Posted: Saturday, July 11, 2020. 11:36 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The long-awaited Senate Special Select Committee Report on the Immigration Department, 2011-2013, is getting closer to manifestation, but there are still a few delays.
Member of the Committee representing trade unions and civil society, whose organizations have been consistent in calling for the report, Senator Elena Smith, told us on Thursday that the review continues of the first draft written by Chairman Senator Aldo Salazar.
“He asked us to review; he sent it to us and wanted our feedback by the following day, which is a bit short to do a thorough review. I had requested additional time from him so that I can do a better review, and then present my comments to him over the weekend or by Monday, the latest, and then we see how we go from there. I think other Senators have also requested more time for them to be able to review the document properly, so sometime later on this month or maybe next month, we should have that report presented,” Smith said.
The Opposition is now represented on the Committee by lead Senator and former alternate on the Committee, Michel Chebat. Chebat sat in for former Senator Eamon Courtenay on a few occasions and questioned witnesses, but did not otherwise participate in proceedings. He must now get up to speed on the entire inquiry to present the Opposition’s views.
The rest of the committee includes Government Senator Dr. Carla Barnett; Business Senator Mark Lizarraga and Churches Senator Ashley Rocke.
The inquiry began in November of 2016 and questioned more than forty witnesses over thirteen months, uncovering what one witness called institutionalized corruption in the department that among other things led to the effort by former Minister of State Elvin Penner to facilitate accused embezzler Won Hong Kim of South Korea with a Belizean passport while he was imprisoned in Taiwan.
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