POLITICS

Daniel Therrien's appointment to privacy post gets House approval

06/05/2014 11:42 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:01 EDT
Welcome to the parliamentary watchdog club, Daniel Therrien.

Despite continuing opposition concern over the potential for future conflicts of interest, the House of Commons has given its collective seal of approval to the prime minister's pick to take over the job of protecting the privacy of the Canadian public.

Both the Conservatives and Liberals backed the motion, as did Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

The New Democrats, however, voted nay. The party has repeatedly voiced its objections to Therrien's appointment on the grounds that it is incompatible with his previous job, which involved advising the government on national security issues.

The final tally was 153 – 75.

The appointment of the long-time government lawyer was endorsed by the Senate earlier this week, and will take effect immediately.

Therrien is expected to go before the committee studying the government's bid to crack down on 'online crime' next week.

Earlier this week, he told the House ethics committee that he thought the bill should be split, which would allow for the fast-tracking of provisions related to 'cyberbullying'.

Mary Dawson to stay on as ethics commisisoner

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan also served notice that the prime minister intends to keep Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson on the job for at least the next two years. Her current 7-year term was set to expire next month.

In a written statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that he was "pleased" that Dawson had "agreed to be nominated to continue in her current role.

"Along with her extensive legal expertise and background in administrative justice, she has brought extraordinary professionalism, integrity and leadership to the position," he noted.

As was the case with Therrien, Dawson's reappointment will undergo what will almost certainly be a largely pro forma review by the procedure and House affairs and ethics committees.

As commissioner, she administers both the Conflict of Interest Act and the MPs' code of conduct.