Lethbridge MP named chair of standing committee on access to information, privacy and ethics

Conservative MP Rachael Harder rises during Question Period Thursday January 30, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder has been voted in as chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Harder, who is now in her second term as a member of Parliament for the Conservatives, says she was approached by Tory leader Andrew Scheer about the post and said she was eager to let her name stand.

“I have a keen interest in setting a high ethical standard for all members of Parliament and all public office holders,” Harder said.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity to be able to give direction or leadership to the committee and hopefully get some really great stuff done.”

On Thursday, Harder said her first priority as chair is to take another look at the prime minister’s alleged pressuring of former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop the criminal prosecution of Montreal-based SNC Lavalin.

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As chair, she would need the support of other parties to demand a judicial inquiry.

“At the end of the day, if the Conservatives can be unified with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, then we really have an opportunity to put forward a call for study and to have it be successful,” Harder said.

“Our conversations with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois who are on this committee with us have been very positive, and we have every intention of working together.”

Harder said the committee will reconvene on Monday and she expects a motion will be accepted to reopen the investigation.

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