Conservatives call for emergency meeting to examine Privy Council Office screening practices after Atwal fiasco

February 23, 2018

Ottawa, ON – Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Pierre Paul-Hus, today issued the following statement calling for an emergency Public Safety and National Security Committee meeting to review the Privy Council Office’s screening practices after Jaspal Atwal, a man who attempted to assassinate an Indian politician, was granted access to the Prime Minister and senior cabinet officials:

“Canada’s Conservatives have serious questions with respect to how Mr. Atwal, a member of a terrorist organization banned in Canada, was given clearance to attend an event with the Prime Minister.

“It is the Privy Council’s Director of Security Operations who is responsible for screening individuals who meet with the Prime Minister and Conservatives want to know if Mr. Atwal was screened by the Director of Security Operations.

“Canadians expect that when the Prime Minister meets with individuals, whether at home or abroad, there is a process to ensure the proper vetting of individuals to ensure that they do not pose a safety or security risk.

“In the Prime Minister’s own words, “a man who was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in 1986 should not have been invited to receptions held in Delhi.”

“Conservatives are calling on Privy Council Office officials to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to explain whether or not the Privy Council Office was afforded the opportunity to properly screen Mr. Atwal before he met with the Prime Minister and his cabinet.”