OTTAWA– The Prime Minister must ensure there is no political interference in the release of all records concerning the Senate expenses audit and the agreement between Senator Mike Duffy and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff to have his ineligible expenses covered, said Liberal Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale today.
“The Prime Minister could have been proactive and up front with Canadians in releasing all information on this matter which is clearly an issue of public interest,” said Mr. Goodale. “If he can’t do that, he must at least guarantee there will be no political interference in the lawful release of this information according to Canada’s existing statutes.”
Mr. Goodale released copies of Access to Information requests that he has submitted to the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Department of Justice for all records in their custody related to the PMO ethics scandal.
“It is simply inconceivable, that once the PCO and the Department of Justice learned that this unethical and potentially illegal transaction took place on behalf of the Prime Minister and involving his highest official, they would not have taken steps to immediately secure copies of all of the documentation,” said Mr. Goodale. “These documents must be preserved and made public according to provisions of the Access to Information Act. There must be no political interference with the release of this information, something that sadly we have seen time and time again with this government.”
Mr. Goodale noted that it is unlawful for anyone to destroy or remove documents from the Prime Minister’s Office, if they relate to a government matter or the abuse of taxpayer’s money, as is the case with the current scandal.