With the new sitting of Parliament now under way, I caught up with NDP MP Bill Siksay after Question Period today.
Q: It’s a new sitting – what’s on our agenda?
A: The Trans bill. Hopefully debated in the next couple of weeks – waiting for the next group of Private Members’ bills to hit the Order Paper, so that should be very, very soon and I’m looking forward to that being debated. Uganda – still an issue, and I’m still doing some work on that. And citizenship.
Q: Access to Information – there was this whole thing in the media a couple of weeks ago about ministerial staff blocking releases, and I know this is your committee.
A: We’ve made complaints to both the Information Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutors. I know that the Information Commissioner has launched an investigation into this specific allegation, but into the broader situation in regards to how the current government is treating Access to Information requests and their attitude and the culture within the government on Access to Information. It’s a very important issue, but we’ll need to wait now for what the Commissioner comes back with.
Q: Olympics are now over with, and that’s close to your riding. How did that go for you down there?
A: People had fun with the Olympics. It’s one of those expensive parties that people really did enjoy, and there’s no doubt about that. The Paralympics are about to start this week, so not quite the same situation, but hopefully it will be an important event as well. It was great that for the first time there were Pride Houses in both Whistler and Vancouver, and I think that was an important step for the GLBT community to have a place where the GLBT community could host both visitors to the games, and have the potential to celebrate an openly queer athlete as well.
Q: When do you start the stopwatch for the dismantling of the security infrastructure?
A: We will follow-up on that, absolutely. It’s one of the things we’ll raise with the standing committee [on Access to Information and Privacy].