OTTAWA, Ont. — Federal Transport Minister, David Collenette, has dodged a bullet after being cleared of opposition charges he violated the Canada Transportation Act.
The charges stemmed from Collenette’s failure to table a report in Parliament about the activities of the grain handling system monitor. Last year, legislation authorized the hiring of a monitor for the grain system, which required the minister to table a report in Parliament after each grain year.
The Canadian Alliance was quick to point out he failed to do so by Feb. 28, the agreed-upon deadline. Transport critic, James Moore, accused Collenette of being in contempt of Parliament.
However, speaker Peter Milliken has cleared Collenette of any wrong doings, saying a report no longer needs to be tabled since the intricacies of the legislative procedure have not been triggered.
“In the absence of such regulations and given the rather clear language of the Act on that very precise point, I must find that the minister is not obligated to table the report,” Milliken told the House.
Meanwhile the Alliance is convinced a report has been completed by Quorum Corp., the company hired to monitor the performance of the system, but it is being held back because of some touchy information contained in the report. Alliance officials have hinted it could involve the Canadian Wheat Board’s role in last year’s struggle between the board, the railways and the grain companies over the rail car tendering system.
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