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


John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

-Senator Moynihan, just by his threat to leave the vice-chairmanship of that committee, was able to bring about a change of policy in the U.S. and have the Government state that it was no longer going to use subversive techniques to try and overthrow the Government of Nicaragua. That is something meaningful. The members of that legislative body have some meaningful power and influence. That is what we should have in this legislation. This should apply not only with respect to the security intelligence review committee, it should happen with all committees.
Why does the Government not want help in controlling the bureaucracy? It is not just that we need to control the security intelligence service. We have to have special techniques for that because a lot of their work must be secret. But the Government generally needs assistance in controlling the bureaucracy as a whole. Why not use the 282 Members we have elected to this House for that purpose? Why should the Government carry on, satisfied, with the Members of the Opposition having no real authority or power? Yes, when Question Period comes along we can question the Government and show our anger, dismay and all the rest of it. But that is not real power.
The back-benchers on the Government side have no real power either. Some of them are fairly decent people. I often say that I know many Liberals, and some of them are very good friends of mine, but would you have one married to your sister? No, not if you could avoid it. Nevertheless, there are some very good people in the Government backbenches who should be utilized.

Full View