Report of the committee

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has the honour to table its


Pursuant to Appendix IV of the Rules of the Senate, your committee hereby reports on the unauthorized disclosure of confidential committee documents.

On February 19, 2019, your committee met in camera to discuss a travel plan for Bill C-48, prepared by the Library of Parliament at the direction of the chair of the committee.

On April 2, 2019, the chair of your committee raised a question of privilege in the Senate after learning that the contents of the travel plan were discussed on social media by the Honourable Senator Simons.

On April 16, 2019, the Honourable Senator Simons sent a letter of apology to committee members.

On May 14, 2019, during a public meeting of the committee, the Honourable Senator Simons apologized to committee members for breaching their privileges – and the privileges of all senators – by disclosing information from an in camera meeting.

Your committee came to the conclusion that no further action is required except to raise the awareness of senators and staff as to the need for and the requirement of confidentiality. The leak of confidential material is indeed a serious matter. Your committee takes this opportunity to emphasize the importance of continuing to ensure that all senators and staff are cautioned and reminded of the nature of confidential and in camera proceedings and documents and the importance of protecting them.

Respectfully submitted,