My study of Parliamentary secrecy, rejuvenated by CP’s bogus numbers claiming to prove that the Martin majority was much more secretive than the Harper majority, continues. Unlike the House as a whole, committees regularly go in camera, meaning no observers may be present, and no detailed records of testimony or debates are published. As I recently showed, on the whole, House committees have spent over 25% of their time in secret over the past year, compared with 22.5% under Martin — not a tremendously large change.
Some committees, however, have undergone a much more dramatic change. The Public Accounts Committee, for instance, which hears such controversial subjects as the Auditor-General’s reports to Parliament, met in camera for a total of 116 hours under the Liberals between 1997 (the earliest date that proper online minutes are available) and 2005; in contrast, since 2006, it has amassed 148 hours in secret.
And as you can see, there is a distinct upward trend in secrecy, at least at this particular committee. The following chart shows the percentage of time it spent meeting in camera in Parliamentary sessions since 1997: