligence. There were several other Members not so security conscious. They are more intelligent. They went with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (Mr. Chretien). God knows where they are going to end up. They may end up as members of this review committee or some other big job like that.
In any event, here we have a situation which epitomizes the low estate of the Canadian House of Commons, the legislature in Canada, if we compare it with the U.S. Their parliamentary system has survived to the present day with the legislators having some real power. When President Reagan and the executive branch wish to encourage an invasion of Nicaragua or finance some irregular troops or former Nicaraguans, or whoever they might be, to invade and interfere with the internal security of Nicaragua, they have an oversight committee in the U.S. Congress which has some powers. It is com-

June 21, 1984
Security Intelligence Service
posed of Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senator from New York, the big Irishman-

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