Top public servant offers to explain redactions to WE Charity documents


OTTAWA — The country’s top public servant is offering to testify about controversial redactions to some 5,000 pages of documents the government released on the WE Charity affair.

Ian Shugart, clerk of the Privy Council, makes the offer in a letter to the House of Commons finance committee.

The committee has been stalled for several weeks over a Conservative motion denouncing the redactions as a breach of committee members’ privileges as MPs.

Liberal members of the committee have been filibustering the motion, arguing that public servants should be given a chance to explain why they blacked out portions of the documents.

Shugart says he and his colleagues would be pleased to appear at the committee to explain their decisions.

The committee had demanded that the documents be turned over without redactions and that it be left to the legal counsel for the committee to decide whether anything needed to be blacked out to maintain personal privacy or cabinet confidences.