NEWS
05/29/2014 03:17 EDT | Updated 07/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Daniel Therrien, PM's choice for privacy commissioner, denounced by NDP

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's pick for Canada's next privacy commissioner seems to be eliciting no shortage of opinions from the opposition.

The government has reached into the public service to nominate Daniel Therrien to be the watchdog for Canadians' privacy rights.

Therrien has served as a Department of Justice lawyer since 1981.

Yesterday, CBC obtained a letter written by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and sent to Harper saying Therrien's past jobs suggest he would have played a significant role in helping the government craft legislation and programs – some of which the NDP considers to part of the government's failure to protect its citizens' rights to privacy, according to the letter.

Mulcair concludes that "Mr. Therrien has neither the neutrality nor the necessary detachment to hold this position."

However, it would seem Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau does not agree.

In a letter he sent to the prime minister on the same subject, Trudeau writes that after reviewing Therrien's biography and resume, "I have come to the conclusion that Daniel Therrien would be an excellent candidate for this position."

"His knowledge and experience, as well his distinguished record of public service," Trudeau continues, "will be of great benefit to Canadians."

Therrien will appear before a House of Commons committee to face questioning about his experience and views on the topic of privacy.

A Conservative majority on the committee, in the House of Commons, and Senate means Therrien is likely to be confirmed for the job quickly.

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