04/06/2018 15:12 EDT | Updated 04/06/2018 15:12 EDT

Scheer Won't Accept Briefing On Atwal Affair Until Committee Receives Unclassified Version

Tories worry Liberals may block Daniel Jean from speaking.

Blair Gable / Reuters
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to the media in Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2018.

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he won't accept a private, classified briefing about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's India trip until after an unclassified version of the briefing is presented at committee.

In a letter to Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick, Scheer says his office will follow up to find a date for the classified briefing with national security adviser Daniel Jean only after Jean appears at the public safety committee.

Scheer and the Conservatives are not yet convinced Liberal MPs won't again block Jean from repeating at committee the information he gave journalists in February about how Jaspal Atwal — convicted in 1986 of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister — came to be invited to two separate receptions during Trudeau's state visit to India.


The government offered Scheer a classified briefing with Jean about the matter, but the Conservatives said no, arguing Jean should be able to tell MPs the same thing he told the media.

They argued the only reason the government wouldn't let Jean do that would be if he had provided classified information in those media briefings, something the government steadfastly denies.

The Privy Council Office relented earlier this week, offering both a confidential briefing to Scheer and for Jean to appear at committee — but Scheer says the latter has to happen before he'll accept the former.